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  July 18, 2010      
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OASAS Stories of Recovery
Carolyn of New York
Posted: July 13, 2010       Individual
Time in recovery: 2 years, 5 months       Age: 40       Gender: Female

My name is Carolyn, and I'm an addict and an alcoholic. To look at me, you would not know it, but I am.
I'm the product of an active alcoholic father and a bipolar, manic depressive, pill-popping rage-aholic mother. I'm also the youngest of three children; so much so that I was basically raised as an only child. So, along with the genetic disposition to abuse everything, I had that sense of entitlement that most babies of the family have.

In the interest of space, let me tell you that I always prided myself on being a junkie because since childhood, I thought drunks were disgusting. Many a night Dad would be shirtless and passed out on the couch, drooling. I swore I would never be like that. Also, my sister as a teen battled an addiction with methamphetamine. So I had it drilled into my head to not "be like your sister." I was the last one in my family to "get got." I was a late bloomer, actually.

Throughout high school, I stayed away from keg parties and lectured those I knew who smoked weed. I was terrified of it given the upbringing that I had. I was better than that. I didn't have my first drink until my 21st birthday. It was then that I discovered not only that I had a fondness for Schnapps, but I also had the fortitude of a truck driver. I could drink whole bottles and still stand. Not only that, I was never hungover in the morning. I didn't however like the taste of alcohol and remember thinking to myself, "if they could put this feeling in a pill, I'd be set!".

Around this time, I moved in with a friend who had a seemingly never-ending supply of pain medication. Having been plagued with arthritis from sports, I was always in some sort of pain. My friend told me to see her doctor. She'd "hook me up."

On December 15th of 2000, I was prescribed OxyContin. Six months later, I was snorting it. By years end, I was injecting. By the end of the second year, I had been arrested several times, lost my job, my house, my dignity. But, still...I didn't think I had a problem. My parents did. I didn't.

My moment of clarity came when not only was my life unmanageable, it was unbearable. I was a slave to these pills and I wanted to stop, but didn't know how. I reached out for help and found a very compassionate doctor who detoxed me and pointed me toward the rooms of AA. It was there that I learned forgiveness and how to keep my sobriety and that I should share it.

Since Thursday, January 31st of 2008, I have been a happy, joyous and free woman. Believe me, there IS hope. The rooms of AA are there for people who want it, and it only works if you work it.

All good things for you.


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