A Harsh Reminder

When I first got sober almost two and a half years ago (I had a relapse at six months), I came across the website Crying Out Now, which shares stories of recovery and of those struggling with substance abuse. I soon discovered that it’s founder, Ellie, also had her own blog called One Crafty Mother. As I got further into my own recovery, I communicated with Ellie and at one point had a portion of my story featured on Crying Out Now. Later, Ellie founded The Bubble Hour, a podcast featuring discussions about sobriety and interviews.

I related to Ellie and in many ways looked up to her. She was like me – mom, wife, otherwise pretty “normal” person – and alcoholic. If she could get sober; I surely could. Over the past couple of years, I’ve followed Ellie’s journey, becoming one of the most well-known sober bloggers and online recovery advocates.

I hadn’t heard or read anything from Ellie in a long time (time is all relative in the sober sphere) and I had this nagging feeling something was wrong. A couple days ago my fears were confirmed, when I came across a recent post from Ellie. She had relapsed and after spending two months in inpatient treatment, was currently living in a sober house with three other women.

I have hurt a lot of people over the past few months. I lost myself, and instead of asking for help, I thought I could tough my way through it on sheer force of will. I was so, so scared, but I kept madly weaving myself a tale of strength and hope, instead of admitting that fear had me by the throat. I would like to say I should have known better, but the irony is that all the knowledge in the world can’t help against addiction. I forgot about God. I took my will back.

Her words hit me like a brick. I sat there, staring at her post in disbelief, but also in fear. Because, if she could relapse, so could I. It was a harsh reminder that no matter how much sobriety we have; how well-known we are; how respected we are; how far we’ve come since that last drink – we are always an alcoholic just one drink away from going right back to where we began or worse.

I’ve been feeling comfortable in my sobriety – maybe a little too comfortable. I haven’t been going to meetings, I haven’t been reaching out to other women, I haven’t been talking to my sponsor – the list goes on. I haven’t been feeding my sobriety and that is a dangerous place to be. Because, I know from stories like Ellie’s, that when we stop feeding our sobriety, our all-to powerful self-will starts taking over. That little voice that says, “I’ve got this; I don’t need any of that other stuff.” And, that is a very, very dangerous place for me to live. Because, eventually, that voice gets louder and it takes over the voice of God.

Yesterday, I had what we often call in recovery a “God shot.” I was on an important “business” call and all of a sudden the call got disconnected and my phone was ringing, as if I had hung up and called someone else. A woman answered on the other end and I said, “Hello, hello? Who is this?” And, the woman said “Hi Chenoa, it’s Dana. You just called me.” What?! Huh?! Dana was a friend from my recovery program who I hadn’t talked to in a while. I quickly explained what had happened and said I would call her back after I finished with my original call.

Later in the day, Dana and I talked for a long time, catching up on our recovery and life in general. We both struggle with reaching out to other women in the program, and we agreed that we needed to get together soon. She had been spending time with a few women who she thought I would enjoy. After we got off the phone, I got a text from her asking if I could make it to the 5:30 meeting tonight. I think I will.

I don’t believe in coincidences anymore. I believe that God puts certain people and situations in our life for a reason. God knew I needed that “God shot” yesterday from Dana. And, thankfully, I’m at a place in my life where I can recognize that, listen and take action.

I’m saddened by Ellie’s story. But, I’m also grateful that she has the courage to write about it and share her story with others like me who might need a wake up call…before it’s too late.

 

Cake, God and 18 Months Sober

18 Months

I had every intention of writing this post yesterday (which was my 18 month sobriety birthday), but it was a LONG day and after a dinner out with Tyler and a piece of my favorite cake, I was out like a light!

18 months. 18 freakin’ months without a single drink. Wow. In many ways it seems like yesterday and in others it seems like an eternity since I took that last sip of beer at our local Applebee’s. I had already had one relapse and despite the anguish and hurt it had caused me and my family, I still wasn’t ready to surrender. It was a hot summer day in August and I had just picked the kids up from going to the state fair with my in laws. There was tons of traffic and it was getting close to dinner time, so I decided to take a detour and get an early dinner at a nearby Applebee’s. I knew before I stepped in the door, that I was going to have a drink. Just one. No one would know. My kids were still too young to realize what was going on. It’s just a beer. So, as we ordered dinner I quickly looked around me (to see if there was anyone I knew) and ordered a Blue Moon beer. Perfect for a hot day. Our waitress returned with my beer and I looked around again before taking a big gulp.

