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Hi, my name is De'Bora Brown~Brooks and I am an Alcoholic. For those of you who care to, will you please pray with me: "God grant me the Serenity to accept the things I can not change, the Courage to change the things I can and the Wisdom to know the difference" Amen! I kinda thought that in typing my story, I would be a little less nervous. Oh Well! My DOS is July 25th, 1993 and from that day until this one, I have not found it necessary to drink. There have been many things, that I could have used as an "excuse" to drink, but that is all it would be, an excuse. The Big Book, says, I am supposed to tell you what happened, what is was like and what I am doing today. I am a liar, cheat, thief, manipulator and a whore. I would love to tell you about "my" right now, but then that would be cheating. Just for today, I don't wanna be who I used to be...in any form. I was a full blown Alcoholic and 13 yrs of age, but I din't know that, I didn't admit that until I came into A.A., for real. You see, I came around the rooms of A.A, on "tour" in June of 1990, but what I heard, was not for me. They were talking black outs, and un~manageability. I couldn't connect the dots! Oh I fell in love with the concept of A.A, with the people, but not with the Don't Drink, because again, I was not an Alcoholic. I had problems, but not with drinking. Relationships, family, friends, jobs, bills, rent and other mood and mind altering chemicals...yes, but not Alcohol. Alcohol was my real friend, it helped me hide or forget all the things done to me, and even more it helped me forget what I had done to myself and others. When I was in the eighth grade, I was sick, throwing up, spots before my eyes, headache the whole nine yards, and my mom who was a nurse gave me a hot toddy and I was up and ready to go to "school" after 15 minutes. She tried for the next 20 years to help me, but could not. She worked at a Treatment Facility and could not help the "drunk" closest to her. By the time I was 17 I had two sons out of wedlock, and in the 70's people were not as politically correct as they are now. I got talked about, as did my family because of my behavior, my mom was put out of church{really}. I did not graduate, they wouldn't let me. I have a certificate of completion. Kinda like a piece of paper that says "she did it, but she won't do nothin else". {Mercy} At 17, I got a waitress job at this hot Club, and I fell in love with the lights, the dressed up men, the pretty women and even more...the drink. For the next 13 yrs I worked in bars, even more sad than that being my longest type of employment is that I got fired from most of them for either stealing or drinking more than the customers. I had been molested at an early age by a family member, so I associated drink, love, money with sex. You see, he told me he loved me, he gave me money, he gave me wine and told me to pull my dress up and lay down. I was five{5}, when it started and nine{9} when I finally made him stop. What I came to realize later in my recovery that he was sick, but so was I. I wanted the money and the wine. I knew it was wrong, I could have told my parents that I didn't wanna go, but after a while I actually looked forward to the wine and money. There were times I asked to go over there. Whew! {at least you can't see me crying right now. lol!}  I grew up in the 60's in East Cleveland, Ohio and there was racism everywhere, but it didn't affect us in East Cleveland, which was considered a melting pot. I did not like me, I was too light for my black friends and too dark for my white friends. I felt alone at an early age, an outcast. So Alcohol lied to me, told me I was the prettiest thing you were ever going to meet.....and then like a dirty sneaky old friend it stopped. By the age of twenty one{21}, I knew I was nothing, and would never be nothing. I was throwing up a pint and a half of wine every morning, just to keep the second half of the second pint down. I did not know this was abnormal, everyone I was around drank like me. You haven't heard me mention my 2 sons, because I am not taking care of them, my mommy is. She eventually took them to Hawaii to get them away from what I was and what she knew was coming later. I told you earlier, about the money, love, sex thing and it continued. I was looking for love in all the wrong places, never realizing the Love of Jesus was inside me. I met a man, who thought I was cute, the boys were cute, he had a good job, his own home, and he liked to drink. Needless to say that didn't work out, but he did give me what no man could have, my middle son. The relationship was abusive, I left one day and took all of "his" things because I had nothing. I was the abuser most times, but it took me to be 8 yrs sober before that light came on. In June,1990 I hit the "top of my bottom". I thought I was at the end, little did I know that my state of catastrophic denial would almost kill me later. I heard women talking about losing their children to the system, my response"how sad you are". The fact that my family had mine is what kept them out of the system. I heard them talking about standing on corners, my response "you are just nasty". I didn't mention I did the same thing from the bar or my house. Sadly, again I was at the top of my bottom. After  19-20 months of being "moist" {I was closer to wet than dry} I drank again. I did not relapse. In order to relapse, you have to have some recovery. I had none. Oh I knew How it Works, The Promises, and Acceptance pg 449 & 452 by heart, but I had no recovery. I knew all the "good" meetings and most of the Old~Timers, but I didn't know how to get honest, nor did I know How It "really" Worked. I f I had, I would not have drank again. I used my Aunti's death as an excuse to drink. She did everything she could to help me get it right, and when she died, I made a conscious decision to go blow it all, because God had taken her. You see I missed "stuff happens, just don't drink". From February 1992~March 1993 I was arrested 18 times. God continued to pick me up and put me in a safe place, and the only place besides Heaven was jail. I could not stop. I would not stop. All the things, that I had heard in the early 1990"s that I had not done, I did. From standing on corners, to in and out of cars, not going home, all of it. I had a son in 1987, by that man I mentioned earlier, but when I started to drink again, I gave him to his grandmother. Now I have 3 sons, that I am not taking care of. I had already had 2 sons to die, and now I am off and running....really fast downhill. On July 18th, of 1993 my surrender process started. I am sitting on a corner, focused on Step 0. You know that Step that all Alcoholics who have relapsed or used again are on, when they have no food, no sleep, no money no wine, but if you get any of the four, you are NOT Powerless. I ended up with a person who had everything, when I came to, it was July 21st. My first Blackout! I still don't remember those days, all I know is I had money and wine, so it couldn't have been that bad, Right? I go looking for that which I "think" I need to forget what I can't remember, and I run into someone, who feels he has "bought" enough candy from the candy store, and I should just give it to him. Not! He beats me up, in the middle of Prospect and another man picks me up, puts me in his car and takes me to a "safe" place. We end up in a Hotel doing what we do. He leaves the next morning, pays for the room and tells me to stay, he will be back after work.  He left me! Alone! With Me! You know what I do? I start thinking about my sons, I start thinking about the lil Catholic girl on her First Communion. I start thinking about my Mommy, I want to die. I leave, go get a friend to get high with me, and then I start overdosing. Didn't know I could, because I didn't hear the part about Alcoholic Poisoning when I was in A.A. I missed it because I was NOT an Alcoholic. My friend begged me to stop, I didn't, he left. I was throwing up blood, I was dying, and could not stop drinking the Wild Irish Rose.  My body is shutting down, I am dying, and I CAN'T STOP. Remember ya'll I am NOT an Alcoholic. I walk down to 55th & Quincy and passed out in a hallway. It's July 24th and I have not eaten in almost a week. I have not talked to my sons in so long that when I did call the last time a man answered and it was my 2nd son, his voice had changed....and I had missed it. I have been shot at, tied up and left for dead TWICE, I am homeless, helpless, and hopeless. And I CAN'T STOP! I end up walking up to 59th & Quincy and there I surrendered. I called on my Great Grandmother's God, because she told me He would Never leave nor forsake me. I cried out "Jesus I don't know if You hear me, or what You are doing now, but if You don't come get me, I am going to die" When I looked up vice and 5th district police were across the street from me. My original charge on that day was Drunk & Disorderly and Assaulting a Police Officer. They were not going to arrest me, I knew that if I didn't go to jail, I was going to die. Right now today, as I type this, I believe, had I not gone to jail on 7/24/93, I would not be here today. I went to jail, and while there I got on my knees, and looked at the time 1:50am 7/25/93, and asked God "How did I get here again? Lord if You save me from this, You won't have to save me from it again" I have not had a drink or drug since. I went to court in October, and after fainting because I was looking at 22 years in jail, the judge court ordered me to treatment and a year probation. I was sent to The New Joshua Center for Hope, which falls under the umbrella of The New Joshua MBC, of which I am still a member. I learned about God and Recovery at the same time. Upon our acting up the Pastor/Director was going to close the center, he came in and before closing the doors, he was going to talk to us. He stood there, hurt, angry, sad, and quoted these words "If My people, which are called by My name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land." {2 Chronicles 70:14}. This is the God, I wanted. the one Who, would hear from heaven, forgive and heal me. Needless to say, the center didn't close, and I became a Drug Counselor at the Center until the day they closed in 1998. My mom, passed in November of 1994, but she saw me sober, married and living a better life. Her prayers had been answered, her baby girl, was gonna be alright. Oh some stuff has happened, but nothing to make me wanna go back to that life. I have been evicted, lost jobs, family members have died, I have been to jail, sober. But, the last 6 weeks of my life in that world, was enough for me to stand and say I am Alcoholic and my name is De'Bora Brooks. God has been so good to me, I have gone from Standing on Corners, to Standing in Church's! I have gone from being a female mammal that gave birth to offspring, to a Mommy! I have gone from Alcohol Abuse with 2 Drug Felony's to working for the Mental Health Board...without a degree. I have a husband and 2 Sober Sons. I call them Bill & Bob's kids. they have never seen me drunk, and with God's Grace and the People like you...They Never Will. Thank you for Listening and God Bless!

  De'Bora Brown~Brooks