My share - from Stephanie

Alcoholics and Addicts in 12 Step Programs sharing their personal recovery stories with hope to help others who alcoholics and addicts who want to recover using the 12 Steps.
Posts: 17
Joined: Tue Jul 08, 2008 12:33 pm

My share - from Stephanie

Postby Berdie » Tue Jul 08, 2008 7:05 pm

I posted this on the wrong topic area earlier, so I copied and pasted it here too. Sorry.

Hello family, my name is Stephanie and I'm an alcoholic/addict. I
came to the rooms of AA over 7 years ago, completely whipped, looking
for some answers. I didn't believe then that I was powerless over
alcohol, drugs, or anything for that matter, I thought I could
somehow survive on my own will power. I just needed to know how to
live a life that I absolutely hated and wanted out of, with or
without a drink or a drug. I had just discovered that I couldn't do
that. No matter what I did, things just kept getting worse. I had
tried suicide many times, but devine intervention kept me here.

I had tried all of the methods mentioned in the Big Book on page 31
paragraph 2, "Here are some of the methods we have tried: Drinking
beer only, limiting the number of drinks, never drinking alone, never
drinking in the morning, drinking only at home, never having it in
the house, never drinking during business hours, drinking only at
parties, switching from scotch to brandy, drinking only natural
wines, agreeing to resign if ever drunk on the job, taking a trip,
not taking a trip, swearing off forever (with and without a solemn
oath), taking more physical exercise, reading inspirational books,
going to health farms and sanitariums, accepting voluntary commitment
to asylums we could increase the list ad infinitum. "

I'd been drinking since I was a tot. I remember carring around a
brown bottle (beer) when I was only 2 years old (and there are
pictures to verify this...) I went through childhood abuse, in every
way imaginable by more than one person. I hated who I was and
distrusted everyone, including myself. I went on my first big drunk
at 14 at a keg party. By 16, I was drinking whiskey and smoking pot,
taking acid, speed and everything else. Alcohol was my drug of

Fast forward 26 years, past 2 broken marriages, many messed up
relationships, moving 21 times in 3 years at one point, jobs gallore,
grown children who are no longer speaking to me and who hang up on me
the minute they hear my voice on the telephone, all other family
relationships are severed except a few Christian ones - but I can't
talk to them - in fact, I don't call them because I don't want them
to know how I'm living. I can't drink if I am around them. I was
drinking nearly 24/7 but my job interfered with my drinking, so it
wasn't a full 24 hours. I drank before work, during breaks I had
tequilla hid in the glovebox of my car and would drink then, I would
stop on the way home from work daily to buy more tequilla and beer.

The hardest part for me then was that I wanted out of life but my
attempts at suicide were thwarted. I am not a happy camper. I am
utterly miserable. After my last attempt at suicide with a Lugar,
that was unsuccessful obviously, I stood at my kitchen window and
looked up at the clouds and began screaming at God. "I hate this
life, but you leave me stuck in it! I don't want to be here but you
leave me here! I have always hated this life! Why do you leave me
here? I can't live this life with or without a drink or a drug! If
you want me to stay here then you have to help me!! Please! Help
me!!" I walked over to my living room after screaming at God and
crying for about 20 minutes, and sit down on my sofa. I went into a
trance - just staring out into limbo - for two hours and as I awaken
from it, I hear a soft voice speak the words, "Why don't you call
AA?" I had never known anyone in AA, and really didn't know what
they did or a lot about it, but I was whipped. I had nothing to

My last drink was 19 drinks (vodka, tequilla and beer) within 3 hours
after drinking all day and continuing to drink afterwards, driving
home in a blackout. During the blackout I would "come to" for bits
of minutes and recognize that I was in some part of our city that I
didn't recognize nor know how I had just driven there, but I was
still behind the wheel. At points I was driving along side of a
police car, or one behind me, as I came out of the blackout for those
few moments. The minute the danger was passed, I was back into the
blackout again. My alcohol tollerence had increased to the point
where after 19 drinks, I could walk without staggering, talk without
slurring my words, and obviously drive well enough for a police car
to not stop me for DUI again. I had been stopped and charged for DUI
four years before that.

I called and found a meeting that was a fair distance away from where
I lived. I didn't want anyone I knew to see me going into an AA
meeting. They could see me dragging different guys home, hear me
clinking (as quietly as I could) huge bags of bottles and cans to the
curb for trash day, but I sure didn't want them to think I had a
problem with Alcohol. That first meeting hit me hard. It was a
speaker meeting and the speaker was talking about driving clear
across town to go to the first meeting so no one would know about
it. I thought she had to know me, or someone there knew me and
tipped her off. Then she spoke of what had happened and I heard
little bits of it, (my attention span then was horrible), but what I
did hear sounded a lot like things I was going through. Then she
said something that I wanted to believe - but knew for me that it was
impossible. She said, if we kept coming back, that things would get
better. To me, that was just a bunch of hot air, but one little
glimmer of hope in me, questioned if it just might, maybe - just
maybe, be true.

The next time I went to a meeting closer to where I lived. It took me
a while to actually go inside the AA Clubhouse after I found out
where the meetings were. I drove past the building two or three
times, parked in the lot, pulled off, pulled back in, sat in the car,
and finally got enough courage to go inside.

