My Success Story
My name is Dianne.
I’m an alcoholic addict. My sobriety date is 1/25 /11. I was hopelessly lost in my addictions, my life was out of control and unmanageable. I wasn’t far from death - physical, mental, and spiritual. I had a little disbelief in what I was. I didn’t recognize my behaviors or tendencies, or that drugs and alcohol the great escape, were bad for me, or why I did what I did. The program and all of the loving people in it showed me the way to meet the wall of addiction head on, embrace what I had, and to jump over the wall to make good choices. Thanks to all of them at Curran and Seeley I now live a sober happy aware life, day by day. I’m so grateful for today and the chance with this new day to make good choices. I choose life, and with the grace of God I’ll do just that! I’m happy!!!!!!!
Thank you so much everyone at Curran and Seeley!!!
Love and great thanks everyone, Dianne
Reprinted from “Recovery Month Website 2014”
Drinking was everything to me. It cured my anxiety, animated me, and was the mortar to my many cracks.
It started right away, this love affair. From the very first drink, as that warm confidence slipped through my veins, and I thought: so THIS is how normal people feel.
I could not imagine a life without alcohol. It was my everything – until it ripped me apart.
My recovery journey began in 2007 after a 30-day rehab stay. Going back to my regular life was the hardest thing I have ever done. How to be a mom without wine? How to socialize without my liquid courage? How to figure out who I am and what I want from life?
Day by day, my real self emerged. I got through unimaginably hard times without my liquid crutch: the sudden death of my dad, cancer. More importantly, I learned to navigate everyday life totally present through every emotion: boredom, resentment, anger, sadness, joy, celebration.
I have found my heart song in recovery. I started a non-profit, Shining Strong (http://shiningstrong.org), and its mission is to reach out to those still struggling and celebrate recovery. Because we do recover. We heal. We find ourselves. We learn to sit through every emotion, resist the urge to alter or numb our feelings.
I laugh today, right from my heart. I don’t shape shift to please people. I cry real, genuine tears, not drunken, self-centered crocodile tears.
I have found the peace, love, and acceptance in recovery that I searched for years for at the bottom of a glass.
Common Symptoms During Recovery
Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome (PAWS)
Recovery from alcohol and drug use causes multiple symptoms. Known as post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS), the symptoms affect many people in the early phases of abstinence from numerous substances. PAWS differs from individual to individual because it has a direct correlation with the intensity and duration of one’s substance use. Symptoms may flare up and subside in a tidal like fashion. These symptoms include impairments in energy, concentration, attention span, memory, sleep, appetite, and mood—most commonly anxiety, irritability, anger, and depression.
Psychoactive drugs change the chemistry of the brain. One of the consequences of active addiction is lower levels of dopamine in the brain. Dopamine is the neurotransmitter responsible for producing highs that drive us to repeat a behavior and plays a part in mood regulation. In active addiction, the brain’s natural reward system becomes impaired and one’s ability to cope with stress is undermined. In the early stages of recovery dopamine and endorphin levels remain low. Low levels of dopamine create a biochemically-based depression. It can take between four weeks to two years for the brain to manufacture enough endorphins and dopamine to replenish its inventory of these vital chemicals.