Category Archives: alcoholics anonymous

Exposed: My Story (Update Nov. 19, 2014)

Eating. Drinking. Smoking. Snorting. Weighing. Hurting. Burning. Cutting. Starving.
Purging. Praying. Stripping. Weighing. Binging. Dying.

These are words are verbs, actions. These words are not who I am, but things I have done. These things don’t make up a person or even describe a person. They are things that people DO. Why? For myself it is how I survived in the world starting in my very late teen years. These things were my way of living, dying, punishing, forgetting, numbing, functioning and coping. These are my sanctuary, my safety and at the same time, a double-edged sword that was jabbing away at my soul, my spirit and my life. (Read full story)

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Hang on little fighter, life is bound to get brighter

It’s been quite a trial attempting to navigate through life, recovery, and christianity. I throw in christianity, because that is a huge part of my sobriety, and life. Without my faith, I’m nothing. Being sober is a gift, but it does not mean that there are not situations I’m forced to deal with staying sober.

tumblr_n30v3wjSIp1t5fu3io1_500Trauma is one of the most difficult things to mentally grasp. It’s like this shadow that hides and pounces when you least expect it. As a journalist, I’ve been in many different intense situations, sometimes scary, other times boring. But last week, I endured probably the most ground-shaking experience to date. I was covering a town meeting — typical night, introduction of the budget, swearing in of a new chief — when suddenly, I am being evacuated into a safe hall due to a “gun situation.” First I am shaking, then I’m hyperventilating. Before I know it, I pass out and I’m taken to the emergency room. While I don’t remember feeling anything; not even fear, my life has been shaken and I’m completely scared all the time.

People have stepped up to support me, and that’s wonderful. But I’m not myself. I don’t understand how, but it’s brought out all these feelings I already try to manage on a daily basis about my sexual assault. Regardless, I’m preparing for Take Back the Night, Stand-Speak-Empower in two weeks. I’ll be speaking about consent and taking back your body.

I’m falling behind in classes, constantly late; still managing to get my assignments in and doing well on my exams, but I’m barely hanging on. I keep trying to cling to what I know about God, and that the answer is there. All I have to do is bow my head, pray, open my Bible, read. But I just don’t do it. I know I’m so much stronger when I feel like a warrior, taking on the world with Jesus by my side, but something is getting in the way. Maybe it is exhaustion. I don’t know, honestly.

And my eyes are constantly turned to God because He is the only person who makes no mistakes, no disappointments. People who are near and dear to my heart, who I have continuously back up, loved unconditionally, are slapping me in the face. That’s painful, to only feel needed when someone else is in a crisis or dealing with their own shit. But what about me? Who is going to be there for me, to help me cry through pain, and to deal with all the trauma in my life? I know God is there, but where are all my people? I’m trying not to feel disposable and used, but if I’m 100 percent honest, that’s how my heart feels.

21 Months Later

It’s been a very busy several months and unfortunately, I have strayed from continuing to document my progress on this road to recovery. There are so many places I could start but it seems easiest to back-track from where I am today. I’ve now been sober more than 21 months, a miracle I never saw happening. I may have forgotten how much of an alcoholic I was (still am) almost two years in. However, it is something I no longer have the freedom to choose. I cannot and will not ever be able to drink safely. And that isn’t a death sentence. Sure, it is really difficult trying to keep my brain and cravings that come up occasionally under control. It’s very difficult being a 24-year-old in this world. Everyone seems to be so focused on the next high, the next party, or the next lay. It appears that in this generation, it has become an every-day behavior to just have sex, shoot up, snort, and get plastered drunk. While I may not understand the joy in partying, I understand the pain and turmoil that was constantly a party host.

Of course, I’m human and a young adult woman, so it’s only normal to sometimes forget the truth in what goes on in parties or social gatherings today, but the thing that always needs to be on the front burner of my brain is that no good comes out of it, at least for me. I’m truly blessed that God did not allow any more destruction to happen in my life than what has and today it’s a process of acceptance. Am I able to genuinely say, ‘hey, yeah, that happened, but it’s not who I am, and God promises everything happens for the good of his people.”

Romans 8:28 – And we know that for those who love God, all things work together for good, who have been called according to his purpose.

Those are some encouraging words, but not necessarily the easiest to apply in times of trial or struggle. But, I am trying. I’ve managed to lose a couple sponsees, but also gain another who has hit a very deep bottom. I hope that God gives her the strength and calls her back to Him so that she may get her life back. I’m blessed to have this opportunity and if I was not sober, or even passionate about helping others, I wouldn’t be in this situation – and for that I am grateful.

So as far as my sobriety recovery goes, I’ve come to attempt to practice the reality that while yes, I am an alcoholic, that is not my identity. A wise man shared with me a few weeks ago that I no longer need to use that as my title, regardless of if I am in a meeting or not. The truth is, as said by this wise man, that my name is Brittany, and I was lost and dying as an alcoholic and drug addict, but I am in recovery and walking with God as a new creation.

 

Action against will

In AA we learn to do the opposite of everything we feel like doing. Don’t feel like leaving the house? Go to a meeting. Feel like isolating and not talking? Pick up the phone. Feel like drinking? Don’t.

It’s been a difficult process to apply that principal to the recovery of my anorexia and bulimia. But while it’s not easy — it’s simple. I’ve been really trying to push myself and do just  that. Don’t want to eat dinner? Eat it anyway. Wanna throw up dinner? Don’t. Eating disorder thoughts running your mind and screaming at you while you’re trying to do the next right thing? Keep doing it.