I sat next to the door. As the meeting started I listened as best I
could, and heard their laughter and joking mixed in with the
seriousness of dealing with life as an alcoholic the topic was the
first step. They were warm and encouraging, but I didn't trust any
of them. I thought there must be an alterior motive for them to want
me to be there. How could they laugh like that and be happy? They
had to be drinking or drugging.

None the less, I kept going back, and had been trying their
suggestions. I hit 108 meetings in 90 days and had been sober those
90 days. I had a sponsor, read the big book and the 12 & 12, started
working the steps, and through them found answers that counselors and
psychritrists couldn't seem to help me with no matter how many
thousands of dollars I owed or how many times I had lied to them. It
was through AA that I was able to get honest and to begin to clear
away the wreckage of my past.

I learned how to truly forgive - not just mouth the words but still
feel the horrible pain of the past, but to let all that dissolve into
nothingness by realizing that those people were just sick people. I
learned how to forgive myself for all my missdeeds. I made as many
amends as I was able to humanly make, and tried my hardest to leave
no stone unturned.

It truly made all the difference in the world. Had I thought when I
was debating about coming to AA that maybe there was something I
could loose by coming - I would have not only died a drunk and
druggie, but I would have lost many years of what has turned out to
be some of the best of my life.

My children and family started talking to me again, I stopped moving
around so much, I stopped quitting jobs, my whole life changed. I
found new friends who wanted real friendships. And best of all, I
have found a loving, compassionate God who helps drunks like me to
get sober and clean and live better lives.

I love AA meetings and getting to meet and know new members of my
extended AA family. I once was a very shy, quiet, distrusting woman
who lived her life in a bottle. Today I am outgoing, believe in
miracles, love my family & AA friends/family and life.

There is so much to look forward to today. The future is full of
possibilities. Keep coming back, it works, it really does. And it
will get better.

Thanks for listening, I hope my post wasn't too long. :)

Site Admin
Posts: 4830
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2005 9:05 pm

Postby Dallas » Wed Jul 09, 2008 1:10 am

Hello Stephanie !!!!
Welcome to the site!!!!

Nice to have you here and thank you for sharing.

As I enjoyed reading your story... it seemed as though I was reading a cut and paste of many things right out of my own life experiences! :wink:

Keep coming back and sharing.

You're right, too! It does work.... It really does! :wink:


Posts: 17
Joined: Tue Jul 08, 2008 12:33 pm

Postby Berdie » Wed Jul 09, 2008 8:16 am

Thanks Dallas. I have this site bookmarked in my favorites.

Thank you for the warm welcome! :)

PS - Berdie is my nickname from my middle name of Berdena...and I go by either. Stephanie or Berdie. :shock: LOL!

garden variety
Posts: 750
Joined: Fri Aug 04, 2006 7:39 pm

Postby garden variety » Thu Jul 10, 2008 8:58 am

Well hello and welcome Berdie!

I'm like Dallas. Reading your story was so much like seeing flashbacks of mine. I can identify with a load of how you drank, and what happened after you started coming to the rooms. My weapon of choice was a Beretta 9mm.

Today we can laugh about the guns we used to try and blow what little was left of our brains out. w
What a gift, huh?

A loving God as He expresses Himself in each of us. The deepest part within us, below those layers of self-hatred and self-loathing - below the sharp cutting edges of our jaded and shaded cynisism and fire-branded contempt for our own lives and all things living.

Only there can that loving God be found. There He is - just as real as we are. He is there - just like the feelings we have for a friend.

What a journey? Thanks for helping me today with a wonderful share. May God bless you always.

Posts: 17
Joined: Tue Jul 08, 2008 12:33 pm

Postby Berdie » Thu Jul 10, 2008 9:44 am

Hello Garden Variety,

I'm glad that niether one of us made it to check out early. Thanks for the reply, I loved reading what you wrote. Today IS a gift. Sometimes I am amazed at the days beyond those that I would have taken away so many times, and I see each one of those as a wonderful gift of grace & mercy today. I don't deserve these days, but He knows best and has chosen to give them to me. I pray that I may use them to be of service to Him and to others.

I see a lot of good solid sobriety here. I'm glad I discovered this site.

Thanks for the warm welcome Garden Variety!

Posts: 42
Joined: Mon Sep 08, 2008 2:42 am

Thank you for sharing

Postby Victor » Wed Sep 10, 2008 4:06 am

Wow Stephanie I can relate to much of your story thank you for reminding me how it use to be and how lucky I am to be alive.


Site Admin
Posts: 4830
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2005 9:05 pm

Postby Dallas » Wed Sep 10, 2008 2:00 pm

Wouldn't it be awesome if Stephanie checked-in and shared with us how she's doing? Maybe..... she will. :wink:

Posts: 267
Joined: Thu Sep 18, 2008 8:50 am

Postby Jools » Tue Jan 20, 2009 11:09 am

Hiya Stephanie,

Please DO check in and let us know how you're doing!

Thank you so much for sharing your story with us. It truly brought tears to my eyes and hope to my heart.

I still feel a lot of those feelings you described. That's where the hope in your message comes and I thank you for that.

Hugs to you,

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