"The Beginning of a New Way of Life" - Raven Tells her Story
Posted on 10 June 2016
It was a cold Tuesday evening and I was sick because I hadn't had a drink.
I walked into my first Alcoholics Anonymous meeting. I was greeted by a very tall lanky woman with a big smile. She extended her hand to me and said, "welcome I'm glad you're here."
I thought to myself is this woman crazy? Does she know who I am? What I've done? She guided me to my seat and I sat and listened to everyone introduce themselves as alcoholics. How did I get here? It's finally my turn and I say hi.
"My name is Raven and I'm an alcoholic."
It's real now. I'm here. Alcohol once my best friend turned its back on me. I felt lost and empty. I was twenty eight years old, depressed, angry, and alone. I spent my teenage, young adult, and early adult years chasing the bottle. I had many vices but alcohol was my first love. I remember the day we first met. I was fourteen years old. I was visiting my older sister and her friend came over with a bag full of alcohol. My first drink was a Long Island Iced tea. I took the drink and then the drink took me. I felt a warm sensation throughout my body. I knew from that day as long as I had alcohol I could go on living.
You might be wondering how I ended up an alcoholic. I was a very anxious and depressed child. I felt like I never quite fit in anywhere. I have a large family but we're not close. I've always wanted to feel loved and connected to other human beings. My childhood included a lot of trauma. Sexual and emotional abuse was the norm. I had all of the material possessions any kid could want. My parents provided a very nice living but children don't need things as much as they need love and security.
I've never felt safe or protected in the world. I had to learn how to defend myself early in life. I had to fight and I did a lot of it. Violence became my response to conflict. I walked around with the weight of the world on my back. I felt guilty and ashamed. I had secrets. I could be in a room full of people and I would still feel alone.
I sat through the meeting and as it ended people came up to introduce themselves and telling me to keep coming. Keep coming? Nobody invited me anywhere and these people I barely know want me to come back. I thought these people were nuts but they touched me. I went back week after week and I hit small milestones. Thirty days, sixty days, ninety, and one year.
As I write this I am over four years sober. Through the program I've found a connection with a higher power. I've built healthy friendships and I'm learning who I am one day at a time. The road isn't always easy but it's always worth it.
Keep moving forward. There aren't words to express my thanks and