I started drinking heavily around the age of 21. I knew alcohol wasn’t helping me live my best life, but I never felt able to control it so I continued drinking. I was out with friends one night and I got drunk and started acting out of control. I was 25 at the time, and I lived with my mom so my friends just brought me home. I continued acting out, directing it at my mother, and the next thing I know, I’m waking up in the Pell City Jail with a charge for harassing my mom. I wish this had been the moment I realized the damage my addiction was causing and changed my course, but it wasn’t.
Six years later, I was married with a sweet, two-year-old daughter. My drinking continued to the point of getting black-out drunk every single night. I would yell obscenities, blast loud music, and get physically violent with my husband. I was bringing danger and instability into my home and hurting the people I loved most.
Desperate for help and relief, my husband started calling my Dad to come to get me when I was getting out of control. My Dad had always been the one person I would never get unruly with, and my husband said I would calm down when he arrived. Even so, my actions ultimately drove my Dad to draw the line. I would sneak into his house and drink from his liquor cabinet, and I was causing harmful disruption in his home.
This left my husband with no one to call except the police. But, just as I had with my Dad, I would straighten up when the police arrived. Since I was acting calm, he had no proof of how I was acting before they arrived, and the police told him they couldn’t charge me for drinking in my own home. This happened a few times with no change until the night of October 10, 2017, when the police were called and I couldn’t keep it together any longer.
We had been given the leftover beer and wine from a friend’s wedding, and I let myself drink as much as I wanted this night. There is very little I recall because of how drunk I was. I don’t remember seeing my daughter, and I’m thankful now that my husband had taken her to our neighbor’s house to protect her from the situation. I remember leaning against the counter to steady myself as I talked to the police and them pointing to broken glass on the floor and asking me to explain.
I don’t recall the specifics of what happened next, I just know I found myself being physically carried out of my house by two officers holding my legs and shoulders. The officers and my husband have recounted that night and told me how belligerent and aggressive I was being. The officers had to physically get me under control, and I was even told that they almost had to resort to a taser to manage my violent actions. When I think of this now, it’s hard and uncomfortable to imagine how I was acting and treating people. My alcohol abuse had ultimately caused me to lose total control of my life.
The next day I woke up in jail to the news that my husband filed for a restraining order. I was devastated. I had been in jail a few times before, but this was the first time I didn’t even care about getting out because I had nothing to return to. I didn’t have my home, my husband, or my daughter, and I felt alone and completely crushed. Alcohol had driven me to destroy the life I loved and the people that mattered to me most. It was here, at my lowest point, that I knew it had to stop. I couldn’t live this way anymore, but I knew I couldn’t do it on my own. Out of complete desperation, I turned to God. I prayed one of the most sincere prayers of my life and told God that my life was completely unmanageable and that I needed Him to manage it.
My Dad agreed to get rid of all the alcohol in his home and let me come live with him. We had a court date at the end of October, and it was in court that I found out my husband was planning to file for divorce and custody of our daughter. I absolutely lost it, crying and begging him not to go through with it. He had given me so many chances, but I was desperate for one more chance to be the wife and mother I deeply desired to be for our family. Even with the devastating events of that day, I did not drink. I was proud of myself and grateful for that step toward sobriety.
For the most part, I was doing better. I had gotten a new job, I was still living with my Dad, I attended AA several times a week, and I started to see pieces of my life be restored little by little. My Dad and my husband were staying in touch, and Dad invited my husband and my daughter over for Thanksgiving dinner. They accepted the invitation, and this gave me a small bit of hope that our family could be restored.
My husband and I started seeing each other more. He let me visit and even invited me to spend the night. Things were going well, but then on Christmas, I got an urge to drink that was so strong it overpowered me. He suggested going to look at lights, calling a friend, or calling my sponsor all to help me overcome the urge. I ended up giving in, buying a bottle of liquor, and getting completely drunk. I ruined our family Christmas, and I felt absolutely terrible.
My husband was very forgiving, but then I did it again on New Year’s Eve. I was starting to fall back into my old patterns, walking down the same road of destruction as before. That night, I went to a restaurant, had two drinks, and came home to a heartbroken husband who could immediately tell I’d been drinking. I ended up getting incredibly sick that night. As someone with a history of heavy drinking, it was surprising for me to get so sick by drinking two drinks. In this moment, it felt like the last straw and a sign that I needed to change for good.
It was time for me to close the door on alcohol once and for all. I asked God to forgive me, and I turned away from my harmful choices. I believed that my family and I deserved a better life, one free from drunkenness, uncertainty, and abusive behavior. The next day was January 1, 2018, and I am so grateful to say that through treatment, support, and faith, I have not had a drink since. My husband and I have found renewal in our marriage and even added another child to our family. I thank God every day that He restored my life.