Another Soul Lost 

Another soul lost all too soon. I just got word that someone I sat with, someone I held hands with, someone I’ve prayed the Serenity Prayer with time and time again relapsed…and didn’t live to try sobriety another day. Ugh…this hurts my heart and the pit in my stomach is overwhelming. Do I cry for the life lost? Do I blame the alcohol? Do I cuss at her for not calling me before picking up that drink? Probably all of the above but most of all I just hate the disease itself. She was 7 months sober…she was almost there.  

People have asked me, why two years? Why did you wait two years to tell people you were in recovery? Isn’t one year something to celebrate? Let me explain. In my experience, for a true alcoholic being sober one day is amazing; 30 days, astounding; every single day in that first year is something to be celebrated but everyday in that first year you are simply focused on nothing more then staying sober each and every single day. Yes I was sober that first year, but I wasn’t actually living that first year. I was making it day by day learning to live again; sort of like a rebirth if you will. I did not know how to function on a daily basis without alcohol in my system. Imagine trying to function without air – a little drastic? Nope not really, because alcohol was as much a lifeline for me as air was.  Actually I think I survived many days on the air I was breathing and alcohol alone.  One day at a time is not just a saying – it is a way of life for an alcoholic/addict. Every single morning in that first year I woke up and said out loud “I will not drink today!” and I probably repeated that to myself hundreds of more times throughout the day as a constant reminder when life started to happen. Handling life sober was so much harder then it was when I was drinking. My sponsor always told me – good news is when you are sober you start to have feelings bad news is you start to have feelings. 

 Dealing with your emotions and feelings when you are sober is so damn hard! You guys, I preach about natural health and “an oil for this and an oil for that” because I had no choice but to learn to live a chemical free life! I am not better then you because I now choose to live naturally – I am just an addict trying to stay sober.  What I could not do is go to another doctor and ask him for anymore prescription drugs to help with my depression, help with my anxiety, help with my every ache and pain or help with my inability to sleep because guess what?! I’d end up addicted to those as well and was getting real close.  I was on a total of 12 different drugs just for these issues alone and still felt like shit everyday in that first year. I took those pills out of habit – even when I wasn’t having anxiety or pains! I had to find another option and thankfully I did so with my essential oils! I learned to live again, I learned to live naturally, I learned to live healthy (with the exception of pizza and cupcakes every once in a while). So I might be deemed the “crazy oil lady” but this crazy oil lady came out of the wrath of hell to learn to live in the best possible way for my boys and myself. So when I preach oils it is because I now know a thing or two about how to make them work and my guess is that most of you aren’t on the doorstep of death looking for a way out!   

 I hate, hate, hate that another person who was trying to gain her sobriety was sucked back in by this terrible disease. I’m truly heartbroken for her and the family she has left behind. Addiction is a disease – not a free choice! 80% of individuals relapse in the first year of sobriety, after two years the relapse rate drops to 40% and after five years it drops to 7%. 

 “Everyday is a struggle, but each day is worth the fight” and to all you out there trying to stay sober, keep fighting one day at a time! 


Sex, Drugs & Rock ‘n Roll…for real!!

When I woke up the morning of August 25, 2014 I laid there thinking about what I needed to do versus what I wanted to do.  First let me clarify, “morning” was now about 2pm and I wanted to simply roll out of bed, shower, get ready and head to the bar like I usually did.  My phone already had multiple missed calls and text messages from guys wanting to know where I was, cause ya know, they missed me.  Going to the bar is what would help my shakes, my physical pain and my guilty mind.  It would just make me feel all around better like it has been for all the prior years and the past 180 straight days.  My life really was all sex, drugs and rock & roll but my drug of choice was alcohol and my sex choices weren’t so particular.  What I really needed to do was get my ass to a meeting to try and save what little dignity and liver function I had left.  I had one of those handy AA meeting books available thanks to my kind parole officer that I was honored to meet in November 2013 when I was handed my 2nd DWI.  Yep you read that correctly, my second DWI…not my first when you would have thought I’d learn my lesson.  I was supposed to be going to these meetings all along but things kept coming up…like the drink to my mouth.  Remember me saying an alcoholic will quit, hopefully, when they are good and ready?  Well I wasn’t ready when I got my DWI’s so I certainly wasn’t going to go sit through two meetings a week just in case they tried to convert me.  Anyways, I looked up the closest bicycle friendly meeting and after my internal struggle I put on my nice clothes and peddled myself to the church at the corner.  Yes, a good majority of AA meetings around this area are held in churches but despite what most people think, AA is not a religious cult type of thing.  Praise Jesus, Buddha, Allah, whomever, because although raised Catholic I was far from what anyone would consider a Christian and now was certainly not the time for me to start practicing my faith.

