My Story of a Relapse
Lynny, Snohomish, Washington
My name is Lynny and I am an alcoholic.
I grew up in a very violent alcoholic home where both my parents were drinkers. I lived in isolation with only my love of books taking me to homes and places that I longed to be. I could not develop relationships and friendships because I never could invite anyone home . . . not knowing what shape my parents would be in. I was embarrassed and ashamed and lived in constant fear (emotional and physical). I swore an oath that I would never be like them . . . I would never drink.
I left for college when I was 17 and met my dorm buddies . . . we got totally polluted the first night I was there. It felt good. I liked the feeling of powerfulness that the bottle gave me. I made good friends for the first time and was accepted and loved. I turned into the "life of the party" when I was drunk. I was able to communicate and connect to people for the first time. I was "fun" for the first time and people were drawn to me as I was crazy and always up for anything. I continued binge drinking through my 20's & 30's.
I was always able to work as I kept my drinking to the weekends. . . . Weekends were a constant blur . . . but I longed for them so I could drink. I married and had two beautiful children. I remember being a Mom to babies and waking up hung over and not able to function well at being a Mother . . . so I quit drinking . . . attended AA (but never worked the steps). I remained sober for 11 years, mainly because my job and motherhood kept me busy.
After 11 years of sobriety I had a relapse that lasted 4 long years. These years became a total hell on earth for me. To this day I don't remember why I took that first drink after 11 years. I remember being in the grocery store and seeing a bottle of wine and I grabbed it . . . went home and drank it. I suppose, looking back, I thought that I was cured. Going 11 years without a drink had proved that I no longer had a problem . . . NOT! Big time Ego issues with me!
Soon after my relapse I was drinking daily. I would often start in the morning and pass-out or blackout before my husband got home from work. I had worked for a large company for 33 years and took an early retirement. I put all my energy and days into perfecting the "art of being a drunk." I became a master drunk.
I would constantly hurt myself, mainly from falling down. Falling down stairs, falling off the deck, falling over furniture. I broke my neck and the surgeon said I was lucky I didn't die. I woke up one time in the yard . . . burned crispy on one side because it was sunny and hot outside. I started telling lies about how I had hurt myself. I started hiding bottles all over the house (I am still finding empty bottles in the strangest places).
I would wake up every morning sick, scared and totally ashamed of myself. I would promise myself that I wouldn't drink that day. One time I got to 10am before I went for my daily bottles of wine. That was a good day.
I always went to different stores as I didn't want people to think I was a drunk. A couple times the store refused to sell me wine. . . . as I said . . . I am a sloppy drunk and didn't fool anyone.
The last time I drank was two weeks ago. I drove while intoxicated and woke up not remembering anything. I was horrified. I felt in my heart that it was only a matter of time before I killed myself (by my drunken actions). The fear I'd been living with
for 4 years hit me and hit me hard. I'm still waking up in the middle
of the night in sweats . . . fearful, alone and hurting so terribly that I cannot describe the pain.
I went online the next morning and searched "AA Chat Groups." I found eAA and it
has been a lifeline for me. I feel accepted and I no longer feel
alone. I've made it a priority to work the steps, and to reunite with God.
Today I feel grateful for my relapse because it showed me my "bottom" and it was not pretty. I am happy to be sober today and plan to work the program "one day at a time". I say the Serenity Prayer whenever I have bad moments and immediately feel at peace. I know I have a long road ahead, but with AA and God I am feeling better and full of hope for lasting sobriety.