At age 37, I received my 2nd DUI and realized I was living my life the same way as I was at age 18. I had become a daily “social” drinker and a habitual cocaine user. I was a high-functioning alcoholic who could sustain a job, although I moved jobs and cities every few years just to keep up appearances. I had different groups of friends and could morph into anyone you wanted me to be and I had different lies and stories I told these friends. After my 2nd DUI, I waited 6 long weeks to get my butt to a meeting. The reality was I didn’t want to give up my best friends; alcohol and cocaine. I didn’t want to grow up. My life was spinning out of control and for once …… I didn’t hit the snooze button.
By the time I went to my first meeting, I had lost my fight to rationalize my poor life choices that I had been making and what I heard in that first meeting was HOPE. I left that meeting and drank for a week, where I had my moment of clarity and realized that everything bad that had ever happened to me was from drinking and drugging! I decided to give the sobriety thing a shot. It was complete blind faith. I walked into my 2nd AA meeting and I haven’t looked back since. I did what the elders told me to do: 90 meetings in 90 days, get a sponsor, work the steps and keep coming back. My life got better. I didn’t get any more DUIs, and I knew where I was when I woke up in the morning. My first year of my recovery was like walking out of a black and white movie and into a Technicolor sphere of possibilities. I wasn’t imprisoned by alcohol and drugs anymore. Life got challenging as I had to learn how to live without the crutch of alcohol and drugs. My new sober friends were there to help me -- every step of the way. I was never alone, I never felt alone and best of all I liked being alone because I liked the person I was becoming. I’m over 12 years sober now and I have a life beyond my wildest dreams. My sober husband and I live in the California region I got sober in, where I get to work from home for my corporate day job. I get to live the life I want to and none of this would be possible If I wasn’t sober. I met my husband in recovery and we get to walk this journey together and help others.
In November 2003, I was drunk and typing in my journal about how messed up my life was. I knew I needed help, but I was scared. In May 2004, I walked into a meeting and decided to try recovery with a fellowship of other people who had a life worth living – a life with no alcohol or drugs. A life that mattered. That drunken journal entry turned into a Memoir that I launched via Kindle, “Last Call, A Memoir”
By clicking on the title of her memoir above, you will be directed to the bigger story. How Nancy changed her life for the better, and what it was that caused her to have to change it in the first place. You won't be disappointed in her truth, and I think there is something for everyone to take away from the bravery of her story. You can read below for what you can expect to find behind the cover of this memoir.
“That evening I wanted to go to a teenage party, and I wanted to drink alcohol, the grownup beverage of choice, the potion glamorized on TV and in movies, the stuff the older cool kids were drinking every weekend. I wanted to be cool. I wanted to fit in. Whatever it took.”
She was attractive, popular and determined to grow up in a hurry. How would she have known that at age thirteen, during her first teenage drinking party, her life would play out in such a way that it would rule her life decisions going forward? The handsome boys and pretty girls were guzzling a certain punch, and she wanted to be like them. Tentatively, she ladled the jungle juice from the punch bowl and had her first sip of alcohol. She wanted more. It couldn’t have come at a better time. This is what she’d been searching for –relief. Instant relief.
Getting drunk becomes her rite of passage as she careens through junior and senior high school caving in to peer pressure for her need to feel accepted. Through secretarial school and early jobs, her twenties are a blur. Quicker than she can take a tequila shot in a Mexican café, change her lovers weekly, and party with the dregs of society, as well as the socialites and future executives – Nancy finds a lifestyle that seems to work for her. She continues on and drinks and uses cocaine through the snows of Aspen, the desert heat of Scottsdale, the California coast and her Pennsylvania homelands, only to find herself alone and desperate in her quest for love and her own identity. Milk, she decides, has a longer shelf life than her romantic interludes. Surfer Boy, Boston Boy, Blondie Boy. Her big question becomes, who is going to marry her? As she approaches her early 30’s, she thinks getting married will fix her.
“I am sitting on my couch finishing up a second bottle of Two Buck Chuck, watching Sarah Jessica Parker on “Sex and the City,” crying and wondering why I’m still single. I understand why Sarah is single. She spends too much money on shoes, and no one wants to marry a shoe whore. She had the perfect man too. She was a fool to let Aidan get away. Ever since high school the perennial question from my parents and friends was always the same, “Are you going to marry him?”
It never occurred to Nancy to blame her loneliness on her beverages of choice. She’d kept her career going. She wasn’t an alcoholic. In fact, she relished hearing confessions of real alcoholics so she could assure herself that they—and not she—had a problem. Hello, Black Kettle? This is Pot calling!
Terribly alone after receiving her second DUI at age 37, Nancy experiences a moment of clarity. She’s been looking for answers everywhere but the place she least wants to examine: the mirror. What glares back at her is over twenty-four years of living life in the fast lane, zooming by all the red flags.
“Sitting in the jail cell I thought about hitting bottom. I could stop digging now. My life couldn’t get any worse….How could years of my free-wheeling lifestyle as a partier, mainly a social drinker, bring me to this place?”
Compelled by a judge, Nancy walks into an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting and begins the hellacious journey of rethinking her life to finally find what she’d been searching for – her true self. Now sober for over ten years, married and with a thriving career, Nancy wants to tell other young women what she wishes someone had told her.