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[ Personal Narratives ]

“Sometimes in tragedy we find our life’s purpose.” -Robert Brault

Hi!  My name is Lauren, and I’m a grateful, recovering alcoholic/addict.  I grew up in a good Christian home.  You would have never thought I would grow up to be an alcoholic/addict.  It doesn’t happen to people like me, but alcoholism or drug addiction does not discriminate.  It can happen to doctors, to senators, to CEOs, to Asians, to Africans, to Indians, to the rich, to the poor, to men, to women, to people who are happy, those who are sad, those who are depressed, anyone.

In high school I started smoking pot. I drank throughout high school as well.  I remember one time drinking before finals and I ended up getting the highest grade in the class, which then made me think drinking was an even better idea.  Our teacher told us if we learned something in a certain state of mind (drunk/high), we must take the test in the same state of mind to retain that knowledge.  So in our defense, we always needed to be drunk or high.  Stupid high school thinking.

After high school, I still smoked, and drank, then started selling pot so I didn’t have to pay for it, and I could make some money.  I started doing coke, and experimenting with lots of other drugs.  This continued for some years.  I could quit the drugs, but never the alcohol.  The only time I could quit, was when I was pregnant.  That’s when it wasn’t about me anymore.  Alcohol was my demon.  I was drinking all day, every day.  I had it in my purse, in my car, in my desk at work. I had it hidden under my bed so I could drink it in the middle of the night.  I couldn’t go more than an hour without a shot. I hate to admit it, and it hurts me to say this, but I would drive around and drink with the kids in the car.  I was losing jobs.  I was drinking a fifth a day. Vodka was going to kill me.  I was lying on top of lies.  My head was spinning trying to keep the lies straight.  

I tried rehab or just to detox a couple times, but that didn’t work, because all I did was detox. My thoughts were that all I needed was to detox, so I could drink normally. The problem was I didn’t WANT to drink normally.  I WANTED to get messed up.  So what was the point.  My mind wasn’t in it, and I wasn’t ready yet, so it wasn’t going to work.  So at 10:40 pm on a February night, my parents called a hotline and got a flight booked for me for 6:40 am the next morning to go to California to a rehab.  I stayed at Desert Palms for 45 days, a much needed 45 days. I learned so much…about alcohol, myself, and my disease.  

I currently go to AA meeting a few times a week. I chair a meeting every other week.  I take people to and from meetings.  I am involved in planning events for our group. I write a inspirational daily blog at laurenyoder.weebly.com regarding my alcoholism and recovery.  I have one book published, “From the Weeds: a collection of poems.”  It is a collection of poems from all stages of my life: from depression and addiction to recovery and hope.  I have another book about to be published “100 Days (sober).”  I have a restored relationship with my husband, parents, and children.  I love my life.  I have amazing friends.  These are all things that I would have never have been made possible without tragedy of alcoholism coming into my life, tearing me down, but God building me back up.  I have now found my purpose.  I want to help others.