I am a 56 year old woman. I will be 57 in December. I was born in Pittsburgh, PA. I grew up in a small town in eastern Ohio, named Poland. I moved from there when I was 14 to a suburb of Chicago. When my parents told me we were moving, and that I would have to attend public schools for the first time in my life, I made a conscious decision to start drinking and doing whatever the heck else I felt like. I made good on that decision.
I started drinking in July 1966. I didn't stop until July 24, 1984. In that time, I got married and had three children. We moved from Chicago to New Mexico to the mountains of Colorado. I did things that drunk people do. I became increasingly depressed and desperate. By 1984, with three small children and a husband who needed me, I drank daily, all day long and had for years, and all I wanted to do was die. I had no friends. Not one. When I needed someone to talk to, I got on the phone with my therapist, and then got a bill for the time we spent on the phone.
When my husband told me we were moving to Denver, it shook my world and I think I made the bookend decision to the one I made in 1966 - I wanted to get sober. It took 3 weeks.
I called AA on the morning of July 24, 1984 and I have not had a drink since. I jumped into AA with everything I had. They told me to go to 90 meetings in 90 days, and I went to 180. They told me to get a sponsor, I got a sponsor. They told me to work the steps, I worked the steps. They told me to pray, and I prayed. They told me to get active in service work, I did that. In 1985 I celebrated one whole year without a drink. In 1986, 2 years. In 1987, three years.... and on and on. In 2004, I got a coin with "XX" on it. Twenty years without a drink. My last coin has "XXIV" on it. XXIV.
In the time I have been sober, I went back to school and got my bachelor's and master's degrees. I got a job at 10 years of sobriety which I still have today. My children have grown and now I have two grandchildren. I bought my first house in 1998, and my second house in 2001, in which I still live.
I have gone from being a 32 year old woman who wanted to die to being a 56 year old woman who is doing everything she can to stay alive for as long as I can. I participated in my first triathlon in 2004, and have done five since. I ran my first half-marathon in May 2007, and am now training for my fifth one which is in January. I am so grateful that by the grace of God, I was able to quit smoking 17 years ago, and have not had one cigarette since.
AA gently led me back to the church of my youth and I have found my home there. I am currently in the middle of my second year of a four year program of Biblical School. I love it.
My life has changed dramatically. It did not happen overnight. It happened slowly. I did not get sober and get perfect. I messed up - a lot. But I did not drink, and I kept doing what I was supposed to be doing.
I was done drinking. I had enough. I was desperate. I didn't have any great ideas left. I didn't have any friends left. I believe it was the hand of God that got me to AA, and the grace of God that kept me sober. I believe I had to follow the few directions given me to just cooperate with the freely given gift. I don't believe I stayed sober by any great "work" on my behalf... just some cooperation.
I started this blog to converse with some other blogger, long gone, who was bugging me on my other blog. I realized he was a recovering alcoholic and I wanted to talk about that, but my other blog was political in nature and used my full name and picture, so I would not violate traditions by talking about my membership in AA there. So I started this blog. After a couple of months, a blogger, sadly now long gone from the blogging scene, came along and then told a bunch of you about my blog and the rest is history. I have loved the fellowship of the sober blogs. It has been wonderful.
And now I have to get dressed and face this day sober. I will attempt to do it with quiet humor and grace. I will definitely need God's help today, as I do every day.
Let's go into this new world sober together, shall we?