I Hit Rock Bottom
I’m an alcoholic and drug addict in recovery. I have not had a mind-altering substance since May 22, 2000. This is the greatest fact of my life; more than the 22 years I have been married or the pride I have for my 19-year-old daughter.
As far back as I can remember I have used one substance or another to alter my normal state. This is because I could never just sit with my emotions for very long without wanting to kill myself or somebody else. My mother always told me I was “too sensitive,” and took things, “too personally.” I never understood what she was talking about and she never took the time to really explain it. I felt like I was out in the world fending for myself.
I grew up believing that if you wanted something you had to take it.
From the time I was 16 I was an everyday user. I still have no idea how I made it through college in four years (and four summers). I had a 0.9 GPA my first year and finished with a 2.1. It’s not something I’m proud of, but it is a consequence of my addiction. When I graduated, I was ill equipped and a full-blown addict.
I had heard the advertising world was pretty cool and that there was a lot of drinking involved, so I spent a few years in the “corporate world” before they caught on that I wasn’t a good fit for the job. I had met the man who was to become my husband, and thought I’d be okay. I floundered through a few different jobs before giving him an ultimatum–marry me, or get packing!
I had no life skills, except bullying anyone who got in my way and didn’t give me what I wanted.
We married, and after a couple of years I was bored with him. I thought maybe a baby would help spice things up.
Needless to say, the baby was NOT the answer. I struggled so intensely to connect with this little girl I thought I really wanted, but had no clue how to take care of her. I could barely take care of myself!
My drinking and drug use took off at this point, and I started to do reprehensible and demoralizing things. I would leave her alone and go use in another apartment. I used and drove under the influence with her in the car, and I took her with me to get drugs. I am not proud of these things, but they are also consequences of my addiction.
By the time my daughter was four, I was using all day everyday. I could barely care for her, and I thank God for the people at her daycare.
I hit rock bottom one night, locked myself in the bathroom and attempted suicide. My husband had to knock the door down. I saw the look of pity on his face. Standing right behind him, I saw my little girl, terrified. It was just one more reason for her to fear me. It was over. I needed help.
Just over fifteen years ago, I walked into a 12-step program and my life changed. I found people who understood me and liked me for who I was. I didn’t have to pretend to be anything I wasn’t. Over the last fifteen years, I have learned to be a wife and mother. I’ve worked really hard to gain parenting skills and learn how to put my daughter first. The good news is, children are forgiving. My daughter and I have the type of relationship that I have always dreamed about. I live a life of deep gratitude and joy.
I would not, in a million years, give up what I have today for a drink.
This post was submitted anonymously.
A Sober Mommies Contributor is most often a non-professional – in and out of recovery – with reality-based experience to share about motherhood & active addiction, the multiple pathways to recovery, or a family member’s perspective.