HELEN'S Story 

“I was 47 when I suffered my first heart attack. I knew I had to change the way I was living or I would die. I didn’t go to the doctor. I went to my first AA meeting.

I didn’t drink heavily everyday, but when I did drink I drank to black-out. I wanted Scotty to beam me up and out of here. If I didn’t black out I felt like I wasted a whole lot of time and money. I got to where I couldn’t sleep until I drank a pint of scotch. I got a new boyfriend who had 20 years sobriety in AA, so I hid my booze from him and after he left my place I would pull it out of hiding. He didn’t have a clue… until I couldn’t stand it anymore and I wanted desperately to go have a good, long black out.

That’s when I had my heart attack. It scared the beegeebees out of me. When I went to my first AA meeting I still wasn’t sure I was an alcoholic, but I wanted to find out. They gave me a Big Book and told me to read it, so I did. (Sometimes I do what I’m told.) I read pg 32 where it said something about if you’re not sure you’re an alcoholic try going to a bar several times and see if you can just drink one or two drinks on a regular basis. If you can’t, then you’re an alcoholic. I didn’t have to try that. I already had. I had broke numerous promises over the years by saying I was only going to have a couple of drinks and then leave. I always had every good intention of doing just that, but good intentions fly right out the window after an alcoholic has that first drink. I knew right then and there I was an alcoholic.

I wasn’t too sure I could go the rest of my life without a drink. That took me some getting use to. Even though I grew up in a family that taught me how to have a lot of fun without the aid of alcohol, I suffer from a metabolic disorder besides alcoholism, so I have anxiety problems associated with that. The alcohol helped calm that down and let me rest. I still couldn’t imagine not being able to drink to calm my nerves. But, someone in that first meeting said “Just do the best you can one day at a time.” And that’s what I have done for over 6 years now.

I have been through the death of my brother whom I was close to, the long lingering illness of a boyfriend, two relationship break-ups, ill health myself, and 2 major job losses and I have been able to stay sober through them all with the help of my higher power and by following the 12-steps program that AA offers.

When my anxiety kicks up, I get feeling sorry for myself, or I get feeling like life sucks my sponsor showed me what I have to do. I go to meetings and/or I meditate. It works every time. With the help of my fellow alcoholics we are able to stay sober no matter what.

And life just keeps getting better and better all the time.

I currently have a job that I love writing from home. I have a new, wonderful boyfriend who is 23 years sober. And I have some of the best friends a person could find who love me no matter what, unlike my fair weather friends I had while I was drinking.

Sobriety really is rebirth to a new and better life.”

  • Black Facebook Icon
  • Black Twitter Icon
  • Black Instagram Icon
  • Black LinkedIn Icon

Addiction Recovery Research Center

Fralin Biomedical Research Institute

2 Riverside Circle

Roanoke, VA  24016


Phone: 540-315-0205

Email: iqrr@vtc.vt.edu

Media Inquiries:

John Pastor, FBRI Director of Communications

Phone: 540-526-2222

Email: jdpastor@vt.edu

Terms of Use

Please do not create multiple accounts on IQRR. If you have forgotten any of your information, you can email us. To see additional terms of use click here.

© 2019 by the Addiction Recovery Research Center. Proudly created with Wix.com