I used to be very angry at the fact that I was an Alcoholic. I went through a few periods where I thought that maybe I wasn’t and back to the bottle I went. Each time was more serious than the first. I just could not seem to get the whole “sober” thing! I kept thinking I was being punished & would ask "Why me?” I remember being very afraid of life in general and that I could never drink again for if I did I would surely die. I was only 22 then - what the heck was I supposed to do now? I was so use to drinking everyday, all day that this was a total shock to my system. I just wanted to be "normal", but drinking for me was everything but.

Through the progression of my disease, in and out of the 12 step program, I finally figured out I didn’t want to drink like a normal person. I wanted to drink like I always had; I just didn’t want to feel the way I felt anymore or suffer the consequences. I hated who I was when I was on the "Bottle" & even when I was off. So many black outs, hospital visits, detox centers, treatment programs, demoralizing corrupting behaviors, guilt & sickness - you pick, I became a mess. I tried so many ways to get and stay sober and none of them worked. I have a college degree, I had built myself a career, living on my own, purchased everything I owned and yet that very same will power that got me all this “stuff” could not get me sober.

My disease took me to places I never thought I would go. I also never thought I would ever want to die, but by the time I was 28 I wanted just that. I was a zombie. Sleeping in my friend’s basement (who so kindly let me stay there) after being let go from my job, kicked out of my apartment, my 20th visit to the hospital, in between detox centers and treatment, crashing my car, and my family not talking to me. I decided I was too far down the scale and went on a five-day run of straight liquor. On the 5th day I asked God to take me, I was not doing well and I thought this was going to be it – I only prayed to him when I was desperate. I wasn’t even sure if he existed. You see God to me was like Santa Clause, the Easter Bunny, or the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, somewhere down the line the magic in believing just got lost but I had no one else to talk to. He did take me but not with him, I woke up close to death and back to the hospital again.

They gave me meds and once stabilized I begged them to not let me go. I knew I couldn’t stop; I was homeless, alone, spiritually lost, in bad physical health, enduring absolute mental torture, & I wouldn’t and couldn’t stay sober on my own. I completely let go and let God decide my fate. After multiple people worked some magic at the hospital, I came to Florida from the northeast with nothing but a pair of rosary beads I got from one of the volunteers on my floor. I walked into treatment tired, broken, and desperate; I was willing to do anything for my sobriety. I stayed the entire time suggested and once discharged I went to live in a half way house. I lived there for about 6 months.

During my time at the halfway house I worked all 12 steps with my sponsor and applied them, attended meetings daily, did my prayer and meditations, and started sponsoring other woman. As a result, I found my Higher Power. I don’t have my life back, I have a new one. My first year was not an easy road but I stayed sober through it all and grew so much. Working and applying these steps saved my life.

Hi, my name is Ashling and I am an Alcoholic - I have been sober since 07/01/2009. Today I am accountable and I have respect for myself and my dealings with others, I have a God that adores and loves me and who I build a relationship daily with. I found that I needed to let time have its place. I get my buzz today from helping other Alcoholics. I am still as active in my sobriety as I was in the beginning and it doesn’t feel like something I “have” to do, I “want” to do it! My fear has slowly been turned over to faith. It’s an amazing feeling not to have to control the world or even you. Every event I’ve gone through has enabled me to grow into the woman I have become - I am a woman of grace and dignity. My past is a series of experiences that’s given me the ability to helps others; it does not have to define the woman I am today. I do not have to rely on my family and/or friends to pick up the pieces that I have left of myself in each of their lives. In order for me to be happy, joyous, & free - I have to be honest...As honest to myself as honest with others. I am an Alcoholic and blessed, it’s a gift today and not a punishment. I have my family back in my life, a wonderful career that I love, and friends that are real. I have the opportunity to be a better person each day, to grow, to mend, to love, to laugh, to cry, to help others and to continue in life as if it were a journey and not just an accomplishment or race. Each day is an opportunity to be FREE! I have much gratitude today and I am very blessed!!! Thank you...Thank you for this freedom!!!

* God is not a religious belief but rather a spiritual conception of something greater then myself. I choose the word God because it is most identifiable.




I absolutely love your article and the honesty about it! I can say that, even though I dont know you, I really admired you and everything that you went through :) And keep it going because you have already built a bright future! :)

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