Johana – No Turning Back

August Share 2020

Johana is one of those people that came into this program with guns blazing. There were no excuses and no turning back because she wasn’t going to let this addiction take her down the second time around. One of the most admirable qualities about Johana, she has no problem admitting when she’s wrong and she will bow down gracefully for it. But she will also call you out on your own sh*%#t if it calls for it.  Johana is black on white. What you see is what you get! And it’s that kind of transparency that defines recovery in it’s core.

Introduction

My sober date is May 14, 2017. I have a sponsor who has a sponsor and I sponsor women myself. We all live and work the steps on a daily basis. I think the first thing I want to say is that before I came into Alcoholics Anonymous I truly did not know anything about my disease. I had no solutions. I lived a life of turmoil, fear, and resentment. In search for happiness and love. I was seeking everything and anything that would make me feel good and relieve this constant feeling of “it’s not enough.” 

What was it like?

I grew up in a family with two other siblings, a loving mother and father who are still married today. I didn’t see any alcoholism. I don’t even think I knew what that word meant. I could tell you that I never lost anything significant in my life. I also never suffered any real consequences, like going to jail or an institution, or any DUIs. But I can tell you for sure I was slowly dying inside. Ever wanting, never getting, and feeling discontent.

I got married at the age of 25 and I am still married 30 years later, which in my eyes is quite an accomplishment. I have four beautiful children, three girls and a boy. I am grateful to them because being a mother had it’s distractions and it arrested my alcoholism for a while.

As long as my life was working, I was happy but the minute things didn’t go my way the struggle began. So, I tried to fill the void with different things. There was a time in my life when I was introduced to wild and fun party favors. This Enabled me to bring some spice and excitement back into my life. It was fun to be careless and free. The only problem, once I got started I couldn’t stop. I never wanted the party to end. And why would I? The feeling that I got from drinking was exactly what I was seeking all my life. The sense of ease and comfort was euphoric from the very start.

What happened?

Things got out of hand rather quickly and I came to a crossing road. My Husband who clearly was not an alcoholic gave me an ultimatum. Either I get help or he wants to part ways. I initially chose NA because my story also involved drugs in it. I stopped drinking and drugging for two years and I thought that was quite an achievement. I was still irritable and discontent but I did find a lot of relief in the rooms of NA. I felt as long as I was surrounded by the realm of recovery I was good. Only problem, I didn’t get a sponsor and I didn’t work the steps. I just stopped drinking but the obsession never left. Sooner or later, I would slip back into the real world.   

One day out of the blue, I decided I had enough and I slowly started drifting away. I went out one night and had a drink thinking that it wasn’t really my issue, drugs were. Very quickly ALL bets were off and I was back to my old behavior. I was socially drinking and using but still showing up to all my responsibilities. Again, I started deteriorating slowly inside. I was what you call a functioning addict and alcoholic or so I thought.

Meanwhile, I decided to end a partnership in a business that was beginning to blossom and that had it’s consequences. To make a long story short, I lost my identity and G-d saw it fit to use this incident to eventually hit my bottom. I struggled to bounce back and start something new. But I lived with a very strong pain in my heart and that was my truth. I wasn’t ready nor knew how to admit that I was the cause of all my suffering. So, I went into a four-year depression that led me to drink and drug just to stay above water. By the end of these four years I was hiding, lying, and cheating. Not only to myself but to everyone who loved me.

The remorse and shame was killing me inside and I didn’t know how else to deal with it. Once again, my husband gave me an ultimatum and this time I came into the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous. It was different this time around. I was ready and willing to do whatever I was told and that made a world of a difference in my recovery.

What it's like today?

I immediately got a sponsor, started working the steps, became open minded and willing even when I didn’t want to. I received love and patience from the women in the rooms that genuinely loved me when I couldn’t love myself. The promises started coming through slowly but surely. I have learned and continue to learn how to live day by day, minute by minute, in the image of G-d. Taking back my will and giving it over again. Seeing progress, not perfection. I am eternally blessed to have my spiritual teachers; G-d showing up in skin to guide me through this process because I can’t do this alone. Today, I know very little about the future and the past is my best asset because I get to be uniquely qualified in helping others with my experience.

I know that I only have today and with the help of G-d, my friends and family, I make it the best day possible. All I need to do is put my new pair of glasses on. And every once in a while I have to get my vision checked so I can stay humble. Luckily, I have the most amazing support group to help me see what I cannot see. I’m so grateful to have found a solution in Alcoholics Anonymous. I want to thank all the people who have helped me and continue to help me on my journey; my loving husband, children, family, and my sober sisters who accept me with no judgement. And all of that is by far my biggest achievement. 

Johana Gives Back

Thank you Rachael for giving me this opportunity to share my experience, strength and hope with others. These days I get a chance to be of service to my creator which finally gives me the purpose and meaning I was craving for.

Today my cup over flows!!!
Xoxo Johana

Johana started two online meetings that have been incredibly impactful in people’s recovery and you are welcome to join and check it out:

Women’s Early Risers:
Daily @8:30AM EST
Zoom: 902 896 5392; PW: 739846

The Power Within, a Louise Hay workshop:
Wednesdays @2:00PM EST
Zoom: 902 896 5392; PW: 739846

Our Family Business

Come visit our store. We will always treat you like family.
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Phone 305-868-4336
1027 Kane Concourse
Bay Harbor Islands, FL 33154
www.jackieabraham.com

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Shirley Abraham
Shirley Abraham
3 years ago

Johana!!
This is so well written and so well expressed.. I’m so proud of you and am in awe of your bravery and commitment to yourself. I have seen you thru all these phases and have loved you thru all of them and always will. You are an aspirational figure for me and I’m guessing to many more. Keep on keeping on – it’s all we’ve got. Love you! Shirley

Elvira Hayden
1 year ago

I see your story. Make me smile and feel like I can be that happy to

Alison Mars
Alison Mars
3 years ago

Johana…a woman of beauty, dignity and grace!! Your light is shining so bright!!!! Love you so!!!!

Kerry Cummings
Kerry Cummings
1 year ago
Reply to  Alison Mars

How do you get a passcode to join please

Elvira Hayden
1 year ago
Reply to  Kerry Cummings

Yes I try to

Elvira Hayden
1 year ago

Was beautiful story.
Elvira Hayden alcoholic and my clean date July 6 2022