I was raised by alcoholics, and from an early age, life was a party. My disease took me to the darkest alleys and deepest depths of desperation. My alcoholic career started at the young age of 12. Even though life felt like a party and a lot of it was fun – the big book says, “ to be gravely affected, one does not necessarily have to drink a long time, nor take the quantities some of us have. This is true of women. Potential female alcoholics often turn into the real thing and are gone beyond recall in a few years.” At the age of 28, my spirit was broken and my life had become truly unmanageable. My life spiraled out of control so quickly so I decided to leave my little hometown, Cottage Grove, Wisconsin and head to the big city, Houston, Texas.
My brother dropped me off at the Way Out Women’s Center on May 19th 2018, and my life changed forever. I didn’t know it then, but my “FREE 10 day vacation” that I thought I agreed to, turned out to be a new beginning I never knew I needed. While staying at the house, I attended my very first AA meeting at this little church blocks away from Way Out. I walked in confused, angry, irritable and discontent. The women in those rooms offered me coffee and told me to sit down. I did as I was told and I am so grateful I did. They started sharing some of their experience, strength and hope with me and it ignited a fire within me. I started listening to all the similarities and for those 10 days at the Way Out, it didn’t matter that I was on the run with warrants for my arrest. It didn’t matter that I was unemployed, or 4 months behind on rent. It didn’t matter that I was driving a car with expired plates and no license or insurance. It didn’t matter that I left my young five-year-old son all the way in Wisconsin. It didn’t matter how angry I was, how lost I felt and how hopeless life really had become. All that mattered to me was that it appeared they had a solution to all my problems and I believed them. But then, they told me this was a spiritual plan of action. I had to work for it. The work started with sitting at “the table.” It started with reading “how it works” at the beginning of every meeting and stumbling on every word because I was still too foggy to comprehend anything. It started with helping at The World’s Famous Country breakfast every Sunday morning at WOWC. It started with being honest with all of them, but most importantly being honest with myself. The Way Out Women’s Center didn’t just give me a new beginning, they gave me my life back. They told me to get a sponsor. They showed me the importance of giving back. They taught me the significance of finding strong women in recovery and to stay right in the middle of this deal.
Today, my life is full of service. Today, I am a sponsor. Today, I am a Mom. Today, I am a daughter. Today I am a sister and an aunt. Today I am a trustworthy friend. Today, I am married to the love of my life and have three children. Today, I am a woman in recovery.
Page 83 of the Big Book states, “We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness. We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it. We will comprehend the word serenity and we will know peace. No matter how far down the scale we have gone, we will see how our experience can benefit others.” So if you’re new here, please stick around. Ask questions. Get honest. And start believing in yourself. And if you can’t do that just yet, keep coming back- and we will love you until you can love yourself.