After locking up the Huffy next to the statue of Mary, I walked into the church and down the hallway to the first door on the right.  I shit you not when I tell you I walked right into a PTA meeting and those people quickly looked up at me and said “You are probably wanting the meeting over there,” as they pointed out the window with their finger and noses to another entrance.  Yep, I probably do because you uptight folks are not who I should be hanging out with today.  I was pissed, I am a mom, a shitty one currently, but I could be on the PTA if I wanted to so how dare you judge me.  I really didn’t think I looked that bad and right now I just wanted a drink, but over to the correct entrance I went.  So this makes more sense; coffee, water, donuts, and a lot of people sitting with their hands in their laps, heads hanging low and few making zero eye contact with anyone.  This is exactly where I fit in!  Now out of respect for the Alcoholics Anonymous program I will not go into what we do in these meetings; you’ve got Google, movies, YouTube and you can ask me privately for that info but the only accurate part is probably the introduction statements and mine went something like “Hi I’m Melissa and I am an alcoholic…I think” and with that our meeting began.  Haha, I still look back about me saying “I think” I’m an alcoholic; so much denial.  Now truth is, the meeting was not at all bad, not at all what I expected, and was pretty interesting plus the people there were very nice once they started talking.  So much nicer than those PTA people in the other entrance were to me.  That hour flew by so now what was I going to do that did not involve booze?  I headed home and sat there the rest of the night thinking about how much I wanted a drink and how much I wanted to vomit.  So I looked through the entire house for leftover alcohol, anything to make this feeling go away.  I found nothing and now I had been sober for almost 24 hours…sounds ridiculous but this was the most physically painful and hardest 24 hours of my life.  Imagine your worst 10 on the pain scale…remember the day you were in that that much pain?  Now multiply that feeling by another 10 throughout your entire body…yep that is almost close to the pain from alcohol detox.  Not one square inch on my body didn’t thrive in pain…even my freaking fingernails hurt and that is no joke!  Then the vomiting started…oh sweet baby Jesus, I’d rather be dead right now!  That liver I have been working on destroying; pretty sure I just threw it up.  I should have gone to the ER that night there is no doubt about that, but keep in mind I worked for the hospital so I certainly didn’t need to explain this mess to someone I might know.  It would have taken about seven seconds and my business would be known by all that knew me and some that didn’t, that’s a life thing, not a hospital employee thing.  We all know people like to talk and spread rumors like “did you hear about what so & so did” or “did you know so & so is a (fill in the blank)” without having any real knowledge of the entire situation.  I was going to go to my grave with this secret of alcoholism…or so I thought.

Now let me explain my final thought really quick – I could, if I wanted to, go a day without drinking.  Not so much during the recent months of February through August but before that I was not drinking every day.  What I was completely incapable of was having just one, two or even three drinks.  Once I started I could not stop till I blacked out or passed out.  That is just how it was, even when I tried my damndest to be a “normal drinker” I could not stop.  Even if I had to drive home at some point, I still wouldn’t and couldn’t stop; proof of the two DWI’s and the countless others I should have been given.  Quitting the drink cold turkey, I found out later, was a terrible idea and it is always strongly recommended that an alcoholic seek medical treatment for help in detoxing.  Of the 23 million or more Americans who are currently estimated to be suffering from alcoholism, only about ten percent, or one in every ten, seek and receive treatment.  Any substance, whether you abuse it or are addicted to it or not, clouds your brain and your thought process.  I was trying to get help now, I went to my first meeting today, lets only hope I can make it past tonight without drinking.

“Every day is a struggle, but each day is worth the fight” and this is mine!

