My Journey with Sobriety

My Journey with Sobriety

Hello all, and welcome to my next blog post. This month, I wanted to write a post about my addiction and sobriety. It is something I felt ashamed of for so long, and now I’m embracing it as part of my journey, and I want to share my story for others who might be struggling. So, here we go.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been addicted to alcohol. Starting from the first time I used it to numb my feelings. I was 14, and my dad had just left a few weeks prior. I was so confused and angry and, well, an unmedicated bipolar teenager. I wanted to forget my problems. I wanted to escape.

An older boy invited me and my friend over to hang out, so we went. And I got drunk for the first time. We drank rye. An entire bottle between 3 teenagers, me having had a bit more than the others. I remember watching a movie and then it all goes dark. I have bits and pieces from the night; being half dragged home, trying to get to my room and not wake up my mom, and puking. A lot. I had the worst hangover the next day and I got in a huge amount of trouble, as my mom had walked in on me throwing up the night before and knew what had happened based on the smell. I remember thinking “I am never drinking again”. And I didn’t, for a while. Until I realized I missed being drunk. I missed the freedom I felt, I missed feeling numb to what was going on in my life.

By 16, I was drinking fairly regularly. Whether it was at a party, at a friend’s house, or sneaking alcohol into my own home. At this point, being 27 now, I barely remember my life before alcohol. It has always been a part of how I dealt with my emotions when it all became too much for me. And once I turned 18 and could buy my own alcohol, everything changed.

I don’t recall a lot of my early twenties. Ages 18 to 24 honestly are a bit of a blur for me. I was so drunk all the time, that I have holes in my memory. Most nights I drank, were to the point of being a stumbling drunk mess. I said and did things I would normally never do. I would drink every day, and it would always be in large amounts. I didn’t understand moderation. I chased the numbing effect alcohol gave me, as I had not confronted any issues from my past. I was in total denial that I even had a problem. I always had the excuse that all my friends drank as much as me, and as often. I kept bad company and fed off their addictions too. All I ever wanted to do was drink. I stopped having other interests.

I spent my mornings hung over and embarrassed. I was so humiliated by my actions the night before and it seemed every day there was a reason to be ashamed of my actions. I hated the feeling, but I was addicted so I kept drinking. Once I turned 24, I started trying to get sober. Trying and failing, many times over. The longest I could seem to stay sober was a week. I struggled for 2 years, when finally, as we all know, I started having some terrible stomach issues. I had caused permanent damage to my body and could no longer drink in excess. I physically couldn’t anymore. While I was annoyed at the time, it ended up being the biggest blessing. I HAD to stop drinking. I no longer had a choice, because I physically couldn’t keep it down long enough to get drunk.

Alcohol had its claws so deep in me, I literally never thought I would be able to get sober. It seemed impossible, and the temptation would always be there. In some ways, I was angry when I thought about getting sober. Angry that I would have to be “different”, even more than I already was. I was so annoyed that I wouldn’t be able to have a glass of wine at a nice dinner or have a drink when I went camping. I was so angry at the world for dealing me these cards; bipolar, GAD, childhood trauma, AND addiction? It felt so unfair. I spent so many years fighting the urge to drink and being told by every single program that it had to be all or nothing.

When I started therapy in November 2017, I was so damaged, so broken. And it took almost 2 full years of therapy to prepare me for sobriety. While I had tried and failed many times to be sober, this time was sticking. My stomach issues started March of 2019, and by August, I was so ready for sobriety. Since August 23rd 2019, I have had 3 relapses. 3 relapses in 10 months. I didn’t realise I had progressed so much in therapy until I tried to get sober this one final time. I had learned to regulate my emotions, I had learned a bunch of different coping tools, and overall, my mood had improved thanks to medication and therapy. I was no longer depressed. There literally just stopped being a reason for me to drink.

The fact that I have been “mostly” sober for 10 months feels surreal. I don’t identify with the girl I was before. It feels like a totally different past life of mine that I don’t care to remember. I’ve truly grown so much, maturity wise and in how I deal with my emotions. My last relapse was in mid February this year, so I am 4 months sober now. 4 months is the longest I’ve been sober since I was 14 years old. And I am extremely proud of that. I have a long way to go still, but I’m so happy with the way my life is going and how much my outlook has changed.

For anyone trying to get sober, it’s going to be the hardest thing you’ve ever done. But I can tell you that it will be worth it.

2 Replies to “My Journey with Sobriety”

  1. So proud that you have taken the first steps in dealing with your addiction. I will always be there to support you in reclaiming the person you were always meant to be. Love you, Mom.

  2. Way to go! 10 months! One day at a time! My concurrent disorder journey included incorporating a recovery program. I wouldn’t change my path, except to incorporate some of what others have done to maintain their sobriety. Keep coming back!

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