Unimaginable Hope

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The Phoenix
June 26, 2018
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Letting Go
July 12, 2018

Unimaginable Hope

unimaginable hope

While being on a 5 day drunk, it finally came down to my complete and utter desperation.  My marriage was over, my kids were a mess, and I was a wreck.  I wanted to die!  I was throwing up, laying in my living room floor, with a beer in my hand and I couldn’t get drunk.  The feeling of everything disappearing and me passing out wouldn’t come.  I knew I needed help, but how and where were my questions. I had previously only been sober once for 56 days.  I finally managed to open up the phone book and called the 1-800 number for Alcoholic Anonymous.  The operator asked a few questions and got me in touch with The Watershed. The facility set me up with a flight to Houston, Texas the following day.  I kept drinking that night, but the wonderful high of alcohol was completely gone. I had hit my bottom. The next day I was on my way to The Watershed, 500 miles away from my family, my job and the unmanagable life I had created for myself while drinking alcoholically for the past 10 years. 

On July 3, 2008 my life changed.  I finally made a decision to get help by going to treatment at The Watershed in Clear Lake, Texas.  I slept for the first 2 days, coming in and out of consciousness, vaguely remembering the staff coming in to check on me throughout my withdrawals.  On the 4th of July one of the aides asked if I wanted to come watch the fireworks. I remember getting out of bed to go outside, but I was in a daze, walking around like a zombie.  That day would have been my 5 year wedding anniversary and I couldn’t bare to complete the night awake, but one thing stuck out; I was sober!  The very next day I started my journey in recovery.  I got out of bed eagerly, anticipating something was fixing to change for the better. I had a counseling session and talked about my bouts of depression that I had dealt with since childhood.  I went to group and learned a lot about the disease of alcoholism. As I visited with some of the staff members I realized most of them were also recovering addicts and alcoholics.  I remember thinking no wonder I could relate to them.  They knew exactly what I was going through.  When I became restless they were there to listen and offered advice through their own experiences.  They told their stories and I saw them for who they were, someone like me, who had gone through a lot of the same things, some more than others, but they had stayed clean and sober through it all.  I started working the steps wholeheartedly. I plummeted into The Big Book and my workbooks and began writing diligently. 

I had a spiritual awakening at the beginning of my second week.  I finally conceded to my inner self that I could no longer fix my alcoholism on my own nor remain sober by myself. I had to work a program of recovery. I gave up control of my disease and surrendered my life to a God of my understanding.  A gentle God who forgave me for all I had done in my past and almost immediately took the obsession to drink from me.  That was one of the happiest moments in my life although there was lots of work to be done. I became the “president” of the group and was accountable for getting up and getting the morning meetings started.  I loved the readings every day and grew quite close to some of the others in treatment.  We started going out to various AA and NA groups and on recreational outings for bowling.  My first day outside of the treatment facility in over two weeks was another spiritual awakening.  The sky looked bluer, the sun appeared brighter, the grass a little greener.  I eventually started to share at the outside groups.  would come up to me after the meetings and tell me part of their stories or how something I had said related to them.  I then started doing the same thing with others at the meetings.  I realized to keep it, I had to give it away.  And that is what I have been doing ever since I left The Watershed.  I came home 28 days later and started a new life in sobriety.  Upon my return I immediately started attending the IOP sessions that The Watershed set up for me before my discharge, which was a huge blessing. The counselors at The Watershed gave me a plan of action, useful skills and tools to use when I returned home.

Unfortunately I did get divorced in July 2009, but I stayed sober through it all.  I now know that was the best decision for my continued sobriety.  God provided me with a new home in a great neighborhood with amazing sober friends.  I have a grandson that has never seen me drunk. And that feels amazing! I have definitely had ups and downs, but my experience at The Watershed and my continued recovery in Alcoholics Anonymous both have taught me how to live life on life’s terms.  I work the steps, I attend meetings, I have a sponsor and I have four sponsees who help me more than I probably help them on most days.  I started dating a man who told his life story at my AA group.  He celebrated 34 years of sobriety in June and we also celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary on June 23rd.  I have been blessed with a sobriety date of July 3, 2008. Ten years is a milestone for me. I never thought that would be possible, but it is! I pray that I never take recovery and all of God’s blessings for granted.  I will be forever grateful to The Watershed for helping me start my journey in sobriety.  Thank you all for having a special place for me and for continuing to be there for numerous others. There is unimaginable hope for all of us. 


With Many Blessings in Sobriety,

Elaine