My name is Caroline Holderfield, and I am a Recovery Coach with the Women’s Segue Program of BRC Recovery. During my active alcoholism one of the most painful parts of each day for me was waking up. I still very clearly remember the mornings when I would awake fairly sober to suffocating fear that felt like someone had punched me in the stomach. I would immediately reach for whatever substance I had to calm my nerves and allow me to breathe. When the Big Book talks about the Four Horsemen—Terror, Bewilderment, Frustration, Despair— it perfectly describes the state of internal conflict I lived in most of the time, especially in the mornings. I remember consistently thinking, ‘this has got to stop’, and feeling hopeless because everything I tried to do to get myself out of the destructive cycle I was in ultimately failed.
My life today does not even resemble the life I just described. I have gotten to experience a new life full of the promises that the Big Book offers as a result of working the 12 Steps and living a life guided by spiritual principles. Today I no longer have to face the hideous Four Horsemen. I get to wake up at peace, excited for the new day, and grateful for the ability to breathe without drugs and alcohol. I have overwhelming gratitude for what the program has done not only for my external life, but my internal condition as well. Today, I am passionate about the work I do, I have a host of wonderful friends, my relationship with my family has been reconstructed, and I am proud of who I have become. I can look the world in the eye again, and I can sit alone at perfect peace and ease. Recovery allows me to live a life that is dramatically more fulfilling and joyful than the life I lived before. I am still at times astonished that my life looks and feels the way that it does. I actually get to enjoy waking up in the morning.