Michele’s story

RECOVERY STORY OF THE MONTH!

Michele K.
Sobriety Date: June 22, 2010

My name is Michele and I am an Alcoholic. My sobriety date is June 22, 2010. I grew up on the west side of Cleveland with two loving parents and one sister who is two years older than me. My parents gave us the best of everything, including a great education. They taught me morals, values, and how to be a good girl, but for me it wasn’t enough. I always had a sense of not belonging and nothing was good enough for me. I always wanted to be more, do more, get more of everything.

I always felt like drinking was going to be fun. As I saw my family drink, it was always a great get together with laughter, music, and alcohol. In my mind I couldn’t wait for that to be me. As a young girl, it wasn’t so easy to get alcohol, but I always tried to get whatever I could; even if it was sips from my parents.My first official “drunk” was with my neighborhood friends. I tried to sneak in after, but I ended up waking my parents and the neighbor’s parents. What I remember of the next day was I thought, “I must be more sneaky the next time” and that there was definitely going to be lots of next times!

What I remember of the next day was I thought, “I must be more sneaky the next time” and that there was definitely going to be lots of next times!

As a result of doing things I was not supposed to do, I ended up pregnant at 16 and kicked out of Catholic school. My sister a great girl heading off to college, and then there was me. I felt like a failure and I was sure my parents hated me. I could not stay sober during my pregnancy but none the less, Thank God, I had a beautiful healthy little girl, Kristina. I loved her and I wanted to be a good mom, the kind of mom my mom was, but alcohol would not allow that for me. It started off slow but I would soon be feeling unhappy, alone, and miserable…and alcohol was always the answer.

As time went on, I was trying to be a mom and still drink whenever I could. My solution to this dilemma was the dream job for any potential alcoholic…a bar job! I loved it from day one. I could drink as much as I wanted and still seem like a good mom because I was working. Truth is, my parents raised her most of the time.I met a man in a bar who did not drink alcohol anymore but used other forms, and of course I was good with that. I always made snap decisions and was married soon after. He didn’t like the way I drank while working, so he told me I could just stay home. That turned out bad for me, because without working I felt like all I had was alcohol and I rarely drew sober breaths.

That turned out bad for me, because without working I felt like all I had was alcohol and I rarely drew sober breaths.

Within a year or so I was headed off to my first detox with a 30 day stay at the Freedom House. I felt like I was cured and I learned to not drink. I got a small job which was something I couldn’t do when drinking, so things were definitely looking up for me. My daughter was much older by this time, and I had my family convinced I was cured and better. With no sufficient substitution, I couldn’t live normally without alcohol, so I switched to other forms. I felt like my life had just started all over again. Starts out fun and great and ends in disaster. I spent little time with my family so as not to let them see how I was living. Just as prior in my life, things started to get bad. I couldn’t hold a job and things were falling apart.

We decided to try moving to the beach because that was the answer: to move away from the people we associated with. “It wasn’t us …it had to be them”. So delusional, and not knowing that leads to disaster. I decided I was cured before, so I was going to try that again. Second trip to Rosary Hall in October 2009, with (my plan) 30 days after at Maggie’s House to be cured again. It was very different this time and much harder as my disease had progressed. I could not live with or without alcohol. What a dark space to be in, and it was about to get worse. I made it about four days, and I was back living my same life.

In November of 2009, I woke up and my husband did not.

In November of 2009, I woke up and my husband did not. It was devastating and I had to continue to live that way, without anyone, and dark may not be a strong enough word to describe it. Everything I prided myself in not doing became the normal day to day, and by December of 2009 I was homeless and soulless. I moved in with my daughter and granddaughter and made their lives hell like mine. By May of 2010, I was barely living and was suicidal. June of 2010, I entered my third and final detox Stella Maris. I went back to my daughters again, with no defense, and within a day I was right back at it.

I didn’t know if I would make it, but I started to learn, that I couldn’t but WE could.

This time my daughter called Katie from the Jean Marie House. I entered there June 21, 2010. I was scared and alone, a feeling I was becoming accustomed too, but without alcohol. I didn’t know if I would make it, but I started to learn, that I couldn’t but WE could. Without Katie and JMH, I don’t believe I would be here today writing this story. There are angels in the walls there, and if you allow them, they guide you to a much better life. Most importantly, I got a sponsor who took me through the Book of Alcoholics Anonymous and the 12 steps. There, my life changed. I am a sober woman today and living and an amazing life. One of the best parts of my life today is I get to help others just like me, and get to watch them grow and change, where as our alternative is the grave. I Thank God every day for the amazing life he gave me. My family deserves this. I get to be a mom, a grandma, a daughter, a sister, an aunt, a fiancé, and a friend today. Thank you EKC/JMH for the incredible foundation!

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