Name: Valerie H.
Sober Since: 01 / 15 / 1986
Sober For: 35 Years & 257 Days
What it was like?
I was drinking a quart and a half of 150 proof and it was not working anymore. I also had an eating disorder. I binged and purged. I would purge till I bled and then switch to alcohol. Black outs would get so bad I never knew where or who I would wake up with. Time to switch back to food.
I hit bottom with the blackouts. I asked for help from a therapy group I was going to and I got the last detox bed in northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin. Next morning I was sent to a program that treated eating disorders and substance abuse. I went into last bed they had, Got eight weeks of treatment and spent eight months in 3/4 way house. For the first time, I had hope. My father could not get and stay sober. Maybe just maybe I could if, I did what these program people taught me. I would go to meetings, go early and stay late. Get a sponsor, in my case two, I worked the steps, I got a support group. These people will know who you are and can help point out good or not so good behaviors. Hang with the winners, if you hang with chronic relapses, guess what happens.? I not saying you cannot hang with them but you need someone who has stayed sober for an extended time. Do service, and find a higher power who today I call God. With my God I am never alone, he is there through thick and thin.
What it is like now?
It has been a long thirty years and the last part of Keys to the Kingdom from the Big Book says it all. In my life, I have grown, learned to have friendships, ask for help and been there to help others. I met and married the love of my life, I met him in the program. We have gone through real life, the good and bad. We did it sober. Was it easy? No. Was it worth it? oh yes. I would do it in a heartbeat. Two years ago I buried my love, gone through a debilitating illness. Depression and suicide attempt. For now, I am home bound but I have found a purpose for my life. My great nieces talk to me and I can share what I have learned. I have a computer and can do meetings, I am on a lot of websites and can share my experiences, strength, and hope. I can share my higher power with others. I can listen, that more then anything is a blessing. Most of all I have gratitude for what this program has given me; in return, I have been given the keys to the Kingdom. Thank you all for being there for me.