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60 Days… January 3, 2013

Have you ever had something so devastating happen to you that it made you want to crawl into a dark hole and never come out again?

I can honestly say yes, that happened to me. When my dad died a big part of me died. I changed. Even with the support of my husband, and friends I seemed to be getting worse not better.

I went to my doctor almost immediately after my dad’s death. I told him I was depressed, having panic attacks, and problems with my acid reflux (which I already had.) When he asked about how much I was drinking I lied. Not only to him, but I lied to myself about my drinking. He prescribed me some antidepressants and told me to cut back on drinking. The antidepressants made me more depressed. I quit taking them and drank more.

I decided to go to a grief counselor about a year and a half after my dad died. When I met with her she was shocked when I told her that he had passed away almost two years ago. She was concerned because I was still so distraught and it was starting to affect my health. I was beginning to have GI problems. She asked if I drank, I said yes. When she asked how much, I lied. She suggested that I go to the doctor to get back on antidepressants. I continued to see her, but after a year I still felt stuck. I decided to stop going because I didn’t feel like I was making much progress and the bills were starting to add up.

I went back to my doctor and over the next several months I had an endoscopy, colonoscopy, and more blood drawn and tested than I would like to remember. My blood work always came out fine, some levels were a little higher than others, but nothing to be alarmed about. They found after I had the colonoscopy that I had some hemorrhoids that would flare up and bleed, but that could be fixed with more fiber in my diet and less alcohol. When I had the endoscopy I thought for sure they would find I had ulcers. When it came back that I didn’t I couldn’t believe it. No one seemed to know what was wrong with me.

Depression, stress, feeling sick all the time, and medical bills adding up at a rapid rate, can be slightly overwhelming. Alcohol helps that right?

Around the end of October I started feeling really bad. Another test, another colonoscopy, a different doctor.

Going in I didn’t feel the same as I did with my regular doctor. I had been poked and prodded without any real answer as to what was wrong with me.

During the interview with the nurse before the procedure I had to go through my medical history with them. When the drinking subject came up I decided to be very frank with them. I was tired of feeling so sick and if being honest about that one thing could answer the question that no one could answer over the last year I thought – the hell with it. So I answered it, honestly. When I did it was like I had put down a sack of bricks that I had been carrying around for three and a half years.

After the procedure the doctor came in to talk to me and Mr. D. I’ll never forget him because he looked like Colonel Sanders. He had the white beard and hair, even the glasses were a spot on match. He told me that I had a fatty liver. No scarring, no cirrhosis ..yet. He was very frank, which I actually appreciated (he probably heard I was a no-nonsense kind of person after talking to the nurses.)

Then he said something that I will never forget. He leaned over and looked at me straight in the eyes and said “if you don’t stop drinking you will be dead in two years.” Everything in my body stopped.

I had one single thought.

teenager

I sat there in silence for what seemed like forever. I imagined Kameron’s prom, his graduation, his wedding, and grandchildren that I would not be around to see. I saw Kameron’s face and I knew in that moment I would never want him to feel the hopelessness that I have felt for so long.

I looked at the doctor and said “I just won’t drink again.” The Colonel sighed and said “do you know how many people say that to me and they’re back in six months with the same problem they had before?” He was condescending. I could tell he was frustrated, he probably has said that to who knows how many people. I looked at him square in the face and said “you’ll never see me again.”

So today, on day 60 of sobriety I can honestly say I’ve never felt better in my life. I’m not going to lie, the first two weeks of not drinking was like the worst hangover I ever had.. it just lasted two solid weeks. After that I started feeling stronger everyday. All of my symptoms that I was having are gone. It really is amazing.

I always wanted my dad to be proud of me, and he was proud of me for many things I accomplished when he was alive. I now know this is the proudest he’s ever been of me, I feel it everyday.

I’d like to thank Shawnie Quick-Raflik for encouraging me to write this. I thought I might disappoint some of you, it’s a shameful thing to admit, that is why I waited to write this. The many of you I do know.. if I hurt you in some way I’m sorry.

