June 21st, 2014 was the day I took my last alcoholic beverage.
I was finally defeated by my circumstances, by my bottle of booze and had hit rock bottom.
I had no other option, or at least I saw none other than death, that would free me from the bondage I felt I was in, as a result of my alcohol addiction.
It was time for a change, I longed for something different, I longed to live.
I walked into the room where Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) Gaborone met, unsure what it would do for me and my desire to stop drinking but I had heard about AA being a place I could go to get help, so being without any other options, I decided to go there.
This was and still remains the best decision of my life.
I would go to AA meetings, twice a week attending all the meetings there were to attend.
At the meetings, I learned about myself, about my disease and most refreshingly, about people who had lived for years, without something I could not go more than a few days without.
Most alarming to me at the time, was the fact that these people I looked up to who had lived without alcohol, and were happy while doing it, had once been as hopeless as I was at the time.
I am an alcoholic and an addict (I was also addicted to crack cocaine) you see; something that I will never be cured of I have learned since going into recovery ( a term used for active addicts when they start living a life that doesn’t include the daily or regular use of the substance they are addicted to).
While I might not ever be cured of being an addict or like someone who takes a pain killer is cured of pain, I am free from the prison that I was locked in since I stopped actively using crack and drinking booze.
I am a recovering alcoholic and addict and this is something that I would not be able to say were it not for the lessons I not only learned but applied.
In addition to my weekly sit-ins at AA meetings, I asked someone who had more experience living a sober life in AA, to be my sponsor.
An AA sponsor is someone who partners with another alcoholic and guides them through the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous which are a set of guiding principles outlining a course of action for recovery from addiction.
I met with her once a week and checked in with her daily, did the work I was expected to do.
I had nothing constructive to do with my time when I decided that I needed help quitting crack and dropping the bottle; so I tried to fill my time with AA, counseling and other things that I heard might help me get better.
By the time I decided to seek and stick to the help, I was unemployed.
I also started going to BOSASNet for further support, where I was given a counselor to work with.
It was hard staying stopped from my substances, but one thing I now know for sure is that knowing that it was possible, that people from AA in Gaborone and all over the world had actually quit and stayed quit.
It gave me hope and courage to try again.
I have been sober since June 21st, 2014.
It’s my new birthday….I celebrate this day more than the day my mother gave birth to me because this is the day I became free.
I am employed now, I drive a car (it’s a beat up car, but it’s a car nonetheless) and I have relationships with my partner, children, and parents that are not based on fear.
I can look myself in the mirror, there was a time I couldn’t do this at all.
I laugh and enjoy being alive.
I will always be grateful for the help I received from AA. Without it, I might be dead.
I still go for check-in every now and again, but the AA tools I have been given and I actually applied, also acted like wings they clipped on me so that I could fly.
I am a forever grateful recovering alcohol and crack addict.
One who knows I couldn’t be here without the help of people who God put in my path. ~Phoenix Rising
Botswana group of AA invites members of the public to their annual rally under the theme “Unity, The Heartbeat of AA”.
Come and listen to AA members from Botswana and South Africa sharing their experiences in alcohol use, hope, and recovery journey.
The rally will be held at Botho University on the 17th November 2018, from 0830hrs.
If you think that you might have a substance abuse problem, or if you have a friend or family member who does, we encourage you to seek help.
You can find BOSASNet on Facebook, visit us on www.bosasnet.com, or call us on 3959119 or 72659891 for more information