Grapevine Online Exclusive

Published August 2014.

Living in Abundance

As a sober woman she was able to forgive all the people she resented. And herself

My swollen eyes opened and I lay there staring out of the window in my room as the light struggled to break through the morning clouds. I was in another alcohol rehab institution and the familiar feeling of defeat washed over me again. I had been crying all night, so I was still tired. But I was always tired, exhausted…actually. I had spent a lifetime thinking only of myself, and it drained me. I wondered if I would ever stop feeling sick and tired, but then I knew that would require real changes. The nurse came in, “Get dressed honey, breakfast in half an hour and then group,” she said with a kind smile.

I was well-versed in the process as a three time rehab veteran. I knew the drill well: go over the Steps, make amends, develop a post-treatment AA meeting plan, blah blah blah. I had successfully faked my way through it for years now. I actually wondered how long it would take me to convince everyone this time that I got it and that they could leave me alone. But a new thought crossed my mind…Could this time actually be different? How many times was I going to repeat the cycle? Even those fleeting thoughts made me feel like a failure, but that was nothing new.

-- Shannon I.

This is a preview. To view the full article, use the link below to begin a free 7-day trial!

Related Items:

My Brother’s Keeper
He came to realize that he was powerless over both his own alcoholism and that of his brother

One Beautiful Spring Evening
A long drinking career came to an end one night in her driveway

All By Myself
She learned in AA that drinking in the shower wasn’t social drinking

The Answer Wasn’t Alcohol
When she came to accept that maybe she was an alcoholic after all, the answers were easier to find