“During the Spring of 2008 my husband and I started to smoke Marijuana. We smoked a few times over a period of six months and then my husband stopped. I went on to smoke another six months before my husband realized and we then went back to the program of A.A. We originally met there when I was three weeks sober, May 25th of 1996. We had not abused alcohol or drugs since then and saw Marijuana as a relapse. The twelve steps of A.A. can be applied to more addictions than just alcohol and we both knew that.
This started a new period of our lives. More losses and a new way of life through the steps.”
It was early May of 2009 when I walked into that first meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous. I had had a few years of sobriety prior, but this time I wanted something different- Recovery. I found a sponsor, a woman I had known as a neighbor for a few years. She was a lovely woman, but she had not done the steps through the big book of A.A. the way I wanted to. Otherwise, she helped me immensely to prepare myself. I joined more than one group and was the coffee maker at more than one as well. I went to five meetings a week in addition to commitments. A commitment is when you join with other members of your group to speak at another group.
My confidence began to build and I started to become busy in other ways as well. Delivering a weekly donation to the soup kitchen on Mondays was one of my favorite additions to my life. I began to see that people outside of my home, away from my ex-husband treated me differently. The more I did outside of the house, the more separated I felt from my ex-husband, the more I began to see.
In April of 2010 I celebrated my one year anniversary. I was doing well. We had a friend living in the apartment downstairs with his wife and three children. His wife and I were very close friends. We all were. Christmas with them had been wonderful and we were looking forward to summer.
It was the end of May, or beginning of June, I don’t remember. What I do remember is my ex-husband telling me that we were losing everything. Our house, our business, everything just gone. I was in shock. Our friends had to move and so did we.
Through the next couple of months, things were hectic to say the least. We had a lot of moral support from the people in the fellowship, yet dealing with the losses had me in a state of focus I had never been in before. It was almost like being on auto-pilot, just doing what was needed to get things done and not over thinking the loss. Somehow in all of the chaos my friend thought I was angry at her. I told her repeatedly that I wasn’t. I should have paid more attention and talked more to her, but my mind was in a fog with everything that was going on and the next thing I knew, our friends were gone and I didn’t know what happened between her and I. I was simply told she was angry at me by my ex-husband, that they were both angry at us and that was it. I had no way of contacting her and I was heartbroken.
My ex-husband, myself and my two sons then moved to an apartment in another town. We were forced to leave behind our network in the fellowship and it was going to be hard to start over. I went to one meeting in the new town and decided I did not like it. I did not go again until a week before my second anniversary. I asked at the meeting if I could celebrate the next week and they said that I could.
When I went back, the woman there told me she had forgotten my card and medallion. At first I thought she was kidding, but she wasn’t. What caught my attention about her was that she did not beat herself up over it. I wanted that so badly, to not have to be perfect to be ok. I wanted to be able to make a mistake and still be acceptable. I knew then that I wanted to ask her to be my sponsor, which I did. She said she would be honored. The group folded up a piece of paper and colored it with pens, signing it for me. It was the best card I could have gotten.
This woman that was my new sponsor was the one to walk me through the twelve steps. She led me to a new way of life, a new strength and a new freedom. I will forever be grateful. To be continued…
It’s Mental Health Friday and the above is a continuation of Trae’s journey, struggling with bi-polar, addiction and Life’s complication. Trae’s blog is TripleClicka.com and she’d be back in two weeks.
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IMAGE CREDIT: HealthyPlace.com