August 24, 2016

Today is my brother’s birthday. Today is also the day, 5 years ago, when I should have started making a change, but did not.

5 years ago. I am 24 years old. I am at a bar, celebrating my brothers 21st birthday. I am hammered. We are all hammered. We are at a bar that proudly proclaims, “Unlimited wings and beer!”

I am with my boyfriend, who I love very much. He is my everything. Everything is right with the world.

Until 2am that morning, when I find myself in a car, sans boyfriend, with a friend of the boyfriend, and a kiss is shared. I feel awful. I go home. I torture myself for a week, then tell my boyfriend. We get through it, painfully. I fall into a depression that lasts over a year. I self-medicate with alcohol. Finally I see a therapist. She refers me to a psychologist and I start antidepressants.

Two years later, I have a handle on the depression, my relationship moves forward, I get engaged, then married. Everything is wonderful again. I am still drinking like a fish, and so is my husband, and so is his family, my family, our friends.

We go on a camping trip, almost 5 years later, and I blackout, wake up in a male friends tent scared, disoriented, confused. You can guess the rest. I tell my husband immediately. We cry, we fight. I am disgusted with myself. I finally realize that, while I understand there are some underlying issues here, no doubt- Alcohol is always there to help make my life miserable. It sneaks in my body and runs through my veins, poisoning my morals and spirit and willpower. “But I’m a good person!” I cry out. It sticks its tongue out at me and pulls me further down.

I am 29 years old. I will not go into a 30 this same person. I spent 17 sober days rethinking my drinking life. Total abstinence sounds scary, so I will start here. I sit here in my kitchen, detailing out on my little notepad how many drinks I had last night and how they made me feel. I plan the next few days. I feel at once empowered for making a change, and pathetic for needing to. But it’s a start. I owe it to myself, my marriage, my friendships, my health, my family to make this change. I hope you will all follow my journey. I know I’ll be following yours. It helps to not feel so alone.

So now I’ll close my computer, tuck my pad away, and move forward, one step at a time.

2 comments on “Today
  1. Kary May Hickey says:

    You are a good person. Alcohol is the culprit, our only culpability is not doing what we need to do to take away its control by doing nothing. You are doing what you need to do. I’ve been where you are, I’ve woken up having no idea what I’d done the night before. You’re not alone.

  2. HorseLover says:

    “…so I will start here.” Boy, those five words. They are so simple, and yet so profound. When in the throes of depression, anxiety, HO, negative self talk, we just don’t know how to get out of the whole mess. And yet. “…so I will start here.” You are so brave and wise to start your journey at such a young age. Your life is going to be so much better and I’m so happy for you!

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