Three years. It truly feels unfathomable. It feels like forever ago I couldn’t and wouldn’t dare to imagine facing my life without the crutch of a substance. For the longest time I couldn’t figure out what was wrong with me–why I felt like I was so unbelievably broken. I would observe the lives of others and how they managed to get through their days as normal people. I didn’t understand how that kind of life could exist. I was always reaching for something, someone, to save me from my despair. Alcohol and drugs had a complete hold on me and it made me so angry. But at the same time, they were my best friends and I really didn’t know how to do life without them.
On August 5th, 2013, I made a leap of faith in attempt to divorce the broken person I had so sadly become. I wanted more. Somewhere deep inside, I knew I had a purpose. I knew that I couldn’t waste the life I was given. I believed I could have better–I knew I could do better. I just had no idea how.
I started this change by eliminating the common denominator in all of my present problems. Substance. I decided to get sober. This honestly, in a way, felt like my life was over. And it was. My life was over as I knew it. I was only 20 years old and it was pretty devastating to realize this was my reality. I wasn’t just college binge drinking. I was sick with alcoholism. It was scary to admit that but also it was the most relieving discovery. I no longer had to be a slave to my drugs. I could admit out loud that I was powerless over substance and that I needed help.
Eliminating substance was only the start to a journey that will be ongoing until the day that I die. I will aways be an alcoholic and I will never be able to drink normally. I cannot have one drink and quite frankly I don’t want one drink–I want the whole damn bottle. My alcoholism wants me dead and it will do whatever it takes to accomplish that goal.
Staying physically sober was just the beginning. I needed and continue to need a spiritual solution in order to stay well. For me, that consists of being completely honest, being of service to others and taking responsibility for my part in my wrongs. If I feel shitty about myself and my actions, that takes me closer to a drink. And the closer I get to a drink, the closer I am to losing everything beautiful in my life and it takes me closer to an alcoholic death. The most valuable lesson I think I have learned in recovery is the importance of partaking in esteemable acts because that’s what gives me self-esteem–knowing that I am doing some good in the world and not just selfishly taking from it.
I believe these last three years have been the best years of my entire life. They haven’t by any means been easy. Life still happens. People fuck me over, I’ve lost ones I love, I’ve struggled and continue to struggle with eating disorders, and there have been many many tears. But what recovery and sobriety has given me is continuous hope. There has never been a moment in the last three years where I have felt like giving up on life. I have too much faith in this life now to think that things will never be okay. I know that they will no matter what I face. The reason for that is because I am sober. I get to feel everything–the good and the bad and I feel it all. I am here one hundred percent of the time. I don’t get to escape anymore and I don’t want to.
I have received so much in these last three years. I can’t honestly believe how much I have. I have an amazing relationship with my family and I never go a day without being told I am loved by them. I have incredible friendships that have carried me through the hard times, including one of my best friends who is 8 years old with autism. I met my person who I love with every fiber of my being. I get to live in a beautiful apartment with him and share our sober lives together. I fucking graduated from college and started a career in my chosen field! But most importantly, I have sobriety. Recovery is the most important out of all of those things because without it, I promise you I would lose it all.
Thank you to everyone who has supported through this journey thus far and has completed accepted me for the alcoholic that I am. I am so beyond grateful.