Just for today
Growing up I was always shy, filled with anxiety being around groups of people. I think that I always felt not good enough, or I just wanted to fit in and feel comfortable. By the age of 14 I had my first drunk. I remember loving the way it made me feel and ever since then I wanted to drink whenever & where ever I could. I'm pretty sure that the day I became alcoholic was the day I had my first drunk.
By the age of 15 I was drinking every weekend, and by excessive amounts. I was put in the hospital for alcohol poisoning numerous times during my first year of drinking. By late that year my parents sent me to my first rehab in upstate NY. I stayed for a month and I remember being in the rehab trying to figure out a way to get drunk. I thought about drinking the hand sanitizer, or making alcohol out of apples which kids told me it would get you drunk. A week after leaving that rehab I was obviously drunk again. My parents just didn't understand why I wouldn't listen and why I would continue hurting myself. I was grounded all the time and so I began drinking at school. Recently I found an old diary listing the times I could and couldn't drink. But I "could" early mornings, or at school thinking those were the times I wouldn't get fought. Eventually the teachers caught on to it and I was getting suspended from school over and over. My princeable referred me to outpatients which my parents took me to but I never would complete a program, nor stop drinking throughout them. I didn't want to get sober. I was just trying to please everyone around me who thought I had a "problem". I never drank to get buzzed I always drank to get drunk, & blackouts were a regular part of my drinking. But for some reason they never scared me. I would actually like the blackouts because that's how drunk I wanted to get. I remember one time being drunk at school and my nurse telling me I was an alcoholic and that I needed help. I was so angry at her and was crying telling her I wasn't and that she was crazy. I knew something was wrong with my drinking by then but I don't think I was ready to even admit that to myself, let alone anyone else. I remember thinking a lot of times why doesn't anyone else love alcohol as much as I do. And I never understood how someone could just stop drinking and not want more. I wasn't ashamed of my drinking through out high school I was proud of it I thought it was just fun, I didn't know yet, that I had no control over it.
By the end of my senior year was when my alcoholism had gotten really bad. My boyfriend of 2 years had broken up with me because of my drinking, and my parents didn't want anything to do with me. My close friends had started to become more distant from me and didn't want me to be around if they were drinking or if I was. I remember being really mad at that and I didn't understand what there problem was so I began making new friends with people who could handle the way I partied and could keep up with me. I started going on binges and would stay at this old guys house for days or weeks at a time drinking, and doing drugs. I wouldn't answer anybody's calls when I was gone because I didn't want them to know what I was doing or who I was with. It was like I had begun living two lives, and lying to everyone about everything. One life where I was what I called "partying" and the other where I was at home in bed hiding from everyone. My life had become revolved around drinking and drugging. When I was at home I wouldn't leave my house unless a drink was involved, I would barley leave my room because I thought everyone in my house hated me. I became very ani-social and had more anxiety then ever. I couldn't even pick up the phone to call anyone or meet up with anyone if I was sober. I started coming home after my sprees very sick and I didn't know what was wrong with me. I started getting heart palpitations, I would shake, throw up, couldn't eat, couldn't sleep, couldn't even hear or see right. I remember my mom being so afraid for me she would sleep in my room just to make sure I was still breathing. By this time I knew I wasn't normal. I wasn't myself anymore alcohol and drugs had completely taken over every part of my life. It was like I was being dragged around by it. My mind thought about a drink and there was no stopping myself. I continued to come home like this more and more often so my mom finally gave me an ultimatum. She told me I had to go to rehab or get out of the house. I knew I didn't want to go to rehab again so I chose to leave. I moved in with a friend until my drinking started effecting her family. So I started staying in motels with random people just so they would support me to buy my drugs and alcohol. That lasted for about a month until I got very sick again. I called my mom asking her please to pick me up that I would go to rehab if I could come home. I was home for 2 weeks before I could get into rehab, and of course after feeling better, I was back to drinking every day for those 2 weeks.
After leaving this second rehab I realized there was a chance to live a different life, that I didn't have to drink all the time, and that sobriety could be fun. They gave me suggestions there like to go to AA meetings, talk to other alcoholics, change people places and things, but I didn't do any of them. I STILL thought that I could control it. I thought "now that I really want to get sober, I'm going to be able to." At the time, I didn't realize how serious this disease is and that I really don't have a choice if I'm going to drink or not. About a month after leaving inpatient I knew I couldn't drink anymore so I started getting into other drugs because " I never had a problem with them " .. not long after it led me right back to drinking. I was back to my regular binges. I finally ended up in Mercy Hospital, where they sent me to the psych ward for 3 days until my mind was cleared. When I got out I was brought to my first AA meeting. I never really thought that the suggestions and other peoples advise was going to help my mind not obsess over alcohol so I didn't take any of it. I continued to relapse and was in and out of AA for the year. I remember being up all night hearing everyone getting ready for work, and me trying to sleep swearing I was going to get sober tomorrow, but by 4:00 the next day I would be doing the same thing. I decided to go to my 3rd rehab, to help me stop what I was doing. I thought that I knew everything about AA already so I wasn't expecting to learn anything from this place, just thought that it was going to help me stay away from the bad things for the time I was there. After a few days there I actually started listing and taking what they were telling me serious. By this time I knew I couldn't control my drinking. I couldn't control the obsession of the drink from ending up in using. After leaving New Directions rehab, I felt different about everything. I now know that I have to take every suggestion given to me in order to stay sober. I can't do anything my way anymore. I can't live by my will, I have to give that to my higher power. I started working on my steps and putting my all into them, I try to stay as honest as I can with everybody, and I finally started to pray and understand what I am praying about. Today I take every day one day at a time and stay sober just for today. I now understand the slogans like "keep it simple" because that's really all I can do to stay sober.
This Story of Hope was created in celebration of recovery and to let families know that there are pathways to hope and healing. The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids is the only nonprofit organization dedicated to helping families who are struggling with their son or daughter's substance use. Please consider sharing this page so that families know where to turn to for help, and that there is always hope.