I hope you all had a great weekend! Today I'm taking a quick break from the typical outfit of the day stylings to share a very personal post about a journey I have been on and a huge milestone I reached in that journey.
I know I have talked before about my anxiety but what I have not talked about was a huge part of what was fueling it. And that was alcohol. Yes. I am an extremely grateful recovering alcoholic. You guys will read this Monday the 22nd, but on Sunday, May 21st I reached my first full year sober!
In light of that, I thought maybe I should share some of my story with you in hopes that it may help someone else who is currently in active addiction or feeling alone. You're not! There is help and you can stop, it may not seem like it now, but it is possible!
Along the way I can look back now and confidently say the Lord was trying to tell me early on the direction in which I was heading. At times blatantly! But I had it under control. I knew what I was doing. Just the same thing that everyone does! So, I just kept doing what I was doing.
Then Covid hit and it REALLY got bad! My nerves were wrecked constantly and the only cure I knew of that worked was alcohol. It got to where I would hide it in my room. In my closet, in my drawers, under my bed. I would get up in the morning and feel awful, so I would take a sip to feel a little better and once I did I would just keep going. It became a vicious cycle, my nerves would be wrecked, I'd drink, feel better temporarily. then my nerves would be wrecked again.
Then my health started to become effected. My doctors were concerned with my liver levels and I went to doctor after doctor to try and figure out why the levels were so high. I had not been completely honest with them as to how much I was drinking. I was lying to everyone, myself included. I was scared to tell anyone the extent of my drinking. I was afraid of what they'd think, if they'd look at me differently, and if I am being honest, that I would actually have to stop.
Also, about this time another scary realization began to hit me; I did not know how to stop.
It was not as simple as just not drinking. I physically and mentally could not stop.
In the big book of AA there is a line "someday he(she) will be unable to imagine his(her) life either with or without alcohol. Then he/she will know a loneliness that few do. He/she will be at the jumping off point."
That was where I was at.
On May 19th, 2022 I had a physical with my doctor. I was DREADING it. I knew my drinking had been even worse and on top of that I had not really been taking care of myself like I should. So, to calm my nerves before the appointment I took a sip or two.
What was strange though, is I had this strong feeling that this appointment was going to be the beginning of the end one way or the other. I would either get better or.... not. As grim as that sounds.
Sure enough the appointment did not go great, although I actually tried to be a bit more honest with my doctor about my alcoholism (still not fully honest but more so.) I went home, drank a little more to calm my nerves. The next day, the 20th was a Friday. I got my results back and as any true alcoholic does I drank to calm my nerves before I read the results.
Mind you, I had not really slept much, worked all day, and was anxious as hell.
The results were bad. Liver levels were higher than they'd ever been and my doctor actually suggested I go to a rehab center before I did permanent damage to my liver. That scared the shit out of me! I was too stunned to cry and I was shaking from fear. I did not know what to do, I wanted to talk to someone, but no one really knew my secret. So, who could I tell?
I went to a meeting where I met a friend, who also happened to be a nurse and I confided in her and told her how scared I was. She was so kind to me! She hugged me tightly and told me that everything was going to be alright, and the levels would come down. She also assured me I could call her anytime, day or night. I cannot tell you what that meant to me! I got a white chip and, on my way, home I stopped off at a park and parked my car. I was still a bit of a hot mess, but for the first time in years I said an honest prayer. I just said, 'I know I cannot keep living this way. I need help. I don't know how to do this on my own.' I got out of my car and threw out what alcohol I had left.
Immediately the anxiety and tension I had been feeling for almost two full days was lifted and replaced by a warm comforting feeling. I felt really tired, but I also felt a strange sense of peace which had evaded me for a long time.
Saturday May 21st, 2022 marked my first full day completely sober.
Also, my blog has taken on a new life! My passion for it has ignited all over again, and I feel more creative and confident to go out and take pictures.
Everything has changed so much and while the struggle to get here was dark and lonely, I'm glad I had to go through it to really appreciate this side of what life has to offer.
Thank you so much for being on this journey with me! I truly appreciate it and I hope my story finds someone who needs to hear it. You're not alone! There is no shame in asking for help! And we do recover!