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Thread: Three Years

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2013

    Default Three Years

    Happy Three Years to me..

    Today I hit three years of sobriety from drinking. Iím not sure how much of this I can write because life is full and I must get on but Iíll be honest Iíve woken up before six am to go woot woo itís my birthday.
    Itís been quite the journey. I started off my recovery going to AA meetings for my eating problems in Malaysia where I was living at the time. I had tried to give up drinking quite a few times unsuccessfully and had family and friends question my drinking, but mostly I liked to drink alone. Anyhow, I ended up I AA for a year, it was many things, frustrating, fun, irritating, supportiveÖ One thing it did do was give me somewhere to go on a daily basis. Food in Asia is cheap and I dined with these guys almost everyday for a year. After that year, I became quite disillusioned Ė or should I say more? It wasnít for me anymore but unfortunately I didnít piece that together for another ten months.

    A little bit before Christmas, whilst having a naughty read of the Orange Papers, I came across a link for SMART. I clicked through and I am so glad I did. Probably one of the most important things I have done in my life online. Backing up a bit, I had always had issues with food. I remember being a Rainbow Ė the junior junior Girl Guides making me about seven or so, when my mum found a small suitcase in my wardrobe FULL of all of the food wrappers I had been stealing and eating and hiding, and I got grounded from Rainbows that night. And so began years of stealing food from home, or money from mym Mumís purse or Dadís wallet to go out and buy food and sneak it back in to the house. I got picky, would only eat certain things and refused to eat with the rest of the family as a teenager. I got bigger and bigger although inevitably one looks back at photos and realizes that I was never as fat as I imagined.

    When I was a teenager alcohol came a long and I thought that was just great, it was grown up and got you wasted. I loved getting drunk. Although what I didnít like was the IMENSE hangovers I had pretty much from the get go. Nearly everytime I got drunk I would spend the next day vomiting and vomiting. Mercifully I never learnt that drinking more might have stopped my hideous hangovers.
    Time went on and drugs came in, weed was my favourite. I looked in the mirror one day and hated myself so much, all of the berating about how **** I was, and I resolved to eat as little as possible and exercise as much as I could. I had moved out of home by then. I smoked weed almost daily from the first try. I loved it and better still my eating behviours loved it more. Hungry? Just smoke a joint. I lost a lot of weight in a matter of month. I got more attention from boys, I continued to drink for a while but even I reailised that it was becoming dangerous as I had nothing in my stomach and I was all about giving up the calories so even drinking went in order for me to smoke and starve. I went on like this for a year. I started getting comments about Ė hadnít I lost enough weight now etc etc, binge eating reared itís heard and before I knew it a few years later I ballooned back up to overweight with a big weed and alcohol problem. I used to get signed off work by my doctor for stress sometimes and just sit in my flat and get high and drink and eat **** for two weeks without speaking to ANYONE. I would take the SIM and battery out of my phone so no one could call and the battery out of my door bell so I couldnít hear the few people that still came round ringing.

    I had my first contact with drug services then. I was so embarrassed to go to the drugs project services with Ďjustí a weed addiction. I was mortified. To this day I think coming off weed was one of the hardest things I have had to do. I was alone in my dirty flat, essentially white knukling it and not knowing anything about recovery, if or when anything would get any better, I used to have awful vivid dreams about burglers and vampires and generally was a paranoid mess. The tiping point for me giving up weed was a promotion at work to a new team. In case anyone was worried though Ė donít worry I DRUNK through it instead. So the drugs project gave me some counseling, herbal tea and accupunture and in about a year I had ceased to think about it daily.

    By this time I had moved in with a friend. WE both drank but eventually he told me I had to stop drinking in his house or leave. I stopped for a while then left. After all, on of the many things that alcohol helped me to do was have a Ďrelationshipí with a guy who used to do things I hated to me during sex. I pretended to enjoy it because I was lonely and wanted him to love me and I thought by allowing him to do things to me that I was very uncomfortable with he would love me too. It goes to note here that he didnít know I didnít like it, I pretended to enjoy it and drank to get through it knowing I would get a cuddle at the end which is all I had wanted in the first place.

