- Friends & Family
submitted by Susanne Johnson
At age 37 I received my second DUI and realized I was living my life the same way I was at age 18. I had become a daily “social” drinker and a habitual cocaine user (2-3 times a week). I was a high-functioning alcoholic who was able to keep her job, although barely, as I would stumble into work after not going to sleep the night before. I moved jobs and cities every few years just to keep up appearances. I had different groups of friends, and I had different lies and stories I told these friends.
Instead of racing to a support group meeting after my DUI, I waited six long weeks until I was pushed by my attorney to get my butt to a meeting. I didn’t want to give up my best friends: alcohol and cocaine. I didn’t want to grow up. My life was spinning out of control, so for once I didn’t hit the snooze button when that second DUI arrived.
By the time I went to my first meeting, I had lost the fight to rationalize the poor life choices I had been making. What I heard in that first meeting was hope. I left that meeting and drank for a week before I decided to give the sobriety thing a shot on blind faith. I walked into my second support group meeting and haven’t looked back since. I did what the elder members told me to do. I went to 90 meetings in 90 days, I got a sponsor, I worked the 12 steps, and I just kept coming back.
My life got better. I didn’t get any more DUIs, and I knew where I was when I awoke in the morning. My first year of my recovery was like walking out of a black and white movie and into a Technicolor sphere of possibilities. I wasn’t imprisoned by alcohol and drugs anymore. Life got challenging as I had to learn how to live without the crutch of alcohol or drugs, but people were there to help me every step of the way. I was never alone, I never felt alone, and best of all I liked being alone because I liked the person I was becoming.
I’m almost 11 years sober now, and I have a life beyond my wildest dreams. I get to work from home for my corporate day job. I met my husband in recovery, and we get to walk this journey together and help others. We get to live the life we want to live, and none of this would be possible if we weren’t sober.
In November 2003 I was drunk and typing in my journal about how messed up my life was. I knew I needed help, but I was scared. In May 2004 I walked into a meeting and decided to try recovery with a fellowship of other people who had a life worth living, a life with no alcohol or drugs, a life that mattered. That drunken journal entry turned into a memoir that is a story of my experience, strength and hope. My hope is that I can help someone, anyone, that may be able to relate to my life as a “social party girl” and realize that they too have a chance at a better life, a life where they will be able to wake up in the morning and have dignity, integrity and self-love. That’s what living a clean and sober life has given me.