Recovery Lifestyles with Sarah .S.

In Recovery Lifestyles by Carmell Pelly

Sarah is passionate about autism, alcoholism and mental health. With 6 ½ years of sobriety, she is also a Mom to three boys, two which are on the spectrum. Sarah considers herself a “truth teller”, leading a blog called Unexpectedly Authentic-“Blossoming Truths. She is on a mission to erase stigmas regarding these misunderstood conditions.

You can read more about Sarah and connect with her at:

Or Listen to the full Episode at:

Below is her story of how she was lead to her first 12 step meeting.

On the last day of my very long drinking career, I had an extraordinary dream that lead me to my first AA meeting, and subsequently saved my life.


It was the first day of my new, high powered job. I climbed into my car – a Lexus (which in real life I do not own) wearing a fancy designer suit and very high heels (never owned either). I glanced at the highlighted route on an old-fashioned road map as I turned out of the driveway of my mansion (which is not real life either). It perplexed me that I felt strange in the suit…. and the car. It didn’t feel like me, yet in the dream this was definitely me. All glitz and glam. Anxiety fueled my haste to arrive on time.

At first, my journey was smooth and uneventful. However, it did not take long for my commute to become drastically out of control, and incredibly unmanageable. After missing exits and going the wrong direction, I veered off the freeway onto a dirt road to avoid a deadly collision on the highway.

What I thought was quick whitted actions only caused more chaos. My car was moving at lightening speed on a narrow path blanketed with large bolders and many dangerous hills and curves. I was terrified and panicked realizing I would arrive late to work. After what seemed like an eternity, the car stopped at a building which was under construction. Like on autopilot, I walked inside.

Soldiers were everywhere. They directed me, and the others who arrived, towards the inner workings which resembled a factory.

What the hell was happening?

I was instructed to walk across pipes (in those really high heals) and jump upward onto a platform on every floor. I finally made it to the top of this incredibly tall unfinished tower to an elevator that looked like an aquarium that housed creatures of the sea.  Fortunately, it was empty.

The soldiers lead me into the elevator. I watched myself being lowered and realized all the others who had climbed to the top were watching me from the outside like spectators at a zoo.

Suddenly, liquid pooled around my feet and quickly filled the tank as I was being lowered. I was frozen. I could not scream for help. I tried, but my fear took hold of my ability to move or shout. I did not fight it because I gave up the moment I saw the rising water; I was in there being drowned. I was too exhausted from climbing up the tower to bang on the walls of the tank. The water was too heavy and just like that I was fully submerged unable to breathe.


I woke in my bed gasping for air. In real life, I was holding my breath as I drowned in the dream. I was stunned. I was drowning. I was drowning …. in alcohol! Hungover from my usual 3 bottles of Pinot the night before, I fell out of bed with a sense of urgency to get to my youngest sons room. I dragged myself to him in my pathetic, hungover state.

I turned into his room and saw he was awake. He smiled when he saw me. I felt myself begin to quietly weep. I laid down next to him and he followed laying his soft blond head on his Nemo pillow.

Blue eyes fixated on mine, his sweet voice sang to me.

“Hi Mommy!” He smiled.

I began to sob.

My boy watched me confused. He had just been diagnosed with Autism and his ability to respond to emotions were not yet developed.

I wept. “What am I doing to my sons? What am doing to my husband? What am doing to myself?”

As I lay there weeping, I once again, succumbed to the heaviness in my bones like I had done in the tank of alcohol. I was overwhelmed by fear and loneliness. I did not know what to do. I cried out in my head:

“How do I stop when I can’t imagine living with out my alcohol!!! What do I do?!”

And then a sentence of instruction popped into my head: “Go to the computer and google local AA meetings.” I was immediately overwhelmed with a sense of hope. The heaviness in my bones began to dissipate. I would do as instructed.

I felt lighter.

I attended my very first AA meeting that evening.

The journey was over, but it was also a beginning. A beautiful new beginning. I was where I was meant to be.

After 25 years, I made it Home.

And God willing, I plan to stay one day at a time.