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persiphone_hellecat
09-04-2006, 08:29 AM
It is now just after midnight, Monday September 4th. Maybe that doesn't mean a whole lot to you besides Labor Day, but it means the world to me.

Today, I celebrate my tenth year of sobriety.

Don't misunderstand. I wasn't that drunk in the gutter kind of drinker nor was I the crack house kind of drug user. I was the suburban housewife kind of drinker and recreational drug user. I held a very responsible job, was raising a child all by myself, owned a house and a red sports car -- your typical suburban dream come true. The only thing missing was a white picket fence.

But I could see it coming. Things were falling apart around me. I was just liking it too much, finding it too easy to just come home from work, light up a joint and slide myself around a bottle of vodka.

So, without going into great detail (although the story is a very good one - my million tiny pieces really are a million tiny pieces) I found myself in rehab on September 4th, 1996. I had my last drink and joint the day before. I spent 28 days in rehab getting to know myself all over again -- getting to know myself sober. There was a solar eclipse that month and I watched it through the window of my room in a full lockdown rehab. I also celebrated my 43rd birthday there.

Was it hard? You bet. Is it still hard? Yes and no. I can honestly say I really think I don't miss it. Of course, being me, I love to tease my son when we go out to dinner by ordering a Grey Goose martini (I loved them with maraschino cherries in them). That's just ME. Humor has always gotten me through the baddest of bad times.

At first, I had a rough time. I felt deprived. I didn't think I would ever be able to go anywhere again. How do you go out dancing, listening to music in bars, out to dinner with friends? How do you go to cocktail parties and not "cocktail"? It took me a year or two, but I found out the answer. You just DO. You go and you tell yourself NO.

I even learned that you can go to Grateful Dead concerts and not get stoned. Did you know that at any Grateful Dead related concert, there is an NA meeting called Wharf Rats at intermission? Just look for the yellow balloons. I went to my first concert - the Further Festival - about a year later. I took my son to the concert and to the meeting.

Now, I gotta tell you, I'm not a big book totin' hardcore Friend of Bill kind of AA person. I don't attend weekly meetings, but I know they are there for me if I need them. For 10 years, a meeting schedule has hung proudly from the side of my refridgerator. If I need a meeting, I go and find what I need to keep me from picking up. In 10 years, I haven't picked up ONCE.

So, why am I doing this now? Simple. Because my 12th step says it is necessary for me to pass on what I have learned if I am to keep going. The 12 steps are something nobody ever completes, but we do get to that point when we are ready to pass on to others our experiences and our joy in sobriety.

This is my gift to myself and to everyone else -- if you can take anything from it, that's great. If you don't need it, that's great, too.

Happy and sober, Persi

kikonie
09-04-2006, 08:34 AM
Persi, is that a picture of you in the dictionary under "pillar of strength"?

DamaNegra
09-04-2006, 08:35 AM
That's great Persi!! Congrats to you for remaining sober, and for making the right decision. It's so easy to keep on drinking and doing drugs, it takes a lot of strenght to pull out of that. Way to go! :D

Mom'sWrite
09-04-2006, 08:37 AM
Congratulations and Happy Anniversary!

I'm popping open the sparkling water that I was saving for a special occasion like this.

A Votre Sante!

SpookyWriter
09-04-2006, 08:40 AM
Hey, good job! I never quit anything, but if I did it would be drinking and smoking. I rarely get drunk, so until it because too big of a problem I'll take a few steps back and cut down even further.

Thanks!

Stew21
09-04-2006, 08:43 AM
Persi - someone close to me went through rehab and AA. It is truly amazing the strength it takes to make it sober after a life of using.
I'm proud of you.

September 3rd - today - has a special meaning for me. An anniversary of sorts.
After being married for 5 years, horrible marriage. I made a choice to divorce. Finally. It should have ended much sooner, it should have never started. It was a nightmare marriage and took everything I had to convince myself that I really could make it alone.
Well I did. I filed for divorce, got him out of the house during the time I was looking for a new place, found a job in a new city, packed my ****, and got out of dodge. On September 3rd, I drove 5 hours with a loaded car including my golden retriever, moving truck following somewhere behind and I pulled into my new town, to start my new life, alone.
As I pulled into town, something amazing happened. I had to get to know myself all over again. I didn't know what to do with myself. At the stoplight at the end of town, a song came on the radio. I cried for an hour after. The BoDeans, "Closer to Free". :) That was 7 years ago.
Happy anniversary to both of us for making the RIGHT hard choices.

persiphone_hellecat
09-04-2006, 08:54 AM
Way to go Trish! Happy anniversary to you too! It's a brave thing to start over alone, but I know that every tough moment is one you can really be proud you got through. Keep living for yourself and doing what makes you feel good inside. Persi

Serena Casey
09-04-2006, 09:27 AM
That's wonderful, Persi. My sincere congratulations!

Susie
09-04-2006, 09:33 AM
That is fabulous. Keep up the great work!

