The Good Time
I would show up at group therapy when I felt like it, spend a few minutes in group, then sit in the bathroom drinking. I wasn't working, I was still living at my mother's, and I was so full of pain and anger.
One day, I picked up an AA pamphlet that was sitting on a table in the group room. I was about to toss it when a counselor approached me. She asked me if I had any questions about AA. We sat and talked for a little while. Then she gave me a listing of all of the meetings in my area.
I was so nervous about going. But I went. The counselor I spoke with made it seem like AA could save me.
I found a sponsor and got sober. I started attending meetings. I made friends. Not destructive ones, but people I could actually trust. People who I could relate to, at least on a certain level. People who showed me how to enjoy life without drinking.
I talked at length with my sponsor about my drinking, and just touched on the other things. I hinted at some abuse. She never pushed me to tell her everything, but she made it clear that I could talk to her about anything I needed to.
I hesitated, because I felt so dirty that I thought I'd scare her away or disgust her. I didn't want to lose her.
But we became close. We did things together. Bowling, out to lunch, over at her house, just to "hang out." It was all so different, and I loved my new life.
I also got a job at a nursing home, and became a CNA. I loved the work, taking care of the elderly. I felt like I mattered, that I could help others, that I was needed and valued.
Slowly, I regained a sense of confidence. My urges to SI slowly lessened, and I was able to stop giving in to them. I stopped feeling so worthless and stopped planning suicide.
All the stuff-the abuse, the pain, the anger, still stewed inside of me, but somehow it lost its power over me a little bit. I resolved things a little in my mind, but I don't think I've ever totally resolved any of it. Maybe just come to terms with some of it. Maybe not. Even so, I felt better about MYSELF.
I moved into an apartment with a friend I'd met who was in AA. Finally being out of my mother's house did much to boost my self confidence. I felt like I hadn't felt in years. Not since before I turned 10.
I celebrated a year sober, and then I decided to make a change in my life. My job was only part time, with a long wait for full time status. So I looked into my other options.
There were few job opportunities where I lived. I wasn't anywhere near ready to try college again. Then I thought about my grandfather, and how he loved his service in the Navy. So I joined.
I was guaranteed a job, but I was looking for a career. Also, I would get away from my mother, and my father, and all the other "stuff." I was sober, and felt confident that my sobriety was strong. My friends threw me a going away party. Then I was off.
Bootcamp was easy for me, after I got past the first two days. I was far from athletic, but surprisingly I made it through all of the physical aspects, like running, push ups, sit ups, and so on. The day I graduated was a very proud day for me.
A month of leave time was next, and then I was off to my Navy A school. The base in Norfolk, Virginia, was really big. There was lots to do and see, and it was very exciting.
My schooling was a bit like college, but with uniforms and military regulations. Which was fine with me, because I loved wearing my uniform. It gave me such a sense of pride. We had day classes, then we were off for the rest of the day and the weekends. Occasionally, we had some sort of guard duty, but I didn't mind that. I kind of liked it.
The first couple of weeks of school were great.