As I took another sip and looked around, I felt embarrassed and guilty. As I sat there with my 3-year-old little boy and 5-year-old little girl, I suddenly wondered what the hell I was doing. Was it worth it? The shame, guilt and embarrassment? The lies? And, that was it. Right then and there with a beer at an Applebee’s, I decided I was done. It was the most uneventful drinking experience I had ever had, but I knew it was over. That part of my life was over and I was finally – FINALLY – ready to move on.

I drive by that Applebee’s multiple times throughout the week and it always sits there as a reminder of that day and that life-altering decision. That day, without fully knowing it at the time, I turned it all over to God. Without fully knowing or understanding, and without the exact words, I mentally said, “I can’t do this anymore. I need help.” I was tired of fighting; tired of hiding; I was just plain tired. And, I knew that I couldn’t do it by myself anymore. And, in my desperation and exhaustion, I decided the only thing I had left was God. I had been hiding from Him and pushing Him away for so long; I honestly didn’t know if He would still be there. But, He was. He was just waiting; patiently waiting for me to say, “Okay, God. I give up. If you’re so great, show me what you can do with this mess I’ve created.” And, yes, I gave Him a little attitude because, to be honest, I was still skeptical.

As I sit here today, there is no doubt that He was there; listening to that broken, stubborn and frightened woman. He took that mess and turned it into a walking, talking miracle. And, yes, I consider where I am, who I am and what I am a true miracle. I don’t pretend to know who God is, what God is and where God is. But, I know for me He is more real than anything in this entire world. He is the only reason I am who I am today and I will forever praise His name without shame, embarrassment or fear of what others might think. I lived in fear and embarrassment for a long time; afraid of what others thought about me. But, no more. I stand strong and proud of the woman I am today. I have done many things in my life that I’m ashamed of, but those things don’t define me. I am defined by who I choose to be today.

Today, I am so grateful for this journey. I am grateful for that moment in Applebee’s; for my sweet, beautiful children who sit next to me as I write this; for my husband who looks at me now with more love and admiration than ever before; for my family and friends who have loved me and shown me the true meaning of forgiveness and grace; for those who have guided me down the path of sobriety; for the humility I have experienced along the way; and thank God for the Old Fashioned cake at Gerry Frank’s Konditorei for getting me through those first few months of sobriety when all I wanted was chocolate cake!

Today is a good day. A very good day to be alive and sober.

Does Alcohol Make You Crazier?

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I have suffered from anxiety, depression and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) from the time I can remember. For better or worse, it’s part of who I am. I wasn’t always comfortable admitting I had all these “issues,” but, eventually, you just have to accept it and do your best with what God gave you. Over the years, I have learned various ways to “deal” with my mental health issues – mainly counseling, medication and getting sober (that was a big one).

However, that wasn’t always the case. Drinking was the main way I used to cope – with everything. If I was feeling anxious, I would drink; if I was feeling depressed, I would drink; if I was feeling obsessive, I would drink. And, on and on. It was a nasty little cycle I had going on. Of course, I always thought that drinking would make it better; that a few drinks would make it all go away. I would FINALLY feel relaxed! Ha!

The thing is, I never even realized that those drinks could actually be making my mental health issues worse. So, you can imagine my surprise when I came across the new health guide created by treatment center, Yellowbrick, that states the “Ten Mental Health Reasons Not to Drink Alcohol.”

It was like the first time I took one of those “are you an alcoholic?” quizzes. As I read down the list, I mentally made a check note by each one: interrupts normal sleep patterns (check), leads to rebound anxiety (check), contributes to increased impulsivity (check, check), interferes with prescribed medication (is that why my Prozac wasn’t working like it should’ve?).

Yellowbrick

I’m by no means telling “normal” people not to drink alcohol in moderation, but the reality is a huge percentage of our population suffers from anxiety and depression. If those people were more aware of the real effects drinking had on their mental health issues would that change their drinking patterns? Would they think twice about having that second, third or fourth drink? Maybe.

I’m a firm believer that knowledge is power and if we arm ourselves with the facts, we might be able to make different decisions in the future. Decisions that could potentially change the future of our health for the better.

This post was sponsored by Yellowbrick.

Drink – A Book Review

A quick note to my fellow recovery bloggers and aspiring writers: if you haven’t yet tried it, I suggest using Grammarly’s plagiarism checker because you never know what us drunks are capable of (kidding!) – and it’s way more fun to read original stuff!

