How shame and alcohol addiction almost destroyed a girl’s life. Shame and secrecy paved the path to a young girl’s addiction. Before addiction, she loved her fantasy-land kind of world, in the peaceful surroundings of the country air. She had animals, dear friends, hills, and valleys to explore. However, her heart and soul, tattered by turbulent events, led to a negative belief about herself. As a result, she learned that people were not trustworthy, to always keep up her guard, and that she was worthless. Addiction took over. Alcohol was the only focus, and she would find it, at almost any cost. That girl was me.
Fill the soul
I never imagined I would not have control over alcohol; that it would possess me in a clever but vile way. The things I did to feel okay, to have confidence, to feel worthy, are a mother’s worst nightmare for her child. I went from one toxic male to another to get booze, and to feed my empty soul with “love.” My story is not only about childhood abuse that set me up for a dismal future, but also a continuous stream of loss and pain. Death seemed to plague me throughout my youth. I lost a sister to suicide, my beloved pet, my father, and an unexpected baby in pregnancy. With no coping skills or support, only drunken blackouts helped to ease the sorrow, until they didn’t.
The chaos and self-destruction lead to suicidal ideation. My depression and mental health made me wish for death. I hated every morsel of my being, believed I was a waste of space, and brought shame to my family. I hated life, but God saw things differently. He would be the creator of a miracle. Only His powers could change the dire situation I was in. I believe God’s hand played a serious role in my recovery, because I only had a small ounce of will left in me, but that’s all it took.
And the wheels turned over time. God strategically placed people in my life. There were periods of less drinking and more interest in living. Then the day finally came when I had my last drunken night, and the impossible became reality. My heart and mind believed whole-heartedly that alcohol was poison in disguise. Days passed, turning into weeks, months, then years, and I’ve never wavered from that thought. Now, after decades of sobriety I’m a walking miracle on this earth for a purpose.
Glimmer of hope
This is not an easy read emotionally, but it is a memorable roller coaster of darkness and sickness. One glimmer of hope is all it takes, and it can save a life. You are never too far gone.
Note from Pirkko Rytkonen
This post was written by my baby sister, Anita Ball, who recently published her memoir. You can purchase Box of Shame: A Memoir of Addiction, Survival, and Forgiveness from Amazon as well as several bookstores in Thunder Bay where she lives.
Box of Shame: A Memoir of Addiction, Survival, and Forgiveness Kindle Edition
Leave a comment or get in touch with Anita or myself if you wish to know more of her story. If you know anyone who has been effected by abuse, addiction or suicidal tendencies please keep them in prayers, reach out, and get educated about addiction and mental health. Encouragement, acceptance, and love goes a long way in prevention and recovery.
Buy at these locations in Thunder Bay: Finnish Bookstore, Lakehead University Bookstore, Evergreen Pharmacy, Wildwoode, and Entershine Book Shop.