LAYTON — Madison Rose was never comfortable in social situations. Shy and more of an introvert, she struggled with anxiety when it came to opening up in groups. When she first started drinking, she noticed that for the first time in her life, she could communicate without the anxiety that accompanied it.
"I was only having a couple of drinks. It was no big deal, plus it came with the benefit of making me feel comfortable," Rose said. "I never would have dreamed I would become dependent on alcohol."
Rose quickly went from drinking only on the weekends to drinking every day. While a person may drink a couple of beers and maybe a shot or two (a shot of liquor consists of 1 ounce), at Rose's low point, she was consuming 1/2 a gallon of hard liquor a day.
"I wasn't drinking anymore because it made me comfortable in social settings," Rose said. "My husband, Ryan and I refer to it as the time drinking stopped being fun. All of the sudden you're so dependant that you're drinking just to be 'normal.' "
One of the lowest points for Rose was when her husband's family pulled up to their apartment and Rose had run out of alcohol. In a panic and to avoid being sober, she turned to pills. She accidentally overdosed and ended up in the Intensive Care Unit for three days. Later, she would learn that her husband's family never even showed up at their house that night. Rose had hallucinated the entire event — a side effect of the alcohol.
"Even that wasn't enough to get me to stop drinking," Rose said.
Rose's family checked her into rehab upon her release from the hospital.
"There's such a stigma about going to 'rehab,' but it was exactly what I needed," Rose said. "It was single handedly the greatest blessing I had ever been given."
Several months after returning home from treatment, however, Rose was still struggling to make recovery stick 100 percent.
"I was struggling, because I still thought I could do it on my own," Rose said.
Rose tried to white knuckle it — to force herself to simply not drink, but it wasn't working, and she slipped again. Her husband, who had also battled with alcoholism himself, knew that Rose wasn't working the steps of recovery and confronted her.
"It was the first time I saw Ryan cry," Rose said. "I realized then that I needed to do something different, something more. It hit me all at once that I had finally had enough, I already knew what I had to do, I just had to do it, it was truly a change of heart; a spiritual change that can only come from God."
Rose entered The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' Addiction Recovery Program soon after. It was there that she found hope and what she needed to truly recover.
- Trust in God
- Change of heart
- Seeking forgiveness
- Restitution and reconciliation
- Daily accountability
- Personal revelation
"Step one says, 'Admit that you, yourself are powerless to overcome your addictions and that your life has become unmanageable.' That was why white knuckling it wasn't working; would never work. I was relying on me to fix my addiction instead of recognizing that I needed to turn it over to a higher power," Rose said. "I needed to let someone stronger than me heal me. Someone that had the power to do it, because I couldn't do it alone."
This time in Addiction Recovery Program, Rose began to succeed.
"My father-in-law has struggled with prescription drug addiction and has been clean for years with the help of ARP. He once told me, 'the difference between an addict and an addict in recovery is that you can't get an addict to talk about recovery and you can't get a recovering addict to stop talking about it,' Rose said. "It's the hope that comes once you stop hiding that is so powerful. It's a message I want to share with everyone."
Rose, who has been sober now for six months, leads the ARP meetings once a week.
"Today, I find joy in the most simple things and cherish each moment of each day. I live each day with such a grateful heart, I feel like it's going to burst most of the time," Rose said. "I have loved watching relationships repair themselves and seeing trust begin to grow again."
Rose laughs as she says that she actually feared she would never have "fun" anymore as a sober person.
"My worst day sober is still better than my best day drunk," Rose said. "Before, I was lost. I was bound to alcohol. Now, I have goals, I have God. I have purpose."
To listen to the authors' podcast on addiction, download it here.
Kate Rose Lee is a Utah native, mother of four and author. You can read more of her writing at www.momentsofchunder.blogspot.com. You can download Kate's radio show free on iTunes here.