Sarah's Story 5th & Final Part of Her Brave Story - Precious Gift!
"At what point did my social drinking tip over into dependent, alcoholic drinking? When did it go so horribly wrong? I really don't know." ... Sarah Page bravely tells how she overcame her alcohol addiction... Sarah works for Ipswich based charity, Talitha Koum where she now helps other women
Just over two years ago she was moving rapidly down a path of self-destruction and almost certain death
I am deeply sorry for the hurt and anguish I have caused my loved ones.
However I do not regret the past – nor wish to turn my back on it, because I now understand that my journey has all been part of God's plan for me – to make me the person I am today. In AA we speak of spiritual progress, not spiritual perfection.
Through Shepherd Drive I heard of a charity called Talitha Koum – a charity which was building a rehabilitation unit to help women with addictions. Talitha Koum had also just started running a self-help support group, which met once a week, called Women Together. I attended this group for the first time in October 2014.
God has given me a story to share – and I hope that by sharing what God has done for me, I will be able to offer hope and encouragement to others in early recovery – or those still trapped by their addiction, so that they, too, may one day be happy, joyous and free.
I was baptised by David Steere at Shepherd Drive on Mothering Sunday, 15th March 2015.
The following is a prayer I wrote very early in my recovery the words of which are as true today as they were then:
"God, thank You for delivering me from the darkest days of my alcoholism and for guiding me through the early days of my recovery. I do not deserve to have been granted such physical and mental well being, and for that I will always be grateful.
I now surrender myself to You totally, sure in the knowledge that You will guide and deliver me from all the wrongs within me. I am willing to do all You ask of me, that I may carry Your message and the AA message to all who still suffer and are needy. Amen"
When I first attended the Women Together group when I was about 10 months into my recovery, I was able to share my story with other women who completely understood me – who didn't judge me – just listened to me and gently supported me in my ongoing journey of recovery.
The alcohol was only a symptom of the whole. Putting the drink down was only the first step – at the very beginning of my journey to recovery. Recovering is so much bigger than just stopping the substance misuse – it's about the spiritual journey – about rediscovering the person that has been hidden for so long – dealing with the deeper issues which contribute to the alcoholism or drug addiction, and learning to deal with life and all its highs and lows.
In July last year we started holding meetings at Shepherd Drive Baptist Church on Monday evenings – as well as continuing with the Thursday lunchtime meetings.
Over the last year – over 30 ladies have attended Women Together meetings – about 16 of whom are still doing so on a regular basis. Some ladies have now been in recovery several months whilst others are still struggling with their substance misuse.
The meetings offer the opportunity for women affected by any addiction – and women of any faith or no faith to
meet in a safe environment
share their thoughts feelings and experiences with one another
share their common desire to get well
give each other support and encouragement and
gain self confidence – self belief and self worth that their addiction has stolen from them
Anonymity and confidentiality are fundamental requirements of the group. We encourage women to continue to attend any 12 step meetings which focus on a specific addiction e.g. AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) or NA (Narcotics Anonymous).
I'm now privileged enough to be working as a volunteer for Talitha Koum, and support Jenny in her leadership of the Women Together meetings.
My sobriety is a precious gift from God – and I protect it fiercely. It has given my parents back their daughter, my husband his wife, my children their mother and my grandchildren a grandmother who I hope they will only ever remember as the person I am today – the person that God made me to be.
...Watch for other blogs by Sarah on the Heart 4 Ipswich website
Sarah Page works for Ipswich based charity, Talitha Koum (TK) working with others to help women caught in addiction
Sarah's Story is being serialed and reprinted by kind permission every Monday in as her personal blog
If you want to talk to someone about this article or the issues it raises please contact Talitha Koum (details below).
If you need more information on the charity, giving or the Women Together program please do contact the TK office:.email firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 01473 857432 or visit their website at www.talithakoum.org.uk