Hi, I am an alcoholic and an addict, my name and my problem is Michelle. I am fifty years old so I have a long story, but I will try and not bore you! I grew up in a very Italian household, my grandfather had a wine cellar and of course I drank wine at a very young age. (This was my excuse for a long time-I’m Italian, of course I drink!). The very first time I drank with peers, it was at a slumber party at 9. All the little girls drank till they were buzzed, I drank till I puked!! My family moved around a lot, I went to 4 different high schools. One was in Venezuela where I found the best pot, cocaine and all the pills you could want and of course alcohol. My life was a big party. I went to the University of Florida because it was the number one party school in the country and it was for me! I had graduated high school in 73–Marijuana, LSD, we’re the class of ’73! And I graduated college in 1977. I always say, “if you remember the 70’s you weren’t there!”
I was a teacher and my getting high and drunk never stopped, it only escalated. One day, after snorting mass quantities of coke, I drove my car into a ditch and had a seizure. I was sweaty, bloody and trying to put my car in reverse for a very long time. I would not get out of the car for my husband, but I did for the cops! I woke up in the hospital with a doctor telling me the next time he saw me I would be on a slab. I went to rehab and I was clean for 8 years… I was in the middle of the program. I LOVED IT–chairing, relay, working at intergroup , being a GSR. I was the perfect little Mrs. AA. I had 2 great boys and my life was a vacation. Until my husband went to prison and destroyed my life. (That’s another BIG story). Within a short period I was taking 35 Valium a day and drinking. I went back to rehab, and was clean for another 7 1/2 years. I had my beautiful daughter and my life was busy and great. My program was strong, too. Fifteen years ago, while at school, a sign fell on my foot and broke all five toes. I went to the ER; the doctor said he had to give me something for pain. I said, “No, I’m in recovery”. He said “How’s 40 Vicodin?” I had every intention of giving them to my husband to be taken as prescribed and I walked into my bedroom and my closet and I hid them.
This began 15 years of doctor shopping, lying, and sneaking. I went through 22 rehabs–from the best, to the county. My family hated me and I didn’t care. I was helicoptered from my son’s FSU graduation as I OD’d; I was in rehab for 4 months and drank on the flight home. I had a stroke due to a brain aneurysm from snorting. I finally got a DUI. I drank before teaching and was caught at a 7-11 while guzzling by the assistant principal who was buying a pack of gum. Nine months ago after yet another detox, I found Destination Hope.
I don’t know whether it was the counselors, the place, the people or the combination, but the magic returned. My enthusiasm for recovery is as it was 31 years ago. I am proud of the time I have clean instead of always beating myself up for all the relapses. I am grateful to Destination Hope for helping me. The staff really cares about the addict and gives their all to encourage growth and reflection. The experience of being with all women is a key factor. It works and believe me I have seen too many places that don’t work. DH gave me a start to a new life and that life is filled with recovery, family, God, and DH ALUMNI!