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Five years ago I was a mess. A total mess. But the mess had begun ten years prior…

I grew up in a Christian household with the best parents and siblings on earth. My parents set a fabulous example and taught us of Christ’s love for us. I attended our non-denominational church on the reg, was involved in Bible studies, youth groups, Christian camp (where I asked Christ into my life), and Young Life. I was raised wonderfully – life could not have been better, and I honestly still think that. I was a high school cheerleader and had the BEST group of 9 girlfriends – we all have remained dear friends to this day and continue to group text weekly – really, they are more like my sisters than friends.

I started attending the University of Texas just a few weeks after graduating high school. I had my first drink when I was young – like very young – but my drinking didn’t take off until college. I drank, like all of my college friends, but I noticed when I drank, it was as if someone had flipped a light switch – that’s how drastic my personality changed. It was a problem. I realized it at the age of 19. By 20, I had sworn off hard liquor. By 26, I moved on to “only one glass of wine” – which never happened. By 29, I was fully addicted to ADHD meds, anti-anxiety meds, and alcohol and I weighed in at a whopping 87 lbs. I’m 5’10…so not normal or healthy. My organs ached. I loved God, I was a Christian, but there was one more thing – I had an untreated disease – the disease of alcoholism and addiction.

On November 1, 2012, I got on my knees in mine and my husband’s apartment and prayed that the Lord would HELP me. I knew I was going to die without help – I couldn’t do this alone and needed help. “Please take this away from me” were my specific words that I prayed aloud. An hour later, my husband and I went to a counselor who heavily suggested inpatient treatment for my husband and counseling along with a 12 Step Program for me. My husband went to treatment in the Texas Hill Country two days later. One of those 9 BFFs I talked about earlier took me to my first Alcoholics Anonymous meeting because I was terrified to go alone. I will never be able to repay her – that meeting not only changed my life, it saved my life. That day, I got my 24 hr/desire chip and a sponsor…and life started!

How did this work for me? I worked the 12 steps of AA thoroughly and honestly. I admitted I was powerless, gave it all up to God, and believed He could restore me. I took inventory, admitted what I had done, shared it with a friend, made amends to those I’d harmed, and most importantly, I carried on the message to others who suffer from this disease.

Here’s the deal, getting sober is amazing! It’s an awesome life, and that’s just it….life happens, life’s hardships occur, but I no longer feel the need to drink to deal with it.

Since being sober, I’ve dealt with infertility, a miscarriage (the biggest heartbreak of my life), a loved one relapsing, friends dying from this disease, having a newborn while facing truly challenging familial times, and it was not me that got myself through all this. Understand? I DID NOTHING. God – 100% – is to thank for my life. That I’m alive, really. That I have a job that I LOVE, that my family is healing, and that I have the cutest son on the planet. All God. Zero me.

God-willing, on November 1st I’ll pick up my 5 year chip.

We love because He first loved us. 1 John 4:19
(If you or a loved one needs help, get my information from the blog publisher, I’m happy to help, anytime)

Amanda Buccola
[email protected]
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