I’m Shelby and I am an alcoholic. I said that for the first time on July 1, 2002 and one day at a time, I haven’t found it necessary to use a mood altering substance since.
I was an alcoholic of the depressive type so the despair and desperation I felt prior to that date was so powerful and took me to the darkest places a person can go.
I hope I never forget that feeling. That’s why it’s so important for me to hear the stories of alcoholics frequently. And one of the reasons I LOVE working with sober women!
As a young girl I never felt comfortable in my own skin. You know what I mean right? I was raised in a loving family, played sports, went to camp, had the right boyfriend, given all the things. You know I checked all the boxes on the checklist!
As I grew up, I never felt good enough, smart enough or pretty enough for whatever group I was involved in leaving me in a constant state of disconnection. And then I found alcohol.
It was the magic elixir that helped me deal with life and allowed me to escape and numb those feelings like nothing nothing ever had. Like a magic wand, it took away the enoughism.
I truly believed it was the glue that was holding me together.
I won’t bore you with all the details of my drunk-alog but know the depression, embarrassment, loss and fear were present every single day. And at the age of 26 I was married, had a job, a home, a master's degree - and a raging addiction. Not exactly the life plan I had for myself, right!
After my second suicide attempt, I manipulated my way out of a mental institution (like a good addict can), was medicated, and sent back into the world to drink alcoholically for another year.
The miracle happened in 2002 and my second life started. It doesn’t take long to feel a lot better after living in active addiction. And when you work any type of program, do therapy or use a spiritual connection you make a lot of progress in your healing.
When you do get sober, follow directions and change, it works? It really does!!
After a few years, I discovered, I didn’t have the skills or confidence I needed to:
I can remember one time I was crying on my back porch, overwhelmed with parenting three littles, lacking in spiritual connection and disconnected from a life in sobriety.
Even though I knew what I was “supposed” to do, I couldn’t make myself do it. I didn’t have the strength or the right guidance to step towards the solution. I was stuck in the problem.
This was my first sober bottom.
No one told me that could happen in sobriety. I mean really? I spent all this time and effort to get and stay sober, doing all the right things for once in my life and this still happens. Sadly, yes.
Right then I made a decision to get busy. I called my sponsor and told her I needed help, her response was “welcome back”. She knew exactly where I was and what I needed. You know why? Because she had been there too!
The pain and despair was finally great enough for me to want to take action and become willing to change.
After years of enjoying the blessings of sobriety, my own trauma therapy, and the healing I experienced through natural wellness, I have moved from fear to confidence (well mostly anyway, teens have brought a new challenge for me these days) and am living a life of my wildest dreams.
Is it perfect? Of course not. Do I still have regular life problems? Ummm...I am raising teenagers, so YES!
But, it’s WAY better than my life before and I have found true JOY, that peace on the inside most of us never had. And you can have the same.
Want to share your story with me? Nothing would please me more than to hear it!