I’ve been eating healthy, and following through with three full meals a day. I’ve been cooking, meal planning, creating grocery lists. I’ve been eating when I want to. Eating when I don’t want to. It’s a clear concept that once I double or triple my intake, then my body is going to change. Today, right in this moment, it is about choosing to accept my body for what it is, allowing it to reset, reshape, and take the form God originally created.

That is fucking scary, no? But I am doing it anyway. I am reaching out and really praying. I surrender my will daily and have been praying for God to help me to give over my will with each meal and eat like I am intended.

Food isn’t a poison and yet, it’s what the body and mind fight so hard to keep away. The eating disorder takes on a personality, and identity of its own. I call my eating disorder — That Bitch or That Bitch Anorexia. Because it is a bitch. But while she keeps screaming at me that I am a failure for each bite I take, that I am going to blow up if I don’t stop, or that I will become fat and that’s just hell, or bad things will happen, I still continue to try and push forward.

Surrender is great. But it’s scary. And that’s okay too, right?

And I get to remember it all

One of the biggest changes in my life has been enjoying the simple fun things without the need to have a bottle or glass in my hand. It’s also interesting to focus on the fact that I am in a place of my recovery where I can go to functions and the thought of a drink never crosses my mind. That’s a miracle. That’s God. That’s sobriety and that’s a gift.

dancenightTonight I went out with some girlfriends. After such stressful weeks, it seemed that we all needed a night out. Every once in a while, I get this itch I need to scratch to go out dancing and previous attempts to have fun with the wrong company always left me anxious, emotionally hungover, angry, scared, or miserable. But with the right company, and true friends, a drink genuinely becomes the farthest thing from your mind.

I don’t want to speak for other alcoholics, especially us in young AA, however, I do find that the common trend of those on good spiritual grounds, working a good program, that fun and events involving alcohol are possible and actually stress-free.

998882_10151743761056477_589419274_nFor myself, tonight was one of the best times I have had since my early sobriety, since before I ever took a drink. Honestly, it all comes down to the people, the friends, and the trust that make it all worth it.

I had so much fun dancing with the girls, people-watching, and laughing hysterically. From the moment I sat in gum (which clearly would happen to me), to a random woman saying that she liked my dress and it matched her underwear, to the phenomenal older man who danced like it was his job, to the special old people, disco, and stepping on a mans foot to get him away because he was a total creeper, each moment was special, another laugh line that will show on my face when I’m older, and I remember this night.

382486_10151743760646477_1368744974_nI love my new friends in AA and I can’t believe on July 1, I will have one year and six months of sobriety. Healing has happened, and I’m so grateful for the changes, internally, blessed upon me by my higher power. By midnight, we were all ready to turn into pumpkins and go to sleep, sore and tired. But the biggest highlight is that I won’t wake up hungover tomorrow, and I get to remember it all.

Sponsorship

It’s been a real trying couple days. In addition to the loss of my little hammy, I had to manage a crisis with my young sponsee — the 15-year-old. It’s sad but she simply just stopped doing the things that help keep us alcoholics sober. I was at a meeting and she showed up high out of her mind. While it was sad to watch, I knew that she just was not ready to let go of drugs.

Yesterday, I finally said to her, “What are you doing? What do you want to do?” She responded that she wasn’t going to drink or do “drugs” anymore, but she was not ready to give up pot. I simply told her that I can’t help her if she is going to continually get high. It really sucked having to let her go. Basically, I said that I would be here, will always be here, and that when she hits her bottom and is ready to get sober, I will more than willingly help her. I want to help her now, but I can’t get sober for her. It’s hard to see someone you want so badly to get this, and they simply cannot. At least I planted the seed, so I am told.

But, I just pray her bottom is not as bad as mine was. The funny thing is though, that my life is just ah-ha. God clearly is the driver of my life. I was having a really bad panic attack yesterday after work. I had this impending doom fear, that something really bad was going to happen. When I got to the club house, not long after I arrived, a new woman with only 17 days walked in needing a sponsor and help. Again, I have a sponsee. It seems that God keeps bringing me people when I need it the most.

Not to mention that this week I fired my sponsor because she was being emotionally abusive. That was hard to manage as well. But I did get a new sponsor who I have connected with well over the past 6 months and I am excited to start working with her tomorrow.

Others go out so that you don’t have to

One of the biggest trends I have noticed recently is the people in AA who do not follow the program fully, and go back out from alcohol or drugs. Sometimes, I’ve been surprised — at other times, I’ve been waiting for it to happen.

In a non-judgmental away there is truth and a lesson in their decisions. While it sucks to see people you love go back out, there is that immediate reaction of “Oh, SHIT!” but then it sinks in that ‘oh, that could have been me.’

By watching these unfortunate individuals, including my young sponsee, and I see them go in and out. Something that I had learned — I got sick of the ins and outs. I hope that my little one can learn from this. I truly pray for her. And anyone reading this, please take a second to pray for her. Regarding the lesson — these individuals, as much as it sucks, go out of the rooms and pick up again so that we don’t have to.

Nothing in AA says that relapse is mandatory and nothing in AA says that you have to drink again and again to be able to come back. I know that feeling of impending doom that strikes the minute that taste kicks in, the truth that there may not be coming back from a relapse.