*If you feel like you know someone struggling, please don’t ignore it. Even though I’ve chosen to take this journey on my own with the support of Mr. D, friends, and family there are places that want to help*

Much Love, SED

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25 Responses to “60 Days…”

  1. Reggie Lyons Says:

    Stephanie, congratulations on 60 days of sobriety! Thanks for having the courage to share your story. Wishing you continued success in the new year! Stay strong!

  2. sssemester Says:

    Holy shit, this is powerful. I love you, I’m proud of you, and I thank you.

  3. C.J. Says:

    What a great way to start the year…so happy for you.

  4. Gretchen Says:

    I am so touched by your sharing your story. You and I lost our dads about a year apart, I think, and today is my dad’s birthday. My struggle with losing him is not too different from yours. I feel like I can honestly say that I have a good idea of the pain you have felt. I wish I could reach through fb and give you a hug for the courage and strength it takes to help other people who may be feeling the same way. This truly touched my heart. Also, WAY TO GO on reaching day 60 AND feeling good! Again, big hugs! (And that pic of your son is very cute!)

    • Hugs to you Gretchen! We did loose our Dad’s about a year apart. I remember reading your facebook posts and my heart aching for you. To have to go through the same situation really broke me. I am happy to say that I feel much better physically, the emotional loss of my Dad is what I have to deal with everyday. It’s a lot clearer for me now.
      Things like birthdays trigger emotions for us that we don’t live day to day. I hope you do something nice for yourself and that you are loved. My Dad’s birthday is at the end of the month. I think what I’m doing is the best present I could have given him. Like I said, I know he’s proud of me, even from heaven.

  5. Serina Says:

    Wow, Stephanie, thank you for sharing your journey. Very, very powerful! And congrats on 60 days of sobriety! You are a very strong woman – always could tell, and you are only becoming stronger and stronger. Way to take a stand for yourself and your son!

  6. Stephanie, congrats on your sobriety, 60 days and counting. P.S. I also know Shawnie, she’s good people. Glad she provided you the encouragement you needed to tell your story.

  7. Cheryl Dunn Says:

    Stephanie, wow! And good for you for realizing and doing this on your own. Not just for Kam, but for yourself and for my brother. I know he loves you very much. I hope your journey gets easier everyday. We want you around for a long, long time! Cheryl

    • Cheryl – wow – I didn’t know you read my blog.

      I thought and thought about sharing this post with people. I felt like if I didn’t share it in a way I was still being dishonest with people that I care about as well as myself. Sometimes I just need a swift kick in the ass to straighten myself out. I’m very grateful that Kerry actually told me that I was going to the doctor that day – I think it’s the only time he’s ever insisted on me doing something I really didn’t want to do. I love Mr. D, he’s a wonderful man! I’m lucky to have him!

      Things are easier by the day. I can honestly say I have absolutely no desire to drink, and it doesn’t bother me when I’m around people that are drinking. Call it divine intervention, call it what whatever. I’m just very happy that I made the decision that I did.

  8. Jan Dye Says:

    I am proud of you, I know what courage this takes, and you have done it. I have the greatest respect for you and am proud to call you my friend.

  9. Judy Eppich Says:

    I have absolutely never been more proud than I am at this moment of my first born. Stephanie, you are simply just one hell of a woman and you are bound to help many others by sharing yourself, caring for yourself and loving yourself. Kameron and Kerry are very lucky – as is our entire family. I love you – Mom

    • I was hoping that someone that maybe needed to hear some encouraging words might read this. Or if they know that someone understands where they are maybe it would give them some strength to make a move. 🙂

  10. You go girl. You are doing it for all the right reasons. I look forward having you around for a lot more years to come!

  11. robbyslaughter Says:

    I’m so sorry I didn’t see this earlier. For some reason it did not pop up in my reader.

    You’re such a strong person for making the right choice. I’m proud of you!

  12. Tyler Poling Says:

    Congratulations on 60 days sober! Thank you for sharing this very personal story. It will bring a lot of encouragement to others who need it.

  13. […] the people that were trying to help them, but to themselves. I dropped off the grid basically for 60 Days during that time I was scared. I was worried about what people might think if I just told the […]


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