I realize a lot of you have supported my choice to give up alcohol, without question. Here I am 600+ days later, and I also realize I have never elaborated much on my decision to get sober. I could tell you a lot of stories, but the short answer is I was better at drinking than being drunk.
While searching for a “before” photo for this post, I was slightly disappointed at how happy I looked in the majority of my college, party pictures. Not that a lot of those nights weren’t fun but happiness was the farthest thing from my truth.
Although I am smiling in both of those photos, I can tell you the inward difference could not be greater.
What’s not captured in those old photos is throwing up, screaming matches, cheating, stealing, broken phones (and bones), tear soaked pillows, suicide attempts, car wrecks, ruined friendships, many regrets and the most brutal hangovers you can imagine.
All of those things fueled my lifestyle of DRINK, REGRET, REPEAT. And it took me a really long time to see that Gatorade + ibuprofen couldn’t fix my anxiety and depression as it might a hangover.
Back then, I held onto a false hope that I could handle it all and I could be just like every other 20-something college kid. I didn’t want help. I didn’t want to be fixed. I just wanted to be “normal.”
But after struggling for nearly 7 years, I was tired of the highs and lows and pretending to be someone I was not. The rollercoaster ride got too intense, