Unknowingly, my addiction started in 2009 when I was 13 years old. That's when my new best friend and I took a bottle of Grey Goose from her brother and drank to get drunk. They told us to “just say no”. But I was never told why, and what could really happen when I said yes.
I also just moved back into the town I grew up in. At the end of 4th grade I moved to Orange, CT and lost contact with those childhood friends. Moving there brought me a lot of pain and loneliness. My group of friends and I were teased and bullied because we were “different”. I was told to kill myself at one point. Sometimes kids are pretty awful to each other. So, when my mom gave me the option of moving back to my hometown or staying there, I chose the first option. It wasn't easy making friends when I moved back. I was in 8th grade. I was embarrassed and I just wanted a fresh start but I didn't realize how little confidence I had. I was so scared to put myself out there that the first people who stuck around me became my group of friends.
Despite the constant nagging of my mom to “get involved”, or to join a club. And I definitely tried to join clubs and play sports but my lack of confidence got in the way of my ability to succeed in that environment. Needless to say, those next 4 years of high school flew by in a blur. I drank way too often for my age and experimented with a lot of drugs. “This is fun”, I’d think. Glad to get the party stage out of the way early. And guess what? It was fun until it wasn’t and everyone was losing control. So when all of my “friends” were addicted to pills by our senior year I’m high school, I knew something wasn't right.
And though I was successful in college, even with a pretty low, low. I thought I made it out okay. I had a baby, I still graduated and I was finally with someone who cared for me. And then, life became literally unmanageable. To the point where I was losing control faster than I could even realize. I've been sober since August 12, 2018, I think about all the times I could have overdosed, gotten arrested, gotten seriously hurt or worse: death. I never wanted to die, so what happened to me?
I didn't feel like that kind of life was the one I was meant to live on this planet. Deep, deep, deep down I always knew I was capable of so much more. Which brought me to my path of healing now. Because I realized if I'm not okay, the ones I love and who need ME in one piece will totally not be okay.. This journey has only been a month and it feels like forever. It has brought me a lot of pain and heartache I didn't even know I had. Sometimes leaving me with questions like, “who's life is this?” or thoughts about how life was easier before and I wish it just stayed that way. But I don’t regret a thing, because that life before was incredibly miserable. I was so unhappy with myself and I never understood. I hated who I looked at. Every inch of that girl. And I eventually avoided the mirror all together and self-care flew out the window. But, there’s one little boy who’s really counting on me. He’s sweet, smart and has a beautiful, old soul. He’s just like me and he deserved a better mother. It made me realize how, even though I really tried my best, THAT was not even close. I could and would be a better mom, a better partner and a better friend. I just had to get sober and more importantly stay sober.
Now, I am still slowly weeding out the toxicity that brought me to my bottom. It's working. Every painful step I've taken has shown its benefits, and I’m beyond grateful for my sobriety. So, even when life gets really tough and I think that I'll give up, I remember I promised myself I would never be “that girl” again. First me, then you is my motto for now. And in all honesty, putting myself first just seems so selfish. But, in reality it is the most selfless act I could do for me and my family.
Connecting with sober women, having the support of AA and other avenues of support has helped me immensely. I’ve come to realize that, at times, the journey of sobriety is a lonely one. Sometimes it feels like no one understands, that no one can hear you and that you’re drowning. You’re gasping for air or grabbing for something that doesn’t exist or has been left behind. There are days where my life feels like a movie; I’m playing a part, and so is everyone else, and it just doesn’t feel real. When those days happen, it’s almost crippling. And at the very beginning, it did cripple me. I was unable to work, unable to care for myself, and I tried my best for my son. I wasn’t alone, but I was so lost. It’s been hard to find myself some days, but every bad day I have is always followed by a great, happy day. It’s just the beginning for me, and I’m so blessed to be where I am right now.