Drink Pic

As many of you know, I love recovery-related books. Before I ever got sober, I was reading books about people who had been there, done that. At the time, I secretly had concerns over my own drinking, but it would be months before I admitted I had a problem. And, then when I finally did get sober, I had this overwhelming need to know that there were other “normal” people like me out there who had gone through the same thing. That was a very lonely time for me and the voices that came through the pages of those books took away some of that loneliness and gave me hope.

Ann Dowsett Johnston’s recent book, “Drink: The Intimate Relationship Between Women and Alcohol” is one of those books that give us hope. But, not only does she give us hope by sharing her own experience with alcoholism and recovery; she gives us knowledge with her in-depth research regarding what has truly become an epidemic in our culture, stating, “We need to have a robust discussion about this issue: How does alcohol play out in your community? In terms of suicides? Kids being abused? Violence? Teens in emergency rooms? Are we having an adult discussion? I don’t think so.”

As I read about Johnston’s own experience with alcoholism, I found myself nodding my head, thinking, “that’s exactly how I felt!” Sometimes it’s hard for me to put into words what my alcoholism was like, but Johnston explains it perfectly when she says,”Suddenly, you realize booze has moved in. He’s in your kitchen. He’s in your bedroom. He’s at your dinner table, taking up two spaces, crowding out your loved ones. Before you know it, he starts waking you up in the middle of the night, booting you in the gut at a quarter to four. You have friends over and he causes a scene. He starts showing you who’s boss. Booze is now calling the shots.”

One of the main differences in Johnston’s book compared to other recovery-related books that I have read is that Johnston takes it a step further and really addresses the core issues related to drinking, women and our culture. She raises key questions, such as “why are we aware of the dangers related to trans fats and tanning beds, and blissfully unaware of the more serious side effects associated with our favorite drug?” And, most importantly in my opinion, she takes aim and questions the motives behind the alcohol industry, media and politics and how they all work together to feed this growing rise of drinking and alcoholism among women. Giving the history behind the alcohol industry to attract more women, she describes the development of “alcopop” or “chick beer,” and I couldn’t help but be reminded of the loads of Zima, Mike’s Hard Lemonade and Smirnoff Ice I used to drink.

Johnston urges us to educate ourselves about the serious risks of drinking and to start having real conversations about it. “When it comes to alcohol, we live in a culture of denial. With alcoholics representing just a tiny fraction of the population, it’s the widespread normalization of heavier consumption that translates to serious trouble.”

I often think about what I’ll tell my kids about drinking. While I would love to tell them to never touch it and avoid it like the plague, I know that’s not realistic. But, I will tell them the risks. I will tell them my story and how easy it is to get caught up in a culture that normalizes drinking. I will tell them they have a history and they need to be very, very careful. I will tell them that no matter what, they never HAVE to drink. And, I will tell them that alcohol changes you. It changes the person God intended you to be.

Johnston’s book inspires me. It inspires me to tell my story and do my part in telling the truth about drinking.

As a side note, I was not paid for this review – I simply liked the book. However, this post was sponsored by Grammarly.

People Are Finally Talking

Keep Living

Ever since the tragic death of Philip Seymour Hoffman, the media has been saturated with stories and articles about the rise of heroin use and addiction. For better or worse, it takes someone of means and notoriety to get people talking about something that has been going on for awhile now. Being part of the recovery community, it’s something I see day in and day out. It’s nothing new and whether people want to believe it or not, it’s everywhere. It’s not just the junkie in the abandoned house that’s shooting up anymore – it’s the rich kid down the street, the housewife with the Range Rover and the businessman at the local coffee shop. If you think otherwise, you’re kidding yourself.

Ever since federal and state regulations made it harder for people to get their hands on prescription drugs, people have been turning to heroin because it has the same effect (it’s an opiate), it’s easy to get and it’s affordable.

Like all addiction, heroin addiction is an epidemic. And, just when you think it can’t touch you, it does.

Seeing the recent news on Justin Beiber’s run-ins with the law and substance abuse issues, it makes me wonder what’s next for him. Realistically, it’s only a matter of time before he goes from alcohol, pot and pills to harder stuff – if he already isn’t there. I’m not saying it’s going to happen, but the likelihood of it happening is pretty high considering the circumstances.

