RECOVERY STORY OF THE MONTH!
Sobriety Date: May 31, 2016
My name is Hannah and I am an alcoholic. My sobriety date is May 31st, 2016. I have a sponsor, a homegroup, working knowledge of the 12 steps, and I believe in a lot of powers greater than myself. I was born in Mayfield, OH, and I come from a loving family. As a child I was taught manners, morals, values, to be a hard worker, how to be a lady, and of course how to play poker (thanks dad). I had the average middle-class American family life, until I was about 10 years old and my father relapsed after 15 years of sobriety. Shortly before his relapse, I had broken my tibia and fibula, causing me to end my dance classes and competitions, which had been my passion. My entire life felt as if it crashed around me, and I went from being a happy kid to an angry child, full of resentment and fear.
I could not tell you how old I was when I first had my first drink, but I do remember being allowed to have wine with dinner (that I always looked forward to) or a sip of champagne on New Year’s Eve. I was always the kid wanting more. I would go around and finish all the other kids’ glasses, because I liked the head rush it would give me – I liked how it made me feel. At the age of 12, I started drinking as often as possible and in whatever form available. If there was a line to cross, I instantly crossed it. I had finally found my escape from caring, anxiety, anger – nothing mattered when I had my alcohol.
At the age of 12, I started drinking as often as possible and in whatever form available. If there was a line to cross, I instantly crossed it.
Ever since I was a little girl my dad would take me to AA meetings, and by 15 years old I was attending them for myself. This was the beginning of a cycle for the next 12 years of my life: Drink, rehab, overnight stays in jail, switch forms of alcohol, think my life is together, repeat.
In 2015 I started to drink like my father, and that ride got dark, quick. Every few months I was checking into a sober house. I thought I knew everything, but every two to three months I found myself standing up, reintroducing myself. I thought I was constitutionally incapable, or that I just had not finished the ride. So, I stayed out for a while just wanting to either die or have the moment people speak of (that “ah-ha” moment); I wanted the easy way out.
On May 12th, I went to an AA meeting where it was suggested for me to call Katie Patton and go to the Jean Marie House (JMH). I reached out to her, and she said she had a “gut feeling” I was going to die and let me come the next day; I only stayed 12 days. I was not ready. In the 48-72 hours that followed, I nearly drank myself to death. Katie Patton reached out to me and offered my bed back, so I went. I thought all that time I was chasing death, but when it was an option, I knew I wasn’t ready for that either. I told myself, I’d give it my all for one year.
They say sometimes one alcoholic has to die for another to live.
Three months sober, my worst fear became reality. My father overdosed and died. My poor family sat in that hospital for four hours, trying to figure out what to do with Hannah. Not able to say their goodbyes, mourn their father, or brother… just crippled with fear on how I would react and wondering if I would end up lying next to him. They say sometimes one alcoholic has to die for another to live. I’d give anything for him back, but I believe he gave his life for mine. That was the moment that staying sober became my only option. That’s when I learned the beauty in the WE of the program. That’s when I learned how my actions affected my family. That’s when I learned to not make it about me. A few months later I completed the JMH program, and it was the first big accomplishment that I actually worked for in my life. I got to start sponsoring women, which has been the most beautiful part of it all. It is indescribable, and I made the most amazing friends that today I consider family.
My grandma calls me when she needs something from the grocery store, how cool is that?
Today my family counts on me; I get to be the big sister my little sisters deserve. My mom does not call to give me a western union code anymore, worried her 27-year-old daughter won’t eat if she doesn’t send $40. Instead she calls to see how my day is, today she calls to tell me how proud of me she is. My grandma calls me when she needs something from the grocery store, how cool is that? I get to be in two of my friends’ weddings this year, people can count on me and trust me. I got to go back to school and work at the corporate office for that job I got when I went transitional in the JMH house. My life is not perfect, I have struggled in sobriety, I’ve been hurt, I’ve hurt people, and life is still life. I do have peace, love, gratitude, laughter, hope, and the greatest people in the world in my life today. I would not change a thing. If I can do this, anyone can.