“Hi, my name is Katie and I’m an alcoholic and addict.
Thank you for inviting me to share my experience, strength and hope. I’m a little nervous—a lot nervous, actually. This is a new experience for me. Here goes nothing…
I was raised in a fairly affluent family. My Dad was an alcoholic that managed to still function in a high-powered position. This isn’t his story, though. Just suffice it to say that the rest of the family went through a lot of heartache.
I went to college as a pre-vet student and partied a bit. I began to have panic attacks and fairly severe episodes of depression, and I dropped out of school. Living with my parents again, the panic continued to the point where I couldn’t leave the house.
I tried to take my life twice
Called Agoraphobia, it was a living hell. I tried to take my own life twice.
Eventually I saw a psychiatrist. A combo of medicine and therapy got me back on track and I started in a local community college.
I met my husband and had one child. Basically, I lived the quintessential soccer mom existence. I loved my son and my husband and was devastated when the anxiety and depression returned in full force.
I started drinking around the clock
The idea of returning to therapy was unsettling. At that point, I felt that only a loser was unable to cope. I decided to drink a bit to calm my tension and that worked like a charm.
Before I knew it, I was drinking around-the-clock, blacking out and hating myself.
Being the ‘rocket scientist’ that I was, I added opiates to the alcohol and wound up really sick, physically and psychologically. I constantly vomited and looked like a skeleton.
My ankles swelled to a grotesque point and I looked twenty years older. If I couldn’t drink or pop pills, my anxiety attacks were frequent, debilitating and more intense than ever.
Get sober, or get out… I did neither
My son, my precious boy, was about 10 and was watching his mom fall to pieces. My husband gave me an ultimatum… Get sober or leave. I did neither.
Then, I accidentally overdosed and awoke in the ICU. Transferred to the psych unit, I was told by the doctor there that I needed to go to rehab. Considering the welfare of my son, I went.
Rehab was difficult and sobriety was hard. I was frightened, sick, and kind of a jerk to everyone. I left after a short week and a half to go home to a man that was divorcing me and had primary custody of my boy.
Going to rehab… Again
Desperate, I returned to rehab, deciding that I had given this ‘abuse business’ enough effort. It was time to give sobriety everything I had.
After a short hospital stay to detox, (the doc there said I had enough opiates in my system to kill a horse) I began working Step One, attending daily AA/NA meetings and asked a sober woman to be my sponsor.
My change in attitude combined with an awesome rehab facility was the start of my now one year, two months and 8 days of sobriety. I know that I have much to learn, that I have struggles ahead of me and that each day is a new beginning.
This has been a most difficult journey, but I’ll keep coming back.
That’s my story to date. Phew! So glad I’m finished!
I’d like to pick, “Easy Does It’ as my topic for tonight’s discussion.
I am Katie and I AM an alcoholic and addict.”
Author: Katie H. is a writer, recovering addict, and mother based in Connecticut.