This is the most vulnerable post I’ve ever written. It’s a side of myself I never intended for the whole world to see. A side of myself I thought I could conquer in silence while continuing to put on a happy face for the public, but that just isn’t the case. I’m coming clean so I can GET clean. So I can stop drowning my sorrows and anxieties in whiskey and start being the woman I want to be.
Around a month ago, I decided to cut out liquor. I thought, “THIS is the problem. I can handle beer and wine. Those are simple. It’s the liquor I can’t do.” But it wasn’t long before beer and wine became just as much of a problem.
I always started out with good intentions. Just a couple of drinks and I’ll stop. Just one more. And before I knew it I was leaving a trail of drunk calls and texts to people I had no business talking to. People that made me feel small and heartbroken. Like I wasn’t enough. So I compensated… with more alcohol.
Maybe it would make me more fun? More interesting? Maybe I wouldn’t feel so lonely surrounded by people in the clubs? Maybe my broken heart would stop aching for even a few hours. Just long enough for me to feel like me again. But that was never the case.
I always woke up alone, makeup smeared down my face, sick to my stomach, and horrified at the things I did or said the night before. What was I thinking? “I’m never drinking that much again.” I’d tell myself, only to end up at the bar again the next weekend.
I wasn’t raised in a house with alcohol, I went to church every Sunday, I had lovely friends that didn’t have to drink to hang out with me. But somehow I found my way there. Sitting at a bar, sipping on my third whisky and Dr. Pepper in an hour, wondering why I felt so abandoned. Hoping the buzz would set in soon so I would stop feeling like I wasn’t enough. Like I didn’t deserve love.
Alcohol put me in situations sober me wouldn’t get within 100 miles of. It put me around people that only wanted me around for what they could get from me. It allowed those people to take advantage of my vulnerable state and manipulate me into playing their games. I lost a lot of respect for myself that way. I became a person my high school self would have been concerned about.
I started drinking when I was nineteen years old. My parents had no idea. I’d been a goody-two-shoes my whole life. Never drank, never did drugs, never had sex… heck, at that time I’d just had my first kiss! And that first kiss quickly became my first boyfriend. My first heartbreak.
Finding out your significant other is cheating is something awful. Finding out they’re cheating with several other girls can destroy you. It will send your whole world straight to hell and take what you thought about yourself with it. That’s when I found alcohol.
Alcohol was there when I couldn’t handle the pain of rejection. When I couldn’t face not being enough. And after every lost love, it was there. Waiting for me to come home and comfort myself with the warm burn of whiskey, or the sharp shock of tequila. Whatever pain I felt, alcohol was there to take it away. To tell me everything would be ok.
But nothing is ok when all you have to cope is alcohol. I was in denial of my problem. I thought, “well if I can take breaks from it I’m not an alcoholic.” But let me tell you a harsh truth… you don’t have to have a drink everyday to have an alcohol problem. You don’t have to drink hard liquor to have an alcohol problem. If drinking is your outlet, if you can’t stop until you are slurring your words or blacking out, baby, you have an alcohol problem.
If you’re addicted to alcohol, I know what you feel. I know you’re carrying shame and guilt. You never thought you’d be here. I definitely didn’t think I’d ever be writing this. If you’d told me when I was eighteen that in a year I’d have an unhealthy relationship with alcohol I would’ve laughed in your face. I was on my way to a Christian college where I’d study for my dream career and meet my future husband. I wasn’t going to be crying into a glass over some piece-of-trash dude that couldn’t see my worth. But that’s just it. Life isn’t predictable like that. And maybe I’ve gone through this so someone else doesn’t have to.
I’ve lost friends, pushed away family, began to hate myself, and distanced myself from my Heavenly Father all for the love of alcohol. But that’s all going to change and I made the choice to go public with this decision because it will keep me accountable, not only to my audience, but to my loved ones that are counting on me to choose them over a drink.
June 7th, the morning after I’d gotten blackout drunk for the very last time, was the day I decided to be alcohol free. That night I went with my sister and one of our friends to see the movie, Rocketman, and the timing could not have been better. The movie tells the story of my favorite recording artist, Sir Elton John, and his journey to sobriety. He has been sober for 28 years. I thought to myself, “If my favorite rock legend can get clean, so can I.”
Today, June 8th, is my first day with absolutely no alcohol in my system. My first day sober. I have a lot of work to do. A lot of self-improvement to embark on, but I’m confident I can do it. I am very blessed to have a strong support system of family and friends that I know not every addict has. And while I know this will cause some people to whisper under their breath as I walk by, I’d rather speak up and let that person out there struggling with alcoholism know they’re not alone.
I’ll be posting weekly updates every Saturday so those that are interested can follow my journey to a life of sobriety. I ask that you remain sensitive to this situation as my blog is a safe place for people to reach out for help and negative comments will not be tolerated.
Thank you to all my loving friends, family, and church family that have seen me through my worst times and continued to cheer me on through my best. I wouldn’t be able to do this without you.
All my love and appreciation,