Jane: Reclaiming a Life from Alcohol Dependence

A woman shares her story of recovery from marijuana and alcohol use.

Jane C.
West Palm Beach, FL

At the beginning of seventh grade, an older girl asked my good friend and me if we wanted to smoke weed. I jumped at this idea and felt an overwhelming sense of excitement. I wanted to know what it was like. After we smoked, I felt like the sun was shining brighter, I was more confident, and everyone around me, including myself, was hilarious. I loved it.

Things went on like this for quite some time. Sometimes worse, sometimes better. By the time I was in eighth grade, I was an everyday user. Pot was my drug of choice, mostly because it was so easy to get my hands on. This went on for my entire eighth grade year, which resulted in me failing that grade. I was able to move on to high school because of my test scores. By the middle of freshman year I was so out of control that I began drinking alone on a regular basis.

Numerous times, my father tried to explain to me to be careful with alcohol because his father had died due to alcoholism. I listened, but blew it off as something only old people had to deal with. I was young, all my friends were doing it, so obviously there was nothing wrong. Suddenly, I’m in the emergency room with my mother. I was belligerent, rude, sloppy, and embarrassing. I was yelling at my mother so much that the police had to separate us because I was scaring the other patients. I wound up being sent to outpatient treatment and during this time I had no contact with my friends. I graduated from my treatment and was sober for about a month and half before I relapsed with my old friends.

Starting my sophomore year I had a two-year period of sobriety, while I attended a recovery high school. But a number of things happened that I did not have the tools to cope with: my house was foreclosed, my boyfriend and I broke up, the relationship with my father ended horribly, along with many other things. All of this piled up and ended with me drinking again. This quickly spiraled into me drinking every day and ending up in jail. I drank in the morning, on the job, I was drinking constantly. I can vividly recall the feeling of sheer horror and panic when I felt the alcohol leaving my system. It became a mad rush to see who could go to the liquor store for me. I knew I was obsessed and out of control, but I did not care. Finally, everything came to a head when I ended up in a crack house in north Minneapolis because I was desperate for somewhere to drink. It was terrifying, and I hid in the bathroom with my bottle for most of the day. I agreed to go back to treatment.

Soon I found the sponsor who I have now, and we dove into the steps. I returned to a recovery high school and nine months later I’m graduating…on time! I never in a million years thought that would happen. I have the same sense of accomplishment I felt after getting my first six months sober. But instead of pride, there is gratitude.

Last Updated: 12/18/2015