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 many symptoms. These occur as the body attempts to repair the brain and other organs. Known as post acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS), the symptoms often start 7 to 14 days after stopping alcohol and drug use. They peak over the next 3 to 6 months. If you want to have long-term recovery, you must learn how to manage these symptoms.
Some of the common symptoms are:
Inability to think clearly - May have trouble with problem solving and concentration.
Memory problems - Forgetful and not able to remember recent things.
Emotions are over-active or numb - Emotions are out of proportion to the event. May lose control and do something rash or impulsive. May have emotions shut down and feel numb. May have mood swings.
Sleep problems - Trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, or waking early. May have changes in sleep patterns. May have dreams, often about using, that disrupt sleep.
Coordination problems - Dizziness, trouble with balance, problems with hand and eye coordination, reflexes slow causing person to be clumsy and prone to accidents.
Symptoms may worsen during times of high stress and often occur at set times. For alcohol dependence there seem to be cycles of symptoms. The cycles happen around 30, 60, 90, 120 and 180 days, and around the one and two year marks of sobriety. Even with treatment, the body needs at least one year to return to normal physical functions. Brain functions and emotions may take at least two years to return to normal.
Long-term users of opiate pain killers, stimulants like cocaine and amphetamines, and benzodiazipines like Valium or Klonopin are on different cycles when they stop using. They may have symptoms for up to 10 years.
Awareness of your own symptoms is the first step to managing them. Talk to your counselor or doctor about ways you can manage them effectively.