AA

‘I was dating a guy. He ended it. He didn’t see a future because, ‘while he was partying, I’d just stand there.’: Woman recalls the perks of dating sober, says ‘you value yourself,’ learn this ‘awesome thing’ called ‘standards’

“I used to consider going to the bar and getting hammered a ‘date.’ It’s nice to learn about a person and actually remember it now, rather than waking up the next morning and thinking, ‘Wow, this guy drinks as much as me – so I know he won’t judge me. He’s a keeper.’”

‘She may never walk again,’ my doctor said. ‘Like hell,’ I thought. I was 17. I’d been in a car accident.’: Single mom overcomes crippling car accident, alcoholism, daughter’s autism diagnosis, says ‘don’t count yourself out’

“I was about to move out, but I found out I was pregnant. I was running on fumes. I felt like I’d made a huge mistake becoming a mom. I wasn’t good at this. I drank to cope. My marriage ended explosively. I finally decided enough was enough when my daughter started copying everything I do. She reached for my beer, and I remember deciding, it was time to be done. For good. That was 8 months ago.”

‘I’d always drank too much. I never thought it would get worse when I had children.’: Mom admits ‘wine o’clock’ was always on her mind, when she turned to alcohol to cope, she ‘never saw it coming’

“Having breastfed my little one for 18 months in a sleep deprived haze, the day after I stopped, I quickly went back to bad habits. All of a sudden I was ‘allowed’ to drink in excess again. I thought this was what I deserved. It was my time. ‘Wine o’clock’ was always on my mind. When 5 p.m. came, I took that as my cue for freedom. I started to drink myself into a state of numbness.”

‘I found his gun while blacked out. I held it to my head, trying to pull the trigger. His roommate ripped it away.’: Woman’s life has changed ‘drastically’ since becoming sober, turned her ‘nightmare’ into a ‘blessing’

“I felt awful, like I had hundreds of other mornings. But this day, something was different. My friend told me a story of my actions. While blacked out, I ran behind the bar where my ex worked. I started hitting him. Something in me snapped. THAT was my breaking point. It was the straw that broke the camel’s back. I was quiet for a moment, then I said with tears in my eyes, ‘That’s it. I’m done.’”

‘I could stop if I wanted to.’ Famous last words. My mom dreaded seeing my car in the driveway.’: Recovering addict says she’s a girl ‘who spent every day wanting to die,’ but now ‘just wants to live’

“At 19, I was dating a guy who sold drugs. We were at the mall when I felt a cold chill come over my body. It wasn’t something I was familiar with. I knew people who ‘had’ to use drugs to feel normal – I was not one of them. I wasn’t that bad off. ‘If you lived the life I’ve lived, you’d get high, too,’ I justified. I told my boyfriend I didn’t feel well. He looked at me. ‘You’re going through withdrawal.’ This moment changed everything.”

‘I’m one of the lucky mothers. I didn’t have to bury my child. I have my daughter back. For today.’: Mom of an addict says ‘heroin is not picky,’ she still ‘breaks down sobbing’

“I waited daily for the phone call that would tell me my daughter was dead. I planned her funeral. I did not sleep the entire night for years – always waiting for the ring of the doorbell. 18 months ago, she was living in the dumpster area of Taco Bell. She had sold her car for drugs. She weighed less than 100 lbs. Mariah celebrated a year sober yesterday. Do I trust her? Not fully. But she is sober. She is productive. She is happy. For today.”

‘I sat there and cried, a shotgun in hand, my son in the next room. I was taken away in an ambulance while he slept.’: Woman overcomes suicide, years of addiction, says there’s ‘always possibility for change’

“He proposed. I thought marriage would fix my problems. 3 weeks before the wedding, I got fired, wrecked my car, and burned my foot to the 3rd degree. I couldn’t stay sober. That’s when he told me he couldn’t marry me and he cancelled the wedding. My attorney looked at me and told me I was looking at prison time. There was nothing more I could do.”

‘I heard two words: ‘fugitive felon.’ I caught my son’s eye. His shackles made my stomach flutter uncontrollably. His public defender smoothed her beige suit, and approached him.’

“The severely criminal charge was, in fact, a reference to my 24-year-old. I never imagined that term would apply to him. An unexpected call helped me through his transfer to prison. It had been weeks without contact when I answered the unfamiliar number. I fought back tears. He told me how much my son loved me.”

‘I told her, ‘I’m looking for a ‘suit.’ He’s an ex-felon, an addict, covered in ink, going through a divorce, currently unemployed. Yeah, No!’ We married just 3 months later.’

“I clicked into his profile. ‘Hi.’ His response was, ‘Who is this?’ He would disappear for long periods of time – sometimes years – and no one knew if he was alive or dead. Just 6 days after meeting him, I was on pins and needles. I finally called. When he answered, I could hear the difference in his voice. I’m telling you, he was magic.”

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