    I ended up with an EXCELLENT job, best paid in my family. The first two weeks I started I went out and got so drunk that I passed out in the middle of the street alone with Ė and I over heard the pparamedic and vaguely remember Ė a group of men trying to take me home with them. Thankfully a passer by called an ambulance and that was my only hospitailisation. Then I got fired. On the spot. I never drank AT work or BEFORE work but I think I was hungover a lot and generally incapable of doing my work. So I took what money I had and moved to Indonesia. There I drank more sectretly due to the culture, and puked into squat toilets instead of western ones. I had had some contact with Overeaters Anonomous OA before and when I was living in Malaysia I was so desperately unhappy with my ballooning weight that I went along for support. And the rest is as above, I realized that alcohol was and has always been an issue, all be it a more back seat to my eating, I was never going to get any sobriety with my eating if I was still drinking.

    So I stopped drinking and argued about theology for a year. In this time my eating got worse, I would yo yo and learnt about purging which I did on and off. So last Christmas, when I joined SMART I looked to address my eating. Itís not been easy, and itís still very much a work in progress much more so than the drinking or weed ever was. I read something I liked the other day about even using the word abstinence for food recovery. What I try and achieve is very regular exercise Ė Muay Thai was the best thing to happen to my eating, finding an exercise that I enjoy, and eating at mealtimes, at the moment being back in the UK after four years away is hard sometimes but Iímm getting there. On Monday I got offered a place at college, got a job and bought a car so that was a good day. I am starting college in September and my new job starts on Monday. Tonight I am taking my parents out for dinner as they have been very suuupportive and this morning my sister had mafe me a card.. After I post this I will go and make breakfast for her and the kids before going over to my Aunts house to do some decorating, at lunch time I have a date with a guy I met online so itís just one of those first meet u coffee things and then I will go out with mum and dad in the evening. And thatís just how I roll in sobriety..

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2004


    HAPPY THREE YEARS TO YOU!!!! Indeed!!!

    What an amazing, beautiful, terrible, but most of all INSPIRING story PaperChain. Wow. Thank you so much.


  3. #3
    LMR555's Avatar
    LMR555 is offline Former SMART Super Moderator
    Former SMART MB Liaison
    Former SMART Online Facilitator
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Southwest Fl


    Woot Woot!!! Awesome. Thank you for sharing.

    Congrats to you!!!

    "Discover the Power of Choice!"

    ďThe best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.Ē Ė Chinese Proverb

    Join the team as a SMART Message Board Volunteer!! It can encourage growth and joy. Or support with a donation

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2014


    Congrats to you!!!!

  5. #5
    Shari's Avatar
    Shari is offline Former SMART Recovery Executive Director
    Join Date
    Sep 2003


    Well done, Paperchain! And thanks for volunteering and "giving back" to what helped you to benefit others!

    Take a moment today to thank one of the SMART Online Volunteers who has been helpful to you. It'll bring a smile to both of you.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    smack dab where Time begins


    What a journey you have had. It is so cool to see how far and how complex that journey was that led to what has been a grand beginning the past three years. I say beginning as you have so much more now in your possible futures.

    Your work, your accomplishments, good on you!
    Wherever you go, there you are

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2014


    congratulations on 3 years. You are beautiful.
    Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin. Mother Teresa

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2014


    PC, Congratulations on your many successes and thanks for sharing your story, it's inspiring!
    "There is nobody on the planet...who doesnít have what it takes to wake up" Pema ChŲdrŲn

  9. #9


    Congrats! Very inspirational

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Western Shore Maryland


    Beautiful Paper Chain ,and love your photographs . I'm at 3.5 years myself after years of trying ,and then SMART had the right program for me. Intensely practical!
    been really busy raising a puppy,but now back in a workable routine and will spend more time here.
    Hugs Erin-mo
    Free since 11/23/11

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