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Grapevine : September 2011
torn. On one hand, I felt like God had lifted a tremendous burden off my shoulders. No more enduring finan- cial hardships or his continued drug use, his late nights drinking with his buddies or my constant worrying of his drinking and driving, sometimes with our children in the vehicle. On the other hand, he was all I'd ever known. How was I going to live life without him? How could I raise our children by myself ? How was I going to provide a father figure to my kids? How do I explain this to our friends and family? Life was about to change, that was for sure. I would never be able to hide behind his drinking prob- lem again. If anything went wrong, I would only have myself to blame. The children and I attended fam- ily counseling and my doctor decided I should start taking antidepressants. I did feel like I was going crazy. I discovered that drinking alco- hol with antidepressants didn't work. I thought I could control my con- sumption while taking the pills, but things only got worse. I decided to discontinue taking antidepressants so I could drink. Drinking was the only thing that eased my pain. Drinking would make me forget about the world, at least for the night. I was still able to function at work, but during most of the day it was all I could think about. I looked forward to quitting time obsessively. In 2009, I almost lost my job and asked a friend of mine, who I knew at- tended AA, if I could accompany her to a meeting. I attended meetings for three weeks, but had a vacation planned for a cousin's wedding in California. As you might think, three weeks of meetings wasn't enough and I went right back into that world of darkness. I thought I could control my drinking again, de- ciding to stop drinking vodka, as vodka caused blackouts, and only drink wine. I drank wine for the next eight months. On Valentine's Day, after drinking wine all day and then going out on a date, I blacked out. My daughter had to help me undress and get into bed ... videotaping the whole thing. I've been attending AA meetings ever since. It is only through the grace of God that I was able to surrender and finally accept the fact that I am an alcoholic. I attend meetings daily. If I can't make it to one, I attend two the next day. I have a sponsor and just started working my Twelve Steps. In- stead of isolating, I am communicat- ing and forming new friendships, ex- periencing a kind of love I have never known. I have a loving relationship with a God of my understanding and I just celebrated 60 days of sobriety. I had not been sober for a full week since the age of 17. I am on the road to sweet recov- ery, attending meetings, praying, and reading AA literature, and I've never felt better. Debbie M. Florence, Ore. aagrapevine.org 25