I grew up in a family that was destroyed by alcoholism and mental illness. We were your textbook dysfunctional family. When my parents split, my mother’s mental health deteriorated and we faced financial hardship. I was filled with fear and uncertainty.
I can’t remember a time when I ever felt comfortable in my own skin, or void of inner turmoil. As I got older I found something that took care of both of these problems. From the first sip of alcohol, I was different. I may not have realized it at the time, but from that day forward, my mission in life was numb myself. I used to abuse prescription pain killers, diet pills, alcohol, marijuana, cocaine, ecstasy, Special K and even experimented with heroine. Anything to not feel. During this process I found that I fit in better with my peers as well. I would be at the good parties and feel like I fit in. I would be more inhibited and able to let loose and socialize.
After a year at college I became a daily drinker and participated in criminal activity surrounding drugs, even getting a DUI. I returned home only to find myself more and more powerless over my alcoholism and addiction. I often put my life and the lives of others in jeopardy. I became an embarrassment to my family and was incapable of holding a job. I was even at times suicidal.
When I tried to stop, I found that I couldn’t. As much as I would wake up in the morning and not want to so the same thing again, I would always end up drunk or high and usually in a risky situation. I began having the shakes in the morning, and once had a seizure.
In 2005, at 22 years old, I walked into the emergency room and said I can’t stop drinking. That was my surrender and I have never forgotten that awful day. I don’t remember much but I do remember trying to overdose, and at the same time crying out for help.
In the past nine years my life has taken on new meaning. I’ve established myself in a professional career, become a mother, gone back to school, built healthy relationships with friends and family, and most importantly become an asset to my community and the world about me. My daughter will never have to see me drunk or high and this will hopefully break the cycle in my family.
I have become educated in the field of addiction counseling and have a lot to offer the sick and suffering. I’ve become involved with community building volunteer efforts and am in the beginning stages of starting an organization with a mission to inspire personal growth. The miracle that has come from my recovery is the freedom I feel to do anything and go anywhere in this life now that I’m free from the prison of alcoholism and addiction.