My name is Stephanie, and I am a recovering alcoholic and addict.
My first drink was my ninth grade summer, my first DUI at the age of 20. Eventually the DUI was dropped after spending tons of money on credit cards to hire a lawyer. Not too long after I met a guy who drank and took pills. We moved in together and soon we were engaged. He was an angry and abusive person. I started shutting out my family, friends, and quit my job. The only way I thought I could escape my reality was to drink and take pills. I tried to leave him a few times, and move back in with my Dad, but I always went back.
Memorial Day weekend 2011 I ended up in the hospital with acute pancreatitis. I weighed 88 lbs. I was lifeless. I forgot what it was like to smile, laugh, or cry. I was in the hospital for 11 days. I lived with my Mom and step-Dad for the next 6 months––until I relapsed and started to drink again. Mom was so disappointed, so was I. A couple months later, as my drinking was spiraling out of control, I was back in the ER again with a totaled car. I tried to hide it from my parents but I knew I needed help.
That was my rock bottom, and that’s when I resolved to change. It’s amazing how different I am today, nearly four years later. Through a great rehab center, AA, my family, my new (real) friends, and my AA sponsor, I gained my life back and found new friends who didn’t abuse drugs or alcohol. It wasn’t easy to do, but I did it.
The first step toward recovery was to admit that I had a problem. I admitted powerlessness, and allowed God, my personal Higher Power, to work in my life. When I did, I was amazed at the life I found that I never thought I could have.
I now live on my own and am working on 4 years sobriety. I’ve learned that no matter how powerless I feel, I can’t give up. Whatever I’m battling in the moment will pass. Getting sober is hard, but it isn’t nearly as hard as my life when I was out there drinking or using. I’ve made it this far, and I can make it through whatever comes next, and so can you. Even when it’s scary, keep going. Never give up. Sometimes the darkest times can bring us to the brightest places.