Josie’s story

At age 35 l discovered wine and loved the feeling it gave me, it made me feel calm and relaxed and easy to cope with my 2 young daughters. Before long l was drinking daily, constantly planning my next drink and hiding empty casks so my family didn't know when l drank or the amount. I began morning drinking to stop the tremors and just to make me feel normal, it was totally out of control, often l was drunk by 10am. l constantly drove drunk and tuned up to work drunk (when l didn't take a sickie) my life was totally out of control and l didn't know how to stop or where to turn, my 'yets' were all lined up in a neat little row (yet to lose my licence, yet to lose my family and yet to lose my job) and still l drank.

l was isolating myself totally, cancelling meeting's with friends, not going on family outing's so l could stay home and drink. After cancelling yet another coffee with my best friend of 38 years+ she said she'd never see me again, our friendship was over. l was devastated, went straight to her house and finally said the words "l'm an alcoholic, l drink all day l don't know how to stop". She had no idea!, together we looked up rehab's, rang one and booked and assessment. When l told my husband he just said "thank God". Two weeks later l was a patient and stayed the 28 days. l learnt so much about myself, about alcoholism, about AA, about recovery and living one day at a time

At first when l returned home to my family, fear kept me sober, l was terrified at what would happen if l picked up a drink again. l changed many things, l got off night shift (a big trigger for me), went to bed early, lived one day at a time (sometimes one hour at a time) and kept busy. l practiced mindfulness, meditated and said a daily gratitude list. l was completely honest with my family and close friends. l attended the rehab outpatient program at least x3 weekly and 3 AA meetings a week. l decided to go back to school and study, this kept me focused and gave me purpose and because l was studying Alcohol and other Drugs it was a constant reminder of why l wanted a sober life.

Being in recovery means l can have my life back, it is everything to me, my recovery comes first and foremost. It means l am reliable, I do what l say l'm going to do, l'm completely free to be who l am and to live the best life l possibly can. l'm happier now than l have ever been and feel each day sober is a blessing, l'm so very grateful for every moment.

After being sober almost a year the Manager of the rehab l went to and where l was still attending outpatient groups asked me if l would like to work there..WOW..l was absolutely blown away. l have been working there a little over 3 years now and absolutely love my job (l'd be there as a volunteer, but l get paid!) Slowly l have been given extra responsibilities and feel a real part of the team and a valued staff member. My family are very proud of me and support me totally, my two teenage daughters and husband openly admire me and we speak honestly and openly about my alcoholism, my life is fantastic!