Free at Last (My Story Continued)

For anyone who reads this and hasn’t read the first part of my story, I want to stress that when I finally got sober, I had been going to AA meetings for six years.  Many of the things I did would not be suggested as a program of recovery.  Someone starting in AA will have a much better chance of making it if he follows all the suggestions and works the steps.  That I got to try and fail repeatedly for six years speaks only of my luck.  There are many times I risked everything.  Really, every time I drank I risked everything, because I would never know if I would be able to stop again.

I feel that for the first four or five years, circumstances mostly kept me sober.  Which is probably selling myself short.  Around the time that I stopped drinking in order to figure out how to proceed with my life, I broke off my relationship with the guy across the street for good.  My drinking coincided with that relationship in time, although it did not cause it.  It was, however, what the people of AA had been telling me all along.  It was not sober behavior to be involved in that relationship.  It wasn’t honest, and it wasn’t right.

I finished college in August, taking just over four years.  I graduated with a 2.3.  That is directly a result of my drinking, and I hate to think of the money and opportunities I squandered.  For a comparison, when I went to get my masters degree, working and taking care of two small children, I got only one B, and rest of my grades were As.  School is something I can do when I’m sober.

And I quickly started dating someone in the program.  He had a little more time sober than I did.  This was a very bad idea.  It is recommended that we not have relationships within the first year for good reason.  I, however, was not feeling like the typical newcomer.  I wasn’t a newcomer at all, I was a chronic relapser.

I was also making a mistake that so many regular (nonalcoholic) people make by not spending much time single, without a relationship.  I guess you can say I was on the rebound.

I met him around June, got engaged around September, and married and pregnant in December.  I went to meetings.  I’ve actually gone to meeting regularly from the time I got sober until now, and I intend to always do so as long as I am able.

The thing I wanted most in life was to have children, especially a daughter.  I wanted a daughter so much that I actally said that if I didn’t get one by giving birth, I would adopt one.  So I set out to do that.  Once I remember thinking and actually sharing about the fact that being pregnant, for the first time in my life I could not drink.  Someone I went to meetings with at that time had lost a baby to fetal alcohol syndrome.  I think I was a big enough drinker that that certainly would have happened to me, if I didn’t kill myself and the baby in a car accident.

It’s probably a topic for another kind of blog, but I’ll admit and record that I really did not enjoy being pregnant.  I didn’t have a terrible time of it, but I was uncomfortable and sometimes unhappy.  One sort of strange thing that happened was that I made my one and only attempt to go to an AA retreat while I was about seven months along.  It was at a monestery on the water a few hours away from my home.  I went with an AA friend, and the first night, I freaked out and felt I couldn’t stay.  I called someone to rescue me and I haven’t tried a retreat since.

I think this post has gotten long enough.  I feel a bit strange writing about these things because they don’t have much to do with sobriety or drinking, but I guess much of my life doesn’t.   It sure didn’t when I was six, or ten, or twelve.  It’s all part of my story, though, so while it’s not something I would say when telling my story, I imagine I should still write it all down.

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