AA

‘A bartender who doesn’t drink? You can’t be good at this.’ These bottles nearly killed me.’: Confessions of a sober bartender after she almost lost her life to alcoholism

“Customers get offended when I politely decline a shot. I normally get an eye roll with a response like, ‘I don’t trust a bartender who doesn’t drink.’ Here is my answer. Alcohol nearly killed me. I was a ‘drink til I fall off my barstool’ type of drinker. Hell, I could be taking a tequila shower and I still wouldn’t change my mind.”

‘My dad begged, ‘PLEASE ASHLEY, do this for me.’ It broke me. I had to put an end to this.’: Young mom celebrates 2 years clean, meets husband in recovery, ‘I would’ve NEVER imagined this’

“Right after I turned 21, I got pregnant with my boyfriend of 2 months. We decided to keep the baby. I started abusing pills and continued breastfeeding while taking them. I told myself, ‘It can’t REALLY affect her through my breast milk.’ Her dad was smoking heroin. I’d pawn my daughter off on whoever would take her. Paying her dad to take her so I was free to do what I wanted. My daughter would wake up in the morning to find random strangers in the house. I thank God she was too little to remember any of that.”

‘I loved my older cousin. At 8, I learned the only way to be friends with him was to have sex with him.’: Daughter and mother in addiction recovery together after years of childhood trauma, ‘If that isn’t wonderful, I don’t know what is’

“I remember the bright red carpet in his closet. This ongoing ‘event’ became our secret, I held onto this secret for close to 15 years. I never got over what happened to me, I stuffed it so far down. This has been the hardest thing I have ever done in my entire life. I finally surrendered. I had enough. I needed to give myself a chance to live.”

‘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, ‘You 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 can’t marry you this way.’ He cancelled our wedding. I wrecked my car, relapsed twice, and was sent to inpatient rehab.’: Woman recovers from addiction, ‘There is always hope for change’

“I thought marriage would be the end of all my problems. 6 months into my sobriety, we found out we were having a baby. I quickly got addicted to my painkillers and stopped breastfeeding 4 weeks in. ‘Your life will never get better. Just end it.’ I sat there and cried with a shotgun in hand. I was taken away in an ambulance while my son slept in the next room. I went from being the middle class, church going, straight As, lead in in musicals, student council member to prison time.”

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