My spiritual awakening occurred in a marriage counselor’s office in Spring 2018.
My husband and I were attending counseling together, and things weren’t going well. I felt like nothing was getting better, and like I was being blamed for all the problems in our marriage. I didn’t like our therapist, so I never expected her to give me a message that would forever change my life.
At the end of the appointment, she looked at us and said, “Look, nothing is ever going to change for either of you until you quit drinking, because you are both alcoholics.” This wasn’t the first time I had been told I needed to stop drinking. My doctor had been trying to get me to stop for years, and I was seeing an addiction counselor and still, I could not stop. Her words hit me. A light finally went on, and I thought to myself, “It’s time.”
You see, I had been committing suicide on an installment plan for over 20 years. I was in a toxic marriage that was killing my spirit and self-esteem, and I drank lots of wine and vodka to numb myself enough to stay with him. Something in the therapist’s words inspired me to take a leap of faith. I don’t think it was a coincidence that I was in that room to hear that message. My higher power was speaking through her, and I was ready to listen.
The next day, I went into work and told my boss that I needed to take a leave of absence. I came clean with him, and he couldn’t have been more supportive. I am so lucky as I have always had a very close and trustworthy group of friends and family that love me and want me to be healthy.
I had heard about Mountainside through my therapist, and she encouraged me to go there. I loved the mind-body-spirit aspect of their program . I flourished under the guidance I received in treatment. Something about the group of women that were in residence at that moment was magical as well. We were women from all backgrounds and all ages, but we gelled as a group.
I learned so much. It was like being in a cocoon. But I kept hearing that when I left Mountainside, nothing would be different except for me. I knew that I would never stay sober if I went back to my home, so I decided to go to sober living. I signed up with Aware Recovery Care for extra support. I attend AA meetings, have a wonderful sponsor, and have stayed in touch with Mountainside by attending events put on by the alumni association.
I have gone through some major changes in my life since getting sober. The biggest was leaving my marriage. When I got sober, I realized that I could not continue to suffer verbal and emotional abuse any longer. I am living in a great place now, and while I miss my marital home, I certainly don’t miss the drama, stress, and alcohol. Honestly, there have been some hard times, but it’s nothing I’m going to drink over. I have a wonderful support system to reach out to for any reason at any time.
On June 10th, 2023, I celebrated five years of sobriety.
In closing, while that marriage therapist did not help to save my marriage, I was meant to be there so that I could hear my higher power speak through her, and that saved my life. For that, I am forever grateful, and now that I have found sobriety, forever hopeful.