I have been sober in Alcoholics Anonymous since 18 August 2005 ODAAT, thank you, God!
I found solace and comfort in alcohol at first - it took the edge of my feelings/emotions, resentments and my internal world, which was never feeling enough, never comfortable in my own skin coming from emotional abuse and unstable childhood.
I never felt part of at school and remember feeling very lonely as a child - carrying around pain and discomfort, so alcohol was fantastic - helping me feel the world was a better place and I was OK too.
Until it became my worst enemy, drink driving, losing my licence, my daughter not getting to school, causing her trauma with my drinking, which I continue to make amends for to her today and be an available mum, and we have a close relationship.
I came to my first AA meeting in 2000, but as I was not a daily drinker, I did not believe I was an alcoholic, so I carried on drinking for another 5 years until 2005 and had the gift of desperation on my last drink - just could not live like this anymore, and I believe my higher power stepped in on that last evening of drinking as my neighbour was in the fellowship and her son saw me crying drunk in the road I lived in and asked me if I wanted to speak to his mum which I did.
I cried in her kitchen drunk and asked her to help me, and she said yes! I have not had to pick up a drink of alcohol since..... because I was willing to do the work - I started work at a detox unit 5 days sober and started attending AA meetings, doing step work and sharing.
When I was 12 years sober, I was diagnosed with EUPD/Borderline PD which was a relief as I was sitting in AA feeling isolated and emotional not knowing why I was feeling lonely and comparing my recovery to those around me who were happy, joyous, free and sleeping soundly. Having the diagnosis helped me understand why I was having other issues, and my AA Friend told me about Dual Diagnosis Anonymous, which has been a God send. Being able to talk about my diagnosis, insomnia, emotional issues etc without feeling judged.
I do AA still, and that helps me stay sober from alcohol. I have worked steps in other fellowships too which has allowed me additional freedoms. I love being sober no matter what life throws at me - today I know alcohol is NOT the answer. I have fellowships, faith and a God of my understanding that carries me through.
Thank you DDA for your support, kindness and understanding. I think it's very important for those of us who are dually diagnosed to have this space to share and grow through our challenges.
Thank you for reading my story. I remember not being able to imagine living a sober life and smoke fee life as I quit smoking 10 years ago too. It is possible. Have faith. It is possible for you too.