Long story short for those who don’t want to click a lot of links. I went from a homeless drunk to married to a beautiful and awesome woman with amazing little twin boys, an awesome job, nice house and all that jazz. The boys, by the way, will be five months old in a couple weeks.
After reading a few of those threads I think I found the most important thing I learned: what matters and what can be let go.
If anyone who thinks they may have an alcohol or drug problem please know this: You can get clean and, if you do, life will become so much better.
Are you willing (or interested) in doing a little Q&A?
Just yesterday I had decided that I was going to start a new post asking some questions about being/getting sober and other related subjects; but you might be the source of most of what I’m curious about.
I suspect most of the information is available in the previous threads you posted; but I’m going to ask here anyway.
Do/Did you go to AA meetings?
From my perspective one of the reasons that AA works for some people (and shares some things with, say, a Cursillo experience at a church), is that It’s easy to believe your life is more screwed up/difficult than other people would ever understand. When you experience what others have gone through you can realize that you’re don’t have to be alone in your journey. What are your thoughts on that?
Do you feel that part of your success is because of your network of family and friend (and new wife) who supported you?
Conversely did you have to distance yourself from those family and friends who didn’t support you, or would make it difficult to stay sober?
Those are a few pretty big questions considering I don’t even know if you’re interested in answering them. If you feel like I’m hijacking this, or If you’d rather I open up a new thread just let me know.
Yep. Though these days I don’t go very often. I do, however, have a rule which is if something really freaks me out I go to meetings daily until I am sure I am good.
I think that having someone who has been there and done you can talk to about the issues is a big part of A.A. I think it matters because I really believe that normal folks cannot really grasp what addiction is like. From time to time I will hear someone say something along the lines of “Well, all person X has to do is quit drinking!”. To which my first thought it “Why don’t you just ask him to stop breathing?”. If quitting were that easy, everyone would do it. Since it is not, having resources who a) understand the problem and b) can offer ways to deal with the problem is huge, at least IMHO. Also, though I won’t go too deep into it here unless someone requests it, I believe that the A.A. program was very well designed to get at the core problems that alkies faces when getting sober.
My family helped a huge amount, though it was mainly my parents and one sister. That is partially due to other siblings living in different states and partially due to some of those siblings knowing I was screwed up and (rightfully) not wanting to get sucked into it. What finally got me to really work at getting sober was my family dropping the hammer with “Either you get sober or we won’t be a part of your life. We will help you get better, but if you continue we won’t have anything to do with you”. That is, quite frankly, the best thing my family ever did for me. I know how much it hurt them to do it and I love them deeply for doing it.
I had been sober for a good number of years before I met my wife. I did tell her that I was a recovering alkie on our first date. She is awesome and supports me,though these days staying sober is nowhere near as hard as it once was.
As for friends, well, by the last couple years of my drinking career I didn’t really have friends. I ran off most of my real friends though I had some acquaintences who didn’t like to get wasted alone. I was a lone drunk for the last 5 or 6 years.
Hijack away. I am pretty open about all this, except if I think it would cause a problem. For example, I won’t go into an interview 'Hi, I am Slee and I am an alcoholic!". But outside of business, I don’t really care who knows.
My biggest drinking problem is the reactions I sometimes get about not drinking, but a cousin of mine had to choose between going on the straight and narrow, or his gf of 15 years (not drinking, in his case, but selling drugs). The hit against the bottom had been so hard that the new pathway won; some 20 years later he’s worked at the same place for almost 18 years (at the moment he hit bottom he had never held a job), his house is paid off and while he’s never been married he’s had several relationships and stays on good terms with all his exes.
I know several other people who say the hardest part of a big life change (a couple who decided to stop taking drugs when they discovered she was pregnant; a guy who decided to stop taking and selling drugs after one of his friends OD’d on what he’d been selling…) was having to break up with people who didn’t understand and didn’t want to.
Gratz slee. Here’s to many more years (raises green tea).
Thanks for answering my questions. My dad was an alcoholic. My late wife was an addict. She was (for a while, until she got fired) a pharmacy tech. Her death, surprisingly, wasn’t addiction related. Well not directly, anyway. Until the autopsy results, I wasn’t sure. I expected her death to be an overdose; but it turned out it was complications from an enlarged heart and neurological issues she was dealing with. Regardless, because of her I coined a phrase that explains my belief of what it’s like being pulled into that quagmire. “Sometimes you don’t know you were in the middle of a bad situation until you make through the other side.” Cheesy, but so accurate from my perspective. Basically your version of normal gets so distorted and you think that’s normal. I’m married 10 years now to an awesome woman. It’s a nice healthy relationship. It’s been a gift, but it’s also allowed me to look back at my life before and see how messed up it was.