by Bree L

During the pandemic, Laurie realized how bad her drinking was. Every night she’d drink, feel good for a brief time, pass out, wake up in the middle of the night feel remorse and say, “I’m never going to do this again.” Then she would repeat the exact same cycle, again and again.

She started out with wine, moved to hard liquor, then back to wine, but always drinking more than she’d planned. She began with cans of wine and graduated to two small single bottles of wine from the liquor store, to control her drinking. The quantity turned into the same as half a bottle, much the same as before.

She talked with a therapist all through these tribulations, saw it was getting worse and tried to figure out remedies. She tried group therapy, a harm reduction group. Throughout, she was trying to avoid AA, saying to herself, anything but AA. She could not say she was an alcoholic. Then when the pandemic hit, she’d done everything she could and realized she couldn’t hide from herself anymore. She googled “AA.”

Always drinking more than she’d planned

“I need help,” she told the woman on the phone. The kind woman asked, “Do you want to go to a meeting?” She explained there were meetings on Zoom and how to find them. Laurie started attending AA meetings. It was easier to attend Zoom meetings as she didn’t have to dress and could appear as she wanted. Meanwhile, she looked at all the little boxes and started listening.

a daily group felt like home

It was a blur in the beginning as she went to many different meetings at different times of the day. She went before work, during lunch hour, after work and found relief.  She watched people clap and smile, and felt the support, knowing she was in the right place. She listed her number in the chat. People called her. Why would they call me, she wondered? One woman arranged an outside conversation and Laurie decided they could work together.

A few weeks later Laurie relapsed. Her new friend said she might not be ready, and they separated. She took to heart what the woman had said about being ready but kept going to meetings. She continually asked herself if she ready or not. Over time, she became less disoriented, foggy, and approached someone else who regularly spoke with knowledge at her meetings. That person became her sponsor.

Returning to the same meetings as best as one could

She’d heard the term “home group” and realized it meant returning to the same meetings as best as one could. She hooked up with a daily group and this felt like home. The faces became familiar, and she was able to meet them in the outside world. She felt like she was being carried by the people in the Zoom boxes. It just took a while to see how much they were carrying her. She thought she needed in-person meetings until she realized there was a way to connect between phone calls and meetings. Her sobriety date is August 15, 2020. She now has one year and two weeks.

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