Stacey’s Story…

"I once drank 2 bottles of wine then carved a heart in my wrist to feel anything. I didn’t, and now I have that reminder etched forever."

"My name is Stacey. I don’t like labels, but my poison of choice is alcohol- call it what you will. I am an alcoholic. My relationship with alcohol was delightful, until it wasn’t. Alcohol was abundant in my upbringing, but I never touched it until I was close to graduating high school (which I did- 6 months early, I’ve always been on the fast track); it was strictly for grown-ups. I remember vividly getting drunk for the first time at 17, 2 cosmopolitans. For the first time I felt cool, validated, and accepted. I was always the book nerd, but I was on the cheer squad and dance team; so I had a lot of friends, but I struggled with PMDD and my emotions were too big for my little body so I was prone to breakdowns within my home and feeling like an outsider from the “cool” kids.

My family was the best, I loved growing up in a small TX town and I had a best friend who to this day is still my best friend. I poisoned my body the most through college- somehow still graduating cum laude (always the perfectionist). I somehow skirted by without a DUI or a PI and after college moved to California and got a great career (I was hungover quite often, but still excelled in my job). I was in a 5 year relationship with another alcoholic (I was in denial- always felt his problem was worse than mine) and this ended badly after 1.5 years of marriage and booze-fueled rage fights. I spent my first married Thanksgiving alone. My parents also divorced. I didn’t believe in love, but I was addicted to that too. Between alcohol and men, I was always in the middle.

Every social event led to a black out. I didn’t care. I drank to suppress everything I felt was broken- my immediate family, my mind, my failed marriage. I once drank 2 bottles of wine then carved a heart in my wrist to feel anything. I didn’t, and now I have that reminder etched forever. I did find love again. I found it through my soul mate (they do exist) ; a man who is 13 years sober. He always forgave me for the black out nights; when I couldn’t contain my hurt and anger and would project onto him in the meanest ways. I found love through my baby daughter. I broke my heart for the thousandth moment I got honest, really honest, and discovered I stopped nursing early because I wanted to drink; I lied that I wasn’t producing milk. I could have tried harder. With alcohol abuse on both sides of the family, I declared that I would break our generational curse. The buck stops here. I will never deny Scarlett anything again because I chose alcohol. I vowed to give Scarlett sober parents; for genetic reasons and also to lead by example that life is meant to be FELT and experienced. And there are other ways to deal. Maybe she won’t have to learn the hard way- that you don’t have to drown, yell, kick, scream when you feel you can’t breathe. One day at a time teaches me not just to NOT drink, but that the present is a safe place to be. I want my family to feel safe with me. That I choose them over all else. And that I choose me too. I am 50 days sober from all forms of intoxicants. I’ve never felt more free. I also feel that I’m getting ME back; the one I discarded at 17 and lost."