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When I was young, in my early twenties, I found that there was a change in the way I drank. It was no longer about the party, or having fun. It started as just being fun. I’d go out with my friends, and we’d stay out maybe later than we should. Then I would drink maybe more than I should. After what I’d been through with my ex, I was living free, and with that freedom came a wild streak I was thoroughly enjoying. Finally, I was in control of myself. If I wanted to drink too much, or party all night long, I could, and no one was going to stop me.
Drinking became the sole focus of my life. I would spend hours a day looking for a club, a house party, a small social gathering to go to, and if there wasn’t one, I created one at my house, all in order to drink until I couldn’t function. It had got to the point where I would drink up until it was time for me to get ready for work. Even when I got to work, my job took a back seat to figuring out how to not drink alone that night.
It seems impossible to me that I survived. I can’t believe my body never shut down from the enormous amounts of Hennessey I’d pour down my throat, or that I didn’t break my neck walking on a flat surface. Crazier though, is that somehow I held together working at least 40 hours a week and was working towards my degree. For a long time, I didn’t look like I had a drinking problem, and I was comforted by that. How could I hold all of this together if I was an addict?
Eventually though, my drinking caught up with me. I dropped out of school. I lost my job. I was hanging out with a group of people I had no business calling my friends. The downward spiral didn’t matter. I could just drink more and forget about it. Alcohol was always there. For four years, it was the best friend I had.
In 2009, I had a life changing experience. I’m not at liberty to really discuss it, and in truth, I’m not ready to. I’ve promised to my readers to share my truth, and my truth is that my rock bottom moment is something I need to keep private. One day, I hope to be able to share my life with total openness. With my first blog post, I discussed an incredibly difficult relationship that I had, and it was amazing the amount of people that reached out to me to say they had no idea what I had been through, or how much my story meant to them. I’m not ready to have the same attention drawn to this one small aspect of my past.
In times of hardship, I have found a deep connection with God. As soon as my ordeal in 2009 was over, I went to church. Instead of drinking in order to feel nothing, I strived to feel closer to God. While the church isn’t for everyone, I was lucky enough to meet a pastor that I truly credit with my recovery. In our first meeting, she made it very clear to me that if I didn’t deal with my past, the abuse from my ex, the abandonment of my father, the loss of my step-dad, I would be right back to drinking, or possibly worse. That meeting I mostly recall through a blur of tears and tissues. I went home and started writing. I learned how to cope with the pains of my past without drowning them in a glass of vodka. It took time for me to deal with the issues I had been running away from for so long. From 2009-2014 I went without a drop of alcohol. Since I feel good about how I’ve dealt with my pain and have accepted what has happened to me and what I have done to myself, I am comfortable having a drink every so often. I understand that for some people, a drinking problem is a one way street, where one drink turns into ten and it’s dangerous to even be around someone else who is drinking, but this is not the case for me. The only problem liquor causes in my life now is when my editor can’t focus and drink at the same time.
Photo Credit: “Addiction… Thought of the Day.” 945 WCMS. Web. 4 Nov. 2015.