I was born in 1978 to two people who had no business going on vacation together, much less getting married. They divorced when I was eleven, and my mom remarried when I was fourteen.
My stepdad is pretty amazing, and I couldn’t be more grateful for him. I had the classic suburban upbringing, and I was a good kid, I got good grades, stayed out of trouble, and was active in after school activities.
I was a late bloomer when it comes to my drinking and drugging. Aside from a few parties here and there,, I rarely drank alcohol in high school and college, and I had only smoked pot once. Shortly after turning 20, I married a man I barely knew, mostly to get out of my parents’ house. I very quickly discovered he was a raging alcoholic.
“That will NEVER be me,” I thought. We divorced three years later.
That’s when I began smoking pot daily. I started working part-time in a bar while I was in school, and I discovered the joys of getting black-out drunk. From that point on, I don’t think I ever drank alcohol without getting to that point.
It was fun for a while.
I functioned in school for a while, until it wasn’t fun and I couldn’t. The next couple years were really a blur of crappy bar jobs, really crappy relationships, pot, alcohol, cocaine, and pills.
One morning, I missed a meeting with my boss for another bartending job at a decent, little family-owned restaurant. She called repeatedly, and when I finally picked up the phone, we had a long talk. She knew exactly what was going on with me; why I was red-eyed and groggy, why the same bottles were always empty on the nights I worked.
I wasn’t fooling her, and she couldn’t tolerate it anymore. She fired me; and while she was doing so, she told me I needed drug and alcohol treatment. She even gave me some numbers to call and the address and time for a recovery meeting that night. She encouraged me to go; to take this chance to save myself.
I called the numbers to get into treatment, but I was told the wait for funding my case would be three months. When my boyfriend came home, I told him what had happened. I had never seen such a look of disappointment and worry on his face. He drove me to the recovery meeting. That is the first day I didn’t drink or use drugs.
I haven’t used since.
When I was 60 days clean I found out I was pregnant (read that story HERE). My daughter was born on the 10 month anniversary of my clean date. She’s the only child we have, and she lights up our lives.
The process of recovery is challenging at times. I want all of the answers on my timeline, in a way I understand them, but I’m learning it doesn’t happen that way. I am a bit rigid in my thinking sometimes, and I am SLOWLY learning to cut myself a break.
Being here on Sober Mommies has been a tremendous gift not just to my recovery, but to my life.
Rachel has been in recovery since October 29, 2010, and she’s not afraid to speak out about it. She lives in Michigan with her husband and two daughters.