I feel like I’ve been doing really well in the past 4+ months. No depression, my anxiety got a lot better after some med adjustments, and no hypomania. I have really enjoyed homeschooling… more than I ever thought I would.
Problem was… I was still drinking. Too much. Too often. More than what is considered normal.
Since I stopped drinking (which, it’s still really hard some days, and I’ve given in a couple of times), I’ve started to feel more and realize that I’ve been in a spiritual valley. I didn’t realize how deep that valley was until last night.
I have been using alcohol to help me in the areas that God has wanted to help with all along. I’ve used it to help with possible impending depression (this time of year is hard for me in general), numb feelings, help with me anxiety (that I didn’t realize I was having), and help me in social situations (which I don’t do well apparently). I didn’t realize I was still struggling with these things… but not drinking has shown me that it’s still there.
A few weeks ago I tried a Celebrate Recovery in our “town” (which, is over an hour away… but that’s our town). It was a complete fail. I knew when I walked in that it wasn’t going to work. I left about 20 minutes into it after no one talked to me. The people just seemed to be there because they had to be, not because they wanted to be.
I called the leader a few days later and asked if they even had a step study open because that’s the whole reason I would go. He told me no, it would be a while before a new one would open up. He did tell me about a CR in a town about 30 minutes away from there, so I decided to try it out last night.
It was everything and more that I was wanting in a CR. I walked in and the leader looked at me and said, “you’re new, aren’t you?” She immediately introduced herself and gave me a hug! For some people that might scare them, but that’s exactly what I needed. I needed to feel wanted and important. The rest of the night went so well. Worship was kind of cheesy because it was done through YouTube, speakers, and a screen. But it was music that I knew, so that was good! Then she spoke, teaching a CR lesson. It was something I have heard before, but it was a good reminder!!
Small group was fantastic, and I realized in that moment that I’m not alone! Lots of ladies were there for alcohol or drug issues as well as anxiety, depression, etc. One lady also has bipolar. In some ways it was uncomfortable because being around drug addicts was somewhat new (I’ve been around drug addicts in the hospital), but knowing that any substance is really used for the same reasons reminded me that I’m not alone.
I found out last night that there was a step study still open! It just started last week and would be open until next week. Thing is, it’s on Wednesday mornings… and I homeschool… and my husband works. So the only way to make it work would be to enlist the help of friends. A few of my AMAZING friends stepped up and said they would help!! I’m so incredibly thankful for this community. They love me and know that this is something I need, and they are able to serve me in a way that goes beyond and above anything I would ever ask of anyone. But. I knew I needed this. It’s about living again.
I went today and it was amazing! There were only four of us, but I’m glad. It was a safe place to be real about issues. The leader (who leads the CR there) is a counselor and a former addict herself (long ago). She gives lots of hugs, which I love! She gave me her card and told me to call her anytime! I realized a lot of things as we worked through the second lesson. I need to go back and answer all questions in lesson 1 and 2… plus lesson 3 for next week, so I have a lot of homework ahead of me!
The biggest thing that was helpful today was to be told by a substance abuse counselor that I do in fact have a problem. It is helping me to step out of that denial that I have been living in for several years. I just always justify it because it seems like everyone drinks (according to Facebook)… but the problem was how much/often I was drinking. There are probably many people out there that have a drinking problem and they don’t know it because it’s a social norm now!
The true test was being alone today and passing our “local” store where I often buy Blue Moon. I knew that Robert wouldn’t be home till late evening, and I had enough time to drink before he got home (I have never kept it from him, but sometimes I would drink it before he could tell me no… ask forgiveness, not permission kind of thing). But I thought/prayed about it and realized I have so many people helping me to get sober, so why would I mess that up? So I just drove on by! It was ALL God! The urge was strong. I knew that urge was temptation from Satan and God gave me the way out!
I texted Robert about it, and he was so proud of me. This is big!
Why do I share all of this? I feel that God has called me to it. No other reason except that. He has called me to “live out loud,” and I will do that! I feel that He has a reason and a purpose for who He has called me to be, and I pray that He uses it for His glory!