Hope for a life worth living

My name is Jessica and I am an alcoholic. Becoming an alcoholic was the last thing I wanted. After all, my mother was the alcoholic I blamed for my messed-up life.

My childhood was marked by insecurity, fear and violence. I was never allowed to meet my father, a soldier stationed in Germany. I have no emotional ties to my little brother’s father. What I experience are quarrels, loss of the apartment, a Messi-like chaos at home.

That these conditions are not normal, I perceive consciously, when I come into the elementary school. From then on, I am consumed by envy of the other children who seem to have a dream home and do completely different things with their parents than I do. I spend evenings in the pub with my mother and brother. While she gets drunk, we play billiards or darts. Everybody knows us there. One thing I swear to myself is never to become an alcoholic!

After my mother stops working, things get worse for me at home. At 10, I’m already doing the shopping, running errands to the bank, and keeping things in order at home. Partly I am disgusted to have to live in such conditions. Meanwhile, I get bullied at school for living in public housing. I get violent migraine attacks, which give me the reason not to go to school anymore. If that doesn’t work, I just play hooky. It won’t be noticeable anyway, since my mother doesn’t attend class meetings.

When I come home one day and our apartment has already been almost completely cleared out by a bailiff and his entourage, and my mother responds by threatening to kill herself, I go out for the first time specifically to get drunk.

I hate my life. I hate being constantly afraid of my mother and her outbursts of hitting and trashing my room. I then spend the night cleaning up the mess in my room, I am not allowed to go to bed before that. I hate being afraid, of her, of whether we will still have a home tomorrow ….. I just hate everything and everyone.

From the first sip I feel different, better. I finally don’t feel weak anymore. From that day on, I’m boozing every weekend and at every available opportunity. My mother doesn’t care much. I hardly go to school anymore. I also start using drugs and find my drug in speed. I drop out of school, get pregnant at 18 and become a mother at 19. I manage to stop during pregnancy and think that the love for my son will keep me clean and sober. Unfortunately, this is not the case. After weaning I immediately start drinking wine by the bottle again. This is also the start with drugs again.

Even when my son was taken away from me at 23, this did not stop my consumption. On the contrary. Only a violent conflict with my partner forces me to move back in with my mother on the sofa. We get me a place in detox, followed by transitional facility, therapy and BWG.

When I’m out of care and run off to the next man, it all starts over again. I think I just don’t want to stop, but if I really wanted to, I could. What a fatal fallacy.

Having always felt unloved and unwanted, I always needed a partner by my side. I fled from partner to partner, from city to city, but nothing helped. Needless to say, everyone was just as, if not more, addicted than I was. This always gave me a reason to think that my own consumption was not as bad as that of my partners.

My last partnership then led me to heroin. Since my partner was on the needle and I “only” pulled it, I thought it wasn’t so bad here either, until I experienced my first real withdrawal. The trap had been sprung.

I owe it to my last partner that I got the will or better the willingness to change something. Just before Easter I got a call from his father that he had tried to kill himself while he was with his family. It was just before Easter and my son was visiting me. I was totally dense when I got the call, but at the same time had the clearest moment I’ve had in years. I knew if I didn’t change something now, I might as well kill myself. OR get my ass into the meetings I learned about during my therapy.

I didn’t want to die. It was very clear, I had to go to meetings. So I detoxed at home (which I don’t recommend to anyone) and dragged my sweating yet shaking body to a meeting every day. No matter how I felt, sometimes even twice a day, because that was the only thing that kept me from drinking again and then starting the cycle all over again.

The best decision for me was to get a sponsor and go to a group where people seem to be happy. And that’s what I found the Young People Group. It is my second home, without which I would not be alive today. I am now almost 5 years sober and clean, which is a miracle. Day by day. I was allowed to know myself as I am without alcohol and drugs. My son got to see me sober for the first time when he was 12 and since then he has had a stable mother who is reliable and just there for him. I was able to let go of hating my mother and today have a loving mom that I wanted so much back then. At 33, I started an apprenticeship and successfully completed it. These are all things I would never have thought possible and it’s all based on daily referrals, my home group, my sponsor, my service, the Alcoholics Anonymous program. Today, I can say that without resentment towards my mother or myself.

I finally understand what I never understood in the past. What life can really feel like. I no longer hate life or feel punished by life. Life just wants to be lived and with my group and program I can do that.

My name is Jessica and I am an alcoholic.