Sunday, July 5, 2009

Sunday 7/5/09 - "I'M ANSWERING - DAY 5"



My last story of this series describes the miracle of a second chance at life I was given when God intervened in the tortured life of an alcoholic and presented me the possibility of a positive and productive one.

I drank alcoholically for about three years and in that time I descended the escalator down into the depths of hell only a real alcoholic can understand. I was unable to halt the descent in any way. My life was totally unmanageable. I was unable to be the mother I needed to be, unable to hold a job, and lost interest in most of the things people enjoy in life. My life was a constant merry-go-round of drinking, recovering from drinking, thinking about never doing it again, thinking about doing it again, drinking again, recovering from.....over and over and over.

I did not really know what was wrong with me, but I sought help for my undefined misery through counseling, church, prayer groups at church, altar calls, doctors - all to no avail. I continued to drink and life got worse.

Finally, I found Alcoholics Anonymous and a sponsor, but the first six months were characterized by being able to put a few days together then I would drink. Then a few weeks here, a few there, maybe a month, but I always ended up taking a drink. I was trying the best I could, but some ingredient was missing. It turned out what was missing was total surrender. This slipping in and out of AA was total hell.

4th of July, 1985

This brings me to the 4th of July 24 years ago. I had put together just short of three months, but I still had the "yeah, buts" - yeah, but my husband this, and yeah, but my children that, and yeah, but the other thing.

That was why I was unable to say "no" to being in a slippery place with slippery people on the 4th of July. I had no business boating out to an island with my husband, kids, and another family. the adults were drinking, the children weren't, and me so proud that I didn't drink all day. But the fireworks came and went, the boat wouldn't start, the men were on the boat trying to get it started, the kids fell asleep on the beach, and I was sitting in the dark on a cooler of beer.

What happened next remains indelibly etched forever in my mind thank God. With no thought whatsoever, I stood up in the dark, opened the cooler lid, took out a beer, and began to drink it. I was totally defenseless against that first drink. I remember exactly what happened in my mind as I drank it. My mind said, "this is O.K. No problem. Go ahead." I did go ahead and I had set in motion that terrible obsession and compulsion to drink over which I am totally powerless. I drank till I fell into bed that night.

July 5th, 1985

I woke up hungover and knowing I had two choices - go to an AA meeting or go to the liquor store for what I really liked to drink - Vodka. The vicious allergy was in full bloom so liquor won. I drank all day, became totally drunk, and took my last drink of alcohol that day just before passing out.

July 6th, 1985

This day marks the moment of my miracle when I awoke as sick as I have ever been, but I woke up a completely different person than the one who passed out the night before. Despite the hopelessness of my situation, for some reason unknown to me, I had a tiny spark of hope. I don't know why. I don't know how other than God being the answer. I totally surrendered at that moment and looking back I know that I gave up and handed the mess of my life to God. I also realized in that moment of awaking that I was totally powerless over alcohol, alcohol was going to kill me if I drank again, knew I had no idea on my own how to stay sober, understood that it was the first drink that got me drunk, finally got what one-day-at-a-time meant, and I knew where to go for help. I dragged myself to a meeting. I made a vow to myself that I would not leave that meeting till I knew what to do that day. And that is exactly what I did. I have been living my life this same way - seeking God's guidance - everyday since then.

Thank you for sticking with me through this long story. What happened was a miracle and a blessing and I know you all have your own miracle stories. I pray my story will remind you of yours.

Prayer Girl


Mama Zen said...

That is a miracle.

Gin said...

Happy sobriety B'day Prayer Girl. I am so glad that you found sobriety because without it I wouldn't have found you and the beautiful message that you spread to us here every day.

Tall Karen said...

That is so beautiful. God had been trying to get your attention, but this was the day you surrendered.

Thanks for sharing all these stories. Happy 24 years of sobriety! You are a miracle!

Lou said...

Wow, thanks for sharing your amazing story. It truly sounds like God intervened.
I felt like I was sitting on the cooler with you..

~C~ said...

Ah, what a great story to hear. So inspiring to hear how God finger printed an alcoholics life. Congratualations on 24 years. YOU sure are a miracle!

Steve E. said...

I've heard this story more than a couple times. It never changes. Truth never changes.

I also like the one where PG is sitting in 'group' in a rehab, and counselor tells the ten of them "Only one of you will make it, will stay sober."

PG cried. She told them she cried for the other nine, because she knew SHE was going to "make it".....

That one ALWAYS grabs me. I might have the numbers wrong, but the point is.......

clean and crazy said...

your stories are always inspiring to me. congratulations on 24 years sober, it sure feels good to "wake-up" in the morning instead of "coming to" doesn't it?

Cindy said...

Thankyouthankyouthankyou. This gives me so much peace. As it was a God thing and in God's time and in your time! Gives me hope and helps cement my thinking that it's up to my son and his God. Hope.

Carol said...

There but for the grace of God. How can one person leave a drink alone and another cannot? I realize that someday there may be some piece of medical something that they figure out. In the meantime we play the cards we're given, congratulations, PG!Thank you for your grace and generousity of spirit.

Zanejabbers said...


Shadow said...

24 years? day by day... you're a living inspiration.

Just Be Real said...

Wow, what a beautiful testimony PG! It is amazing how God is always with us, even when we are not aware of it a lot of the time.

24 years is nothing to sneeze at dear one. Well done and praises to Him to help you along!


Syd said...

Anna, thanks for sharing this. I saw a lot of people on Saturday who need to be in the rooms. Desperate and sick people who will eventually find out that happiness doesn't come from a bottle. I'm so glad that you are where you are today.

Andrew said...

And can't we all relate? Thanks Anna.

Robin said...

Congratulations with your 24 years of sobriety!
I liked your last stories very much!