The thing is, our society does a really good job talking about addiction and substance abuse issues, yet we fail to talk about the solutions and treatment options. The media loves to report on the latest statistics, celebrity run-ins and even death, but how often do they follow that up with ways people can get help? They don’t, which is why when I was asked to promote Advanced Health and Education, an addiction treatment center in New Jersey, I didn’t hesitate.

As a premier New Jersey drug and alcohol treatment center, Advanced Health and Education “provides comprehensive and effective counseling services to adults and adolescents who are experiencing addiction to alcohol, cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine or prescription drugs.” Rehab and treatment has almost become a joke among many, who view it as a luxury getaway, when in fact it saves lives.

Treatment centers like Advanced Health and Education not only offer people a reprieve from alcohol and drug addiction; they address emotional issues and teach people the skills to lead a fulfilling life without the crutch of alcohol and drugs. The only way we can stop the cycle is if we address the underlying issues that drive our addictions. Treatment centers can help do this and get us on the road to recovery.

Unfortunately, many people rule out treatment and rehab programs because of the cost, however, many insurance companies cover alcohol and drug treatment in their plans. Also, many treatment centers, like Advanced Health and Education, offer scholarships and financial aid. Look at it this way: think about the time and money you currently spend or spent on getting and using drugs and alcohol. I guarantee treatment is less and you’ll actually get something positive out of it.

As Hoffman’s good friend and fellow recovering addict, Aaron Sorkin notes when talking about Hoffman’s death: “He didn’t die because he was partying too hard or because he was depressed — he died because he was an addict.”

It was reported that Hoffman spent 10 days in rehab after relapsing on drugs after over 20 years sober. A typical rehab and treatment program lasts 30-60 days. Would Hoffman have lived if he would’ve stayed longer? I don’t know, but maybe.

Addiction is nothing to take lightly. If you or someone you know needs help, find a treatment center and go – it could be a matter of life or death.

It Hasn’t Happened…Yet

Speak Truth

My voice was shaking as I stood at the podium and stared across the sea of faces. A friend had asked me earlier in the week to share my story as part of a panel at a local recovery center and I was starting to wonder if I had made a mistake. It’s one thing writing about my story from the comfort of my own home, but standing in front of others and sharing the details of my life is a different thing all together. But, at this point in my life and recovery, if something makes me nervous or uncomfortable, it’s usually a sign I need to take the plunge and face my fear – this was one of those times.

As I began to speak, my body relaxed and I continued to share my story with those in the room. I was the first to speak and was relieved when I was finished. As the other speakers followed me and shared their stories, I started to feel a dangerous sense of superiority. Instead of focusing on our similarities, I started focusing on our differences, which is a really bad place for this alcoholic to go. Out of four women and one man, I was the only one who hadn’t spent time in jail or prison; I was the only one who hadn’t gotten a DUI; I was the only woman who hadn’t had her children taken away from her; I was the only one who hadn’t been addicted to pills or meth; and I’m pretty sure I was the only one sitting up there with a graduate degree. So, immediately my mind went to, “Wow, I was never THAT bad,” “Boy, compared to them I really had it together.” HA! And, this people is the crazy, insane mind of an alcoholic! And, with that I found all those old judgments, insecurities, fears and better-than-yous coming back in vengeance – the same stuff that made me drink.

And, from there, for only a slight second, my mind went to that very scary place where I started questioning if I really had been THAT bad. And, then with one quick interaction with the woman sitting next to me, I remembered that, yes, I was THAT bad. During a short break we had started chatting and I joked that my story looked pretty uneventful compared to hers, and she looked at me and said, “But, yours is just as important because not everyone is going to relate to mine.” No, I hadn’t been arrested or spent time in prison, I hadn’t gotten a DUI, I hadn’t lost my children, I hadn’t lost my marriage, I hadn’t been addicted to pills or meth – YET. None of those things happened to me, but my life, as I knew it, had become completely and totally unmanageable because of one cunning and baffling reason – alcohol. And, I’m convinced that if I hadn’t stopped drinking when I did, those things would’ve happened to me – and maybe worse.

As I sat there and looked out at the other men and women in the room with their family members sitting by their sides, I wondered if anyone related to my story. Did anyone see the similarities or were they simply focused on the differences? Because, until we can stop looking at our differences and instead focus on what we have in common, there will be no hope.

After the discussion was over, and I was signing out, two women came up to me and thanked me for sharing my story. They saw themselves in me and could relate to much of what I said. While both older than myself, they found the similarities and it gave them hope.

