- Friends & Family
Submitted by: Susanne Johnson
My name is Jodi and I am a grateful recovering alcoholic. January 19, I will have twenty months of continued sobriety. I started drinking when I was around 16 it was just wine coolers, around age 17, I drank beer, then at 18 after high school I met my ex-husband. He is now a full blown alcoholic.
After we were married, he and I started drinking and going out partying on a regular basis. He was also verbally, mentally, and physically abusive. I am a survivor of domestic violence as well. After we were married for about four and a half years, I left him. At that time, we were living in Florida and I was about 24 when my drinking career took off.
I had a friend who told me I was turning into an alcoholic. So after the shakes started and I couldn’t go without a drink I finally realized I was indeed an alcoholic. But I didn’t want anyone to know, so I hid it until I moved back to PA. I got pregnant at the age of 30 and I had my first daughter. I didn’t drink while pregnant with either of my two daughters. Right after I gave birth I continued on with my drinking career. I met my next daughter’s dad online and I became pregnant with my second daughter.
It was not “discovered” until shortly after my second daughter was born that everyone knew I was an alcoholic. When my second daughter was around two years old, her dad came home and found me passed out on the couch with my daughter upstairs crying.
I was sober for almost a year and I relapsed for about three months. At the end of the three months, my aunt called me. She asked me if I had been drinking. I said, “no,” that I had not been. If you think no one knows, everyone knows. Then she asked to speak to my boyfriend. After she hung up with him, he asked me if I was drinking. I said yes I had been. He asked me for how long and when it started. I told him the same, for the last three months. So he threw the phone at me and said call someone now.
It was the weekend and I kept drinking just to maintain and not go through the shakes and avoid a seizure. I had had one seizure prior and I seized and fell and hit my head one the way down and then off the concrete floor. So I went ahead and called a place, but of course no one is ever available on the weekends.
The treatment center would come and pick me up for detox. The day before they came, I got up and drank half a beer. The rest of the day I just dry heaved horribly. And loud. I don’t know what got me through the day without a beer but I made it with no seizure. That night, my boyfriend took me to the hospital and they started detoxing me right away. They said if I had been drinking they would not have started detoxing me. The next day the treatment center came and picked me up. I spent four days in detox, came home and started meetings right away. I got a sponsor right away.
This past summer, I was thinking about taking a peer specialist class. Just hold that for now. I take my two daughters to a pool where we belong to every summer. The one day my youngest daughter (who is ten years old) kept bugging me for some money. I told her no. Then this woman who was lying next to me appeared out of nowhere. She overheard my daughter. So she goes “the Lord told me to give you this”, and she gave her $3.00. My daughter gave me a look. She said thank you and went on her busy little way.
The woman and I started talking. She said to me “The Lord told me to tell you as long as you stay in your sobriety, great things are to come.” Not a normal conversation you have at a public pool. I was talking about the course I wanted to take, and she said to me “The Lord told me to tell you everything will be provided for you as long as you stay in your sobriety.” We left and went home and didn’t give it much thought.
Then I had to get all my teeth pulled. That was very trying. And still is. Then about two weeks later I got a phone call. It was from a health business. The woman Hannah said to me, “We want you in for an interview.” I said, “Umm one problem, I have no teeth”. (lol) She goes, “that’s ok, we don’t care.” I said, “I do”. Finally, I agreed. I went.
When I arrived, I found that they did not have any information on me. They sent out an email/call blast for the position. So I asked, “how did you get my number?” It turned out that someone from my 12-step group had given her my number and told them I was great. We talked for a little bit, then I left.
I got a call back. So I went in and brought my sobriety clock with me and everything and anything you needed to know about sobriety/mental illnesses/AA/NA, etc. They asked me if I had any questions, I asked, “what about gas mileage?” Don’t you know she said to me “Just ask and everything will be provided for you!” The same thing the woman at the pool told me.
So, I did get the position, and guess what it was for? A certified recovery specialist. Not kidding….They sent me to Philadelphia for two weeks of training. That’s where I am in the picture. Everything was provided for me. They paid for the hotel, the train, and two visas to spend on food and amenities. I took a tour of Philadelphia, and the Eastern State Penitentiary. This has been one heck of a journey. Then they sent me to Harrisburg— Yes, they rented the car and paid for the hotel again. I took the test to be certified. I just got the results in the mail. I got a 42 out of 50. I PASSED!! So I am now a Certified Recovery Specialist. Never ever give up hope. Somehow it came around full force. I guess I wasn’t meant to be peer certified. God threw me a curve ball. I will be getting clients in the beginning of the year. I am still taking training classes.