My Story – Intro

“Hi, my name is Melissa and I’m an alcoholic” I whispered to a room full of people two years ago today!  August 24, 2014 is when I hit rock bottom and I knew if I didn’t get the help I needed I was going to die; and soon.  People had been telling me for a while now that I needed to stop drinking and that I needed help but I wasn’t ready then, I was ready on August 25, 2014.

Let me take you back really quick to the fall of 2012.  I was in a relationship for the prior three years that was nothing but bad.  I however had a roof over the head of my boys and myself and stayed because I was afraid to be alone, I always have been.  The need to feel needed was very real for me but I was a terrible person to be in a relationship with; proof of my divorce in 2008 and every failed relationship in between.  Anyways, the fall of 2012 things started to get really bad when the verbal and emotional abuse ramped up and the drinking from both of us became a nightly thing.  The weekends were usually a drunken shit show but I would have never considered myself an alcoholic at this point.  Denial at its finest!  I did however know I needed to get out of this situation so I started planing my escape.  I never got around to escaping though because I came home from work one night and all mine and the boys stuff was packed up and on the front lawn.  At least I was saved from having to pack cause y’all know how bad that sucks, amiright?!  My sister’s and dad came over, helped me load up all the cars with our stuff and off we went.  I was free…but only from him.

My dad openly took the boys and I in to live with him.  The house was not huge because he obviously didn’t plan on his grown child and her kids moving back in with him when it was supposed to be a bachelor pad but it was just what we needed; a safe place with someone loving.  Well sadly on May 17, 2013 I woke up in the morning to get ready for work to find that my dad died in a freak, at home accident…our world as we knew it was shattered.  None of my brother’s, sister’s, or myself got to say goodbye.  I never got to thank him for all he had done and then the guilt started piling into my head and heart.  The last image I had of my dad was one so unsightly and so not him, God do I wish it wasn’t him.

My life quickly spiraled more out of control and I spent so much time at this doctor’s, that shrink, this bar and that bar, another therapist and every liquor store in between.  Although I still went to work sober, I looked forward to the evening.  Not so I could go spend time with my boys or so I could go to one of their sporting events but so I could start drinking and drowning out reality.  It was BAD…I was a disaster…hot mess express party of one.  A year later, I still felt a overwheling sense of guilt for my dad’s death and not being able to save him.  Every night I went to sleep I saw his face just the way I found him the morning of his death.  I did everything possible to drown it out and lost a lot in the process.  A lot of friends, family, money and most importantly time with my boys.  Than in February 2014 I had an accident (non alcohol related) that caused me to be out of work for a while.  I went to one doctor’s they found this wrong, then the next doctor found that wrong and ultimately in 2014 I ended up having 11 different surgeries (I just counted to make sure) and was out of work for what would end up being an entire year.  So what did I do most of that year?  You guessed it…I drank…and did crafts, but mostly I drank.

From about the one year anniversary of my dad’s death till August 2014, things were a blur.  I did stupid crap that was not becoming of a woman, I destroyed my body and about every relationship I had in the process.  Friends, boyfriends and family…so much my family.  No worries, I would solve that by drinking from the Tito’s bottle.  Let me tell you though, Tito’s was starting to get really expensive when I wasn’t bringing home a paycheck anymore.  August 24, 2014 I remember like it was yesterday surprisingly. I had gotten home that night and made my first drink, then my second, third, than OH SHIT…I was outta Tito’s.  I checked all my alcohol hiding places and found nothing.  So I popped a Xanax, maybe two but who’s counting, and I laid down briefly.  I woke up in a panic…still out of alcohol.  So I brilliantly got on my bike – nope not motorcycle bike but my pink 10 speed Huffy and peddled myself up to Wal-Mart for the classy alcohol to get me through the rest of the evening.  I’m not sure how long I was gone but I do know is that I woke up in the craft section of Wal-Mart draped over my cart.  Wow I needed to get home, but not before I grabbed that bottle of alcohol and checked out.  I somehow made it home without getting hit by a car or dropping my bag and I proceeded to polish of that bottle also.  This my friends, is what we alcoholics like to call rock bottom.  It was then I knew that I had to get my life together or I was going to die…and die sooner rather than later!