TrainofThought
09-04-2006, 09:35 AM
Congratulations! It is a huge achievement of strength. I wish you many more happy and sober years.

clockwork
09-04-2006, 03:42 PM
Wonderful post and truly inspiring. Congratulations, Persi.

alleycat
09-04-2006, 03:43 PM
Congratulations, and best wishes.

ac

Ol' Fashioned Girl
09-04-2006, 04:50 PM
I've got a niece who turned 46 yesterday... she's been through two 30-day, lock down rehabs and still can't let it go. Seeing how hard it is for her, I have to admire anyone who can make it. Hugs, Persi. And congrats. I'm raising my cup of hot tea in a toast to many, many more years of sobriety for you.

Bmwhtly
09-04-2006, 05:01 PM
Congrats persi,
You are a better person than me and you should be.

ChaosTitan
09-04-2006, 05:48 PM
Congratulations, Persi!

Cath
09-04-2006, 06:13 PM
Congratulations Persi, it's a huge achievement worth celebrating.

Perks
09-04-2006, 06:26 PM
Nice one, Pers. I'm impressed and doubly so - excellent telling of a success.

NeuroFizz
09-04-2006, 06:49 PM
Inspiring, Persi. Your message is wonderful for its blunt honesty. It should be broadcast beyond AW.

Kida Adelyne
09-04-2006, 06:58 PM
Congratulations Persi, because it is so much easier to make the wrong decision.
And also to Trish. I admire both of you.

-Ally

GPatten
09-04-2006, 07:10 PM
WOW!

What more can one say?

StoryG27
09-04-2006, 07:11 PM
Persi, congratulations on 10 years! What a huge accomplishment. I have a family member who is addicted to drugs, and watching him relapse time and time again is so disheartening. I can't even imagine the strength and fortitude it has taken to do what you've done.

Trish, good for you and happy anniversary to you too! You made a tough and probably terrifying decision, and it took courage to make your life better. Congratulations on 7 years!

maestrowork
09-04-2006, 08:13 PM
Wonderful and thanks for sharing. Your story is inspiring.

Angela
09-04-2006, 08:22 PM
Congratulations to both Persi and Trish!!! Sometimes finding strength is the hardest thing to do. I admire you both!

allion
09-04-2006, 10:02 PM
A story of strength indeed, Persi. Thank you for sharing with us.

Trish, starting over can be so frightening. You are proof it can be done, and done well.

Best,

Karen

DeborahM
09-04-2006, 10:26 PM
Congrats Persi! What an awesome story of strength! It's amazing what we come across in our lives that make us weak and then later find strength from.

dclary
09-04-2006, 10:52 PM
Congrats, Persi. Cheers!

pconsidine
09-04-2006, 11:51 PM
Reading some of the comments here, this feels like a good place to mention something:

It's not weakness that creates a drinking or drug problem. It's an illness. And while we would share many of the same positive thoughts about someone who beat cancer, we would never consider them weak if the cancer came back.

My sincerest congratulations, Persi. Drug and alcohol addiction isn't easy for anyone and you've done tremendous good by living a clean and sober decade.

Here's to the next one...and the next one after that...and the next...

arrowqueen
09-05-2006, 12:13 AM
Congratulations and well done!

Soccer Mom
09-05-2006, 01:19 AM
There are so many who don't have the fortitude to throw off drugs and alcohol. I knew I liked you for a reason! I'm proud of you. That takes real strength.

SC Harrison
09-05-2006, 02:23 AM
Congrats, Persi. It really is a better world, isn't it?

aadams73
09-05-2006, 02:31 AM
WTG, Persi! That is no small feat :)

billythrilly7th
09-05-2006, 02:40 AM
I can't help think that there's a correlation between your sobriety and the Yankees starting their championship run soon after.

Thank you.

Here's to 10 years of sobriety and the 10 year anniversary of Charlie Hayes catching that pop fly which I know means so much to the both of us.

Well done, persi.
:)

whistlelock
09-05-2006, 02:48 AM
As the member of a family with a long standing tradition of substance abuse, I give you mad props for staying sober.

persiphone_hellecat
09-05-2006, 03:29 AM
I read every post and I am very touched. Thanks to all. Yes, Billy, 96 was a very good year for pinstripes. As will be 06. Magic number ==18. To those of you who are Friends of Bill, congrats go out to you, too. It truly is the fellowship of AA and NA that keeps all of us going. Yes, SC - it really IS a better world - especially knowing that my decision effected the decision of a 10 year old kid who is now a 20 year old drug and alcohol free body ... That is what I'm most proud of. And especially thanks to Pconsidine for pointing out that alcoholism and drug abuse are diseases and we aren't cured but merely in remission. Many people forget that.

Thanks again... The world is a better place through sober eyes. At least it is for me. Persi aka Charie

K1P1
09-05-2006, 07:09 AM
Persie,

I wasn't able to post earlier, but would like to add my accolades to those you've already received. You are an amazing pillar of strength. I know I couldn't have done it and I salute you.

persiphone_hellecat
09-05-2006, 07:21 AM
Nice avi there Maggie... I love the placement of the stars. Thanks .

K1P1
09-05-2006, 07:28 AM
Personally, I like the gun.