Despite my initial reservations, I plan to keep going back and sharing my experience, strength and hope.

I’m here because others chose to share their stories with me. It’s my responsibility to pass it on. That’s what we do.

These Are the Days

Be Yourself

I spent many years trying to be the person I thought others wanted me to be. I tried to act the way I thought they wanted me to act; look the way I thought they wanted me to look; say the things I thought they wanted me to say. Getting sober didn’t just give me a second chance at life; it introduced me to a whole new me – the real me. I was finally able to discover who I was. It was scary at first. I felt like I was learning how to live life all over again while getting to know myself. It was like dipping your toes into a steaming hot bath, until gradually your whole body is emerged in the water. And, once in, you take a deep breath and exhale, because at that moment all seems right in the world.

Very slowly, little by little I immersed myself into discovering who I was. What did I like? Who did I enjoy being around? Without booze, how did I react to boredom, anger, sadness, happiness? It was overwhelming at times, but also exhilarating. I’ve come a long way since those first few months. I’m settling into living life as me – just me. I like the person I see looking back at me in the mirror. I’m strong; I know what I like and what I don’t like; I’m okay with my imperfections; in fact, I embrace them because they are part of what makes up my imperfect self.

Lately, I’ve found myself at a loss for words when it comes to my writing. I’ve come to a place in my recovery where I don’t have daily struggles. Wait, let me re-word that. I don’t have the constant weight of recovery on my mind. Sober life and life have become one, which I believe is a miracle all in itself. Is life perfect? Heck, no! I still struggle like any “normal” person. I’m challenged daily by insecurities and relationships. However, I face those challenges with a strong sense of who I am and who I want to be.

When people ask me how I am, I say “Good, really good.” And, guess what? I mean it. For many years I didn’t mean it. Things might have been good, but there was always a “but.” Nothing was ever okay, just the way it was. There are certain areas of my life that I wish were different. Not everyone likes the person I have become. And, that’s okay. Like we say in recovery, it’s none of my damn business what other people think about me.

For now, I’m just living life. Enjoying those silly and sweet moments with my kids and husband. For those in the beginning stages of your recovery or who continue to struggle with staying sober, I hope you can find encouragement in my story. Life will never be perfect, but if you do the work and stay sober, you will discover a simple, enjoyable and rewarding life – a genuine life that is worth living.

I Need a Break

Stop

I’m an addict. I have an addict’s mind and I approach life with an addict’s mindset. If something brings be pleasure (or assumed pleasure), I want more of it. And, the more I get, the more I think I need.

My life has been consumed with different types of addictions. Praise from others, exercise, food at times, men and above all, alcohol. My addict mind becomes obsessed with my “drug” of choice to the point where it begins to consume my life. It’s very subtle how it sneaks up on me. Slowly, unknowingly I find myself struggling with the “need” to satisfy my cravings and the logical part of my mind that says, “It’s not good for you, it’s not important.”

Lately, I’ve found myself feeling uneasy, agitated, unsettled and disconnected. I knew something was wrong, I just couldn’t put my finger on it. And, then in a moment of clarity I realized what it was. I’ve been feeling totally and undeniably addicted to social media. I’ve been comparing my insides to everyone else’s outsides and that is dangerous ground for a recovering alcoholic like myself. I begin comparing who I am with how everyone else portrays themselves to be. I start feeling depressed, inadequate, incomplete and before long I begin to feel desperate. I feel desperate to “fix” how I’m feeling and that’s a scary feeling for me.

I think many of us go through phases where we realize we’re spending a little too much time online and make it a point to scale back – I know I have. But, this time it’s different. I’ve found myself caring more about what others think about me and what I post. Did they “like” it? How many people “liked” it” Why didn’t that person “like” it? Or, I fall into the trap of “needing” to share EVERYTHING in my life. Social media has created this “look at me” mentality that becomes all-consuming. Look what I can do? Look what I can make? Look how cute I am? Look how creative I am? Look how funny I am? LOOK AT ME! Really, it’s a disgusting habit that we’ve allowed ourselves to fall into. And, I take full responsibility for taking part in it.

In sobriety, we learn that being humble is a key part of our recovery. For me, social media attempts to take every ounce of humbleness away from me. Instead, it encourages me to act boastful and prideful. In essence, it takes me further and further away from my relationship with God where I find peace, clarity and humbleness.

I feel relief knowing what the problem is. And, now I need to take the steps to “get right” with myself and God again. I need to refocus my energy and my intentions. In the past, I’ve deleted my accounts, but not this time. Social media will always be there – it’s how I choose to approach it which is the key for me. I’ve deleted certain apps from my phone, which is a start. I’m coming “clean” with all of you, which is another step in the right direction. But, really, the most important step for me is focusing inward instead of outward. I’m okay with me. I’m okay with the person I am today. I’m not perfect. I’ll never be as skinny as I think I should be, or as creative as others. I’ll never be happy with my hair despite how I cut it or what color I dye it. I will ALWAYS have flaws. But, that’s not the point. The point is, I’m okay with me. And, most important, I know God is okay with me too.

When the Unexpected Happens

IMG_2228

I get grumpy when I get sick; just plain grumpy. I tend to be irritated at everyone and everything. Needless to say, I’m not much fun to be around. With that being said, I was in a grumpy mood this morning as I rummaged through our medicine cabinet looking for cold medicine when I pulled this acid reducer from the back.

I stood there for a minute, staring at it as if I had never seen it before. But, the thing is, I had. I knew this exact box all too well, although it had been over a year since I needed it.

You see, towards the end of my drinking I started suffering severe stomach problems. It was also during this time I started the age-old alcoholic “trick” of switching my choice of drink. I’d been a wine drinker for many years, so maybe if I switched to beer the problem would go away. Or, maybe if I alternated between beer and hard alcohol, my stomach would get back to “normal.” Of course, I never EVER considered just quitting!

None of that seemed to work, so I immediately went to worst case scenarios. My mom had died of pancreatic cancer so maybe it was that; or maybe I had an untreated ulcer; or what if it was my liver? I mean, could my drinking be “that” bad where it could be effecting my body? I was never completely honest with my doctor about my drinking, so she had no way of knowing there could be an issue. For my peace of mind, she ordered an ultrasound and all came back clear – whew. She told me to take some acid reducer when I felt sick and that was that. On my merry way I went. Or, more like on my merry drinking way I went.

I’m sure you can guess the rest of the story. Despite taking tons of antacids and acid reducer, I continued to have stomach problems. It didn’t matter what I drank or when I drank, nothing changed.

And, then, through a serious of events I quit drinking and got sober. And, guess what? My stomach problems went away – completely. You don’t have to be a genius to put two and two together.

And so, as I stood in the kitchen this morning feeling grumpy and irritated, I was snapped back into reality by this innocent box of acid reducer that had been hiding in the back of the cabinet for nearly two years.

Sometimes it’s the uneventful and unexpected things like this that remind me just how truly far I’ve come. And, how God continues to do His work in both big and small ways.

When Enough is Enough

Tolerate

I watched the movie Country Strong with Gwyneth Paltrow and Tim McGraw the other day. I had seen it when it first came out, but somehow had completely forgotten that Gwyneth plays an addict and alcoholic in the movie. I joked to my husband that I was probably drunk when I last watched it – sad, but true.

In the movie, Gwyneth plays a famous country music singer whose career is sidetracked by her alcoholism. Her husband, who is played by Tim McGraw, loves her but enables her behavior by taking her out of rehab early and continuously pushing her to do more, be more, perform more, which ultimately leads to her demise.

The movie is sad on so many levels, but most of all it’s sad because there were so many people around her that continued to play to her addictions, never saying “Enough is enough.”

I was one of the fortunate ones who had someone in my life who finally said, “That’s it. No more.” But, time and time again we see people make excuses for their loved ones, ignoring their behavior, secretly hoping it’s not as bad as it seems. But it is, and more often than not it only gets worse.

In a previous post (here), I talked about needing to establish boundaries with someone I care deeply about. Those boundaries were not received well, and after a heated conversation I finally had to say “Enough is enough.” I realized that despite my love for this person, I could no longer enable their alcoholic behavior. As human beings, we have dignity and rights and one of those rights is to say “No more.”  No more denying your behavior, no more blaming others, no more yelling, no more put downs, no more “I’m sorry.” At some point, despite our unconditional love, we have to walk away and pray – pray hard that they will find their way out of the darkness.

Some of us do come out on the other side and are able to share our stories of survival. Fortunately, I am one of them. But, the only way I was able to make it to the other side was because I had someone who loved me who finally said, “Enough is enough.”