My name is Kristi Carter and I have been Sober since February 17, 2014.
I love the concept of I Am Not Anonymous and the opportunity it creates to humanize our suffering. It’s a privilege to be part of something that enlightens consciousness and stretches our hearts. I’m going to do my best to share my experience, strength and hope.
I have spent most of my life cloaked with fear, confusion and disappointment. My life and recovery has been a constant wound of vulnerability—the uncovering of my brokenness and the restoration of faith for that child, daughter, sister, partner, mother, and friend, who forgets she is enough.
I knew that I was an Alcoholic well before I ever crossed the proverbial alcoholic line. My alcoholism is not a story about coming to accept that I am powerless over alcohol or that I have overcome some lurking delusion that I may one day be able to control my drinking. I am an Alcoholic—that admission is just the beginning of my spiritual journey.
I was first introduced to a program of recovery in 1992, when I was 18 years old. I had two DUI’s by the time I was 21 and I voluntarily checked myself into my first rehab when I was 22. Over the years, I completed two more treatment center programs.
I was always under some illusion that as long as I didn’t want to drink that I was in some way “OKAY”—that how I felt inside, and what was happening in my life, was something that each of us needed to endure. Even more so, that it was up to me to figure it out. So, I sought routine therapy and self-help type things to cope with my anxieties and discomforts.
I was full of preconceived notions: some people’s lives were easier than others. We all have a cross to bear. Maybe someday things will be better. I’m a good person so why has my life been so tragic. If I had more support. If only they knew how I really felt and who I really am. I had a mind that perpetuated powerlessness and was full of depressive rumination.
I had various lengths of sobriety, even more than six years, which ended two weeks after the birth of my son. That drink was to celebrate all that was good in my life. The truth is, things in my life had been unmanageable for a while. After that relapse, I struggled to get sober off-and-on for four years. Consequently, I caused a tremendous amount of pain and suffering to myself, my son, my family and other people in my life.
I spent years allowing life to happen to me. It was a progressive emotional morbidity, tainted by misdirected self-care, self-love, and self-acceptance. My version of things was a reflection of what I saw and what I experienced with others. At the time, I didn’t realize that everything I really need is already there, within me, waiting for me to embrace it. I didn’t know I could find solace in my shadows and imperfections, and that those things would be the basis for profound spiritual growth.
Today, my life is filled with audacious hope and courage. I've learned to listen to my innermost voice, to stay open, loving and vulnerable, to helps others along the way, and to trust the process. My sobriety is a reverent gift that enables me to feel and love others and myself deeply. It’s a privilege to be sober, and to be the kind of person and parent I admire.