Recovery Spotlight: Joanne P

Through the Grace of God, I haven’t found a need to pick up a drink in 23 years. I was taught early on in sobriety that I need to take one day at a time. That was hard because I had no idea how to do that. Throughout my journey, I learned how to.

My life began in an addictive household, feeling fear and anxiety every day. At an early age, I began to sneak drinks from the many bottles of alcohol on hand at the house. I believe now that I just wanted to hide behind alcohol to cover up all the pain I was trying to run from. I also had heard that alcohol is but a symptom of the underlying cause of my drinking. I drank for over 20 years and yes, I tried to stop but didn’t know how.

Was I really having fun out drinking? Have you heard of the expression “I had fun, then fun with problems, then just problems”? That’s how it worked for me. I was not having fun, I was suicidal. I was at the jumping off point and it was time to surrender. Drinking was ruining my life.

God sent an angel to help and I began going to AA meetings reluctantly. I had opened a door and let a little bit of willingness in. I received my 24 hour chip and I was beginning a new life, one baby step at a time. I was told in the beginning to keep my eye on the prize (sobriety!!!)

I began to put a few days together, got a sponsor and started working the steps. I thought reading the steps all at one time was good enough! Not! I had to learn how to live life without alcohol. I needed to heal all that pain that I thought alcohol had taken away. I had to become open to a journey of self-discovery over the years.

I used to think people that didn’t drink were boring. Now I can’t imagine a life with a drink. My world has opened up and am now able to share my story and help others to learn how to live life without any substances to cover up their feelings. I learn more and more about myself every day and I like who I’ve become.

I learned how to live one day at a time by staying present and feeling grateful. I may not always feel grateful at the time, but I was told to write a gratitude list every morning which would help me feel better.

I am becoming better and better every day and in every way. Keep coming back!