A major mile stone for me today. Edited to add long post !
Today I have 60 days clean and sober. I have not had this long in well over 2 decades. I was a maintence drinker at the end. Drinking 1.5 liters of whiskey every two days. I drank morning, noon and night (wasn't working because I could not hold a job). EVERY night was a black out for me. Every flippin night. When I woke up in the morning I would vomit. I would immediatley make a drink. Basically straight up whiskey. Sometimes I would gag/throw up the first sip. I drank at home, and did not have one friend that I could call and talk to. So very lonely.
Two months ago today, I went to a rehab facility to detox. I hope I never forget how physically sick I was waiting to be admitted. I stayed there 5 days. The day after they discharged me I started a two week after care program. I have been to a 28 day rehab before but I wasn't ready then I suppose.
This time, I knew I was done. I knew I was dying. Truly dying by my own hand. I wanted to be sober and stop chasing my next drunk. I was physically and emotionally a mess. My liver enzimes were elevated, my skin (I have psoriosys and Lupus - two auto ammune diseases) was covered in areas really bad, I looked like a leper. Dry skin, hair, always dehydrated, bags under my eyes and under weight. I didn't eat food and when I did it, was only every couple of days and I would typically throw it up. Emotionally, I was lonely, tired of my life, board, scared, and disgusted with myself. I worried about my liver everyday as I could physically feel it throbbing. I felt guilt, remorse, confusion, shame and total disgust. At the after care program I learned more about PAWS - post acute withdrawl syndrome. I had/have every symptom. I kid you not when I say for the first couple of days during detox and at home, I mentally could not put two words together to make a sentence. And if I did my brain chose the wrong words. For example, on Easter Sunday when I came home from the after care program, my husband got home shortly after I did. When he walked in I said, "Happy Thanksgiving". It may not sound like much but coupled with my other symptoms, I was totally a mess. Most times during those days, if I could put a sentence together, I would stop mid stream because I would forget what I was about to say. I walked like I was drunk, loosing my balance, walking into walls and such. I had the shakes, sweats, hot flashes. My short term memory was GONE. Totally GONE. I would walk into a room and forget why. This went on for a couple of weeks. I was scared that I had really screwed up my brain. When I learned that this is a totally normal process for what I was drinking and for how long, I was much re-leaved that I would recover over time. Much re-leaved.
I got a sponsor right away. I go to a meeting everyday. I go to open discussion meetings, tradition meetings, step meetings, speaker meetings and womens meetings. Every morning I pray, meditate and read. I do service work and call my sponsor everyday. I call other women in the program as well. During my drinking I was a liar, manipulator, thief, con artist, you name it. I embarrassed myself, my family, my husband. Most times, I really didn't even care. Hell, I didn't even care that my liver felt as though it was going to burst, I continued to drink. I only shudder to think of the things I did that I don't even remember.
Today, only 60 days clean, my life has changed dramatically. My physical health is much improved. My psoriosys is 99% cleared up, my skin is soft and in fact, I just notice that I have very fine, short hair on my arms. Normal hair like everyone else. I didn't even know that I had stopped growing it! The hair on my head is soft and shiny and seems to be growing like a weed. The bags under my eyes are gone. I've put on weight and am eating healthy (except for chocolate). No more shakes and my balance is much improved. That will get better over time. My short term memory is getting better too. I had a episode last Saturday. I knew I had an appt all week and I left the house to get there on time. Once on the major highway, for a split second, I had no idea where I was going or why! I totally know how people with the beginning stages on Alzhiemsrs feel. I'd say that my short term memory is about 50% improved. I saw my dr a few weeks ago. I forgot to mention that a few days before I went to detox I had an apt with him (I went there totally drunk and spilled my guts out to him). It was then while still actively drinking that he did a complete blood work up on me. Thats how I knew my liver enzimes were elevated. Anyway, when I saw him after one month of sobriety he did more blood work and my liver enzimes were a lot better and he was thrilled. I was too obviously. He said with the amount of original damage, and the improvement, he expects a complete recovery for my liver. I have only had a few days where my liver "hurt" during my recovery but it was much less pain then when activaly drinking. Come to think of it, its been a couple of weeks since it hurt.
Today I am making friends. I went to a BBQ on the beach that was lots of fun. I go for dinner with friends after a meeting now and again. I started a job about a week and a half ago and am feeling like part of society today. Mentally today, I am not beating myself up. I am trying to live a "living amends". In other words; showing people rather than telling people how my life is changing. It was cool the other day when my son called me and left me a voice mail to call him. After my meeting I called him back and he said, "I figured you were in a meeting, I thought about that after I left you the voice mail". When I was drinking I may have picked up the phone when he called and would have been smashed, talking crap. Or, I would have ignored the call all together. As far as my brain and PAWS, I have been having episodes of thinking that I cant really explain. All of a sudden, I think about something from the past that is in my memory recall. Or, things that I have not thought about since my mind created the memory. Hope that makes scence. Its very hard to explain. I call them my "Brain Zaps". I believe that what everyone has been telling me is coming true. My brain is in the process of re wiring itself.
Today I am responsible, accountable, respectable and happy for the first time in a long time. I am doing things that I haven't done in years, I am talking to my higher power, going to church, gardening, shopping, cleaning and watching movies. And, I am actually remembering stuff from the days before! Today I will be putting my First Step on paper and then later during the week, discussing it with my sponsor. I'm not afraid to do it. I actually welcome it. Hope you all are successful on your road to recovery.
Never be afraid to try something new.
Remember that a lone amateur built the Ark.
A large group of professionals built the Titanic
Re: A major mile stone for me today. Edited to add long post !
what an amazing journey. i have a father who is now - exactly as you were (skin disorders, kidney problems, vitamin difficiencies etc) - it makes me very happy to hear that you've made it through. that is one hell of a struggle. I wish you all the very best for the future & truly mean it from the bottom of my heart when i say you are an inspiration. well done.
i wish my father had your strength & determination.
take care & enjoy your new life.
"All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain."
Re: A major mile stone for me today. Edited to add long post !
What can I say. I am absolutely floored. This story is as good as it gets. it is why we are all here. To hear stories like yours and gain hope from them.
I am so very and utterly happy for you.When we are using, in the full throes of our addictions none of us believe that we can have good,fulfilling lives again but we are so, so wrong. Once we get by our own demons there is no stopping us,is there? We really can be "normal" again, and I thank God every day for the gift that He has given me for the relatively short period of sobriety that I am now experiencing.
I thank you so much for sharing this wonderful story. I have a feeling I'll read it over and over in the coming days.
Again,I cant thank you enough, and like Friend999 said,many more will gain the hope that we all need from it.