I’m Ftimah Ilahi

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• Name: Ftimah Ilahi
• Age: 43
• Hometown: Shaker Heights, OH
• Location: Phoenix, AZ
• “Currently Not Drinking” Status: Sober

I loved alcohol the first time I drank. I drank to the point of a blackout, got sick, and couldn’t wait to do it again. Drinking was fun. I followed the Dead for a summer, went to countless concerts and loved my weekend festivals. I was always on the go with work, friends, travel, and booze. I was a heavy drinker from the start.

But something wasn’t quite right. I never felt comfortable unless I had a substance in me. I had friends, boyfriends, a great job but I never liked how I felt sober.

Over time the friendships and boyfriends changed, as often as the state I lived in. I was “independent” and had the ability to live where I wanted and travel for work. I continued this path for years.

When I lost my mom I moved from San Diego, CA back home to Cleveland, Ohio. I was miserable. I was drinking two pints and a bottle of wine daily. Drinking was no longer a choice.

One day in a blackout I called a friend from college and booked a plane ticket to Phoenix, AZ. When I got there, my friend saw my life and knew I needed help. She took me to my first 12-step meeting and helped me move into a sober living where I lived with 6 other women.

I threw myself into service work, whatever I could do to “stay out of my head and out of my way.” I accepted that I couldn’t drink like normal people. I have an allergy and once I start, I can’t unstart. I know I’m not alone. The 12 steps taught me “how to” live sober. Being willing, honest and open. I found a power greater than myself. I turn it over, I take responsibility for my part, I pray for others, I forgive, I do the work.

Mediation is a practice I have learned to love. Meditation has taught me to be present, mindful, and quiet. I am grateful that I had the gift of desperation that saved my life.

#theyellowlife #currentlynotdrinking #notdrinking #nondrinker #sobercurious #sober

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