Alcohol was once my best friend…
I had my first drink at 12 years old. I remember it distinctly… because that day changed my life. I was cool, “a grown up.” I drank a lot that New Year’s Eve, feeling on top of the world. Years before, I had watch my father drown himself in alcohol after my parents’ divorce. I watched my grandmother killed by her drinking. I knew the potential effects but, after that first drink, it’s all I wanted.
In high school, I started using alcohol as an escape. I had severe PTSD and didn’t want to feel anything at all, especially the flashbacks. Unfortunately, drinking just made the flashbacks worse. After seeing all of the detrimental facets to drinking, I still turned to it as my comfort.
In 2007, I was drinking so heavily that I don’t remember many time blocks of that year. I was passing out drunk, putting myself in compromising situations, and getting into fights with my boyfriend at the time. The alcohol increased my depression, which made me want to drink more… and round and round it goes. I fell into other addictions, such as abusing prescription medication and allowing an already-developed eating disorder to get out of control. Finally, when inpatient for anorexia, I had to face my alcoholism head on. I went to my first AA meeting while I was inpatient and have worked to recovery since that day.
he hardest part of my own journey of freedom from alcohol wasn’t even kicking the habit; it was finding out who I was without it. I had succumbed to addiction for so long that I had lost myself. I needed to discover my passions, my goals, and self-love. And I know that trying to do so is a huge stumbling block for many recovering alcoholics.
I am not perfect; I still struggle daily. I find support in my family and support groups. Recovery is not something that you eventually accomplish. It’s a lifetime journey with bumps in the road, hurdles to jump, and walls that you have to figure out how to scale. It is hard AF. But I am proof that it can be done.