The Power of Acceptance: Embracing Change for a Brighter Future
Ellen is now working on her second year in recovery, one day at a time
My name is Ellen and I am an alcoholic. Last week I turned 70 years old. A few days later I had the greatest honour by celebrating my first AA Birthday! Who ever would think I would be an elder and a toddler at the same time? Indeed, recovery is possible. The surprise gifts of life!
In retrospect (hindsight is always 20/20), I have always dealt with alcohol and substance abuse as I sought out the non-existent comfort zone I craved. As a "functional alcoholic" for many years, the drinking continued and increased as I got older and had to deal with life.
When I was 62 I retired from my career and sold my home. I moved to Panama to follow my dream. With no structure to monitor me along with lots of drinking everywhere around me, the beast of alcoholism dug its claws in. Over the next 7 years, I was in a desperate downward spiral. I reached the point where I had to drink throughout the night and again first thing in the morning just to "stabilize" myself. There was no relief or comfort ever. I lived in a world of shame, regret, tears, and depression.
I felt terror with the realization my body and spirit were dying. Hopeless and desperate, I knew I was an alcoholic and I was going to die. A change was necessary, but I felt so vulnerable. I could barely walk. My entire body was shutting down.
Through all of this, is the blessing of being in a community with a residential treatment center and an active AA group! I spent 45 days in Serenity Vista beginning my recovery. I was safe and monitored, (as well as confronted) by an amazing group of therapists. I began to eat and move again while putting the pieces of my life together. Now the pieces are in a new order with new priorities!
Today I look and feel like a different person. The lights are back on in my eyes. I am working the steps and I feel pleasure each morning. Waking up to a new day with no shame or regrets, I have a clarity that I treasure.
I am so grateful for Serenity Vista and my new AA Family which supports me as I move forward. What an amazing gift! My sobriety is the most important thing in my life. Recovery is possible - at any age!
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