Hi, my name is Laurie, and I’m an alcoholic. That is how I represent myself at Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meetings. I’ve learned alcoholism is a disease. It is hereditary. My father’s mother and my mother’s father were both alcoholics. Both my parents were alcoholics who drank at home. To the outside world my family looked like something off “Leave It to Beaver” or “The Donna Reed Show.” This disease affects your mind, body and spirit. Through AA, I also realized that alcoholism is a symptom of the real problem.
Women can cross that imaginary line from being a “normal” drinker to an alcoholic quickly. That was the case for me. I had all the traits of a garden-variety alcoholic. I always drank to excess in my young adult years. However, when I got married and had my children I only drank socially.
Once I hit my forties, I started drinking more than socially. One thing led to another and I found myself not able to control my drinking. I didn’t lose my family, job, house, car, etc. I lost my sanity. All I did was think about what time I got off work, when I could get that next drink, “when, when, when.” I stopped going to functions away from my house, because I knew better than to drink and drive; especially since I had had two serious car accidents in my late teens due to drinking and driving.
As an isolated drinker, I had become “just like my mother.” The one thing I didn’t want. My mother died at 49 from a brain hemorrhage, having passed out while drinking at home. I was only 23 when she died. I didn’t want my kids to feel the pain I had felt. After a few years of swearing I’d quit, trying every possible way to stop, I finally broke down and reached out for help. I called AA. I will always remember the kind young woman I spoke with named Kristy. Her encouragement and helpful information led me to my first meeting on September 4, 2008.
AA is spiritual program. You are asked to believe in a power greater than yourself. Belief in this power will relieve you of your alcoholism. Some folk who have a problem turning their will and their life over to God start out by turning it over to the group first. My higher power is GOD. I attended church on a fairly regular basis throughout my life. I saw everyone having faith in God and I was always envious. I just had no idea how to have a relationship with God through Jesus Christ. I had never read the bible and didn’t know how to carry on a conversation with folks who seemed to know God. I felt stupid and embarrassed. AA taught me how to do all those things; even more so, how to talk to God himself.
Once I turned this over to God, my life became more manageable. I lost the desire to drink. My sobriety date is September 5, 2008. My problems became easier to handle. I used to think in order to pray, you had to say all the “thee’s, thou’s, etc.” I now know I can talk to God, just as simply as I am writing these words. When my day becomes crazy I “let go, and let God” take care of things. I just need to wake up each day and let Him lead me. When I try to be in control, my life gets out of whack. When I let God be in control, I have a calm serene day. I live happy, joyous and free thanks to finding my faith. When I came into the AA program my faith was but a “tiny mustard seed.” Now I have a total mustard forest! I am confident God will be there to guide me through anything that life brings me.