Name: Sarah Merkel

Age: 53

Sober Since: 01 / 29 / 2008

Sober For: 16 Years & 29 Days

What it was like?

I was a great drunk. I went to work, raised my kids, fed the pets, etc. You get the picture. But I was sick every morning and really messed my kids lives up. Not cool watching your Mom fall into a cat box cause she cant stand up. My marriage was failing and my daughter ended up in prison because she became addicted to oxy and robbed a bank. My poor son just followed around behind me cleaning things up.

What happened?

My daughter was scheduled to be released from prison and they wouldn't let her come home to me because I was a drunk. My ex husband would tell me I drank too much for too long to get sober. I was up to 9 beers a night. Every night. Sometimes more. But I knew I had to get sober so my daughter could come home. I went to my doctor and set a date. January 29, 2008. I took a month off from work and got my meds and settled in. The first day was awful! I was shaking so bad I thought I was dying! I was vomiting and sweaty and so, so sick! I started counting one minute at a time. Then 5 minutes at a time. Then 15. 30. 45. 60. Every one of them consumed with thoughts of dying from withdrawal. But I didn't. And by the third day I showered. Still counting minutes. By the end of week one I knew I never wanted to be that sick again. Ever.

What it is like now?

I am so thankful now I went through withdrawal the way I did. Its not for everyone, but I needed to know just how bad it was so I never would go back. If it was medically easy FOR ME I would just do it again. Tomorrow I am 10 years sober. And for the record I still count minutes sometimes. But my life is amazing. I lost a few friends. Gained a few friends. But most important my daughter came home and has never gone back. She is married and I have an amazing granddaughter who never saw me drunk. My son is one of my best friends and my strongest ally. Life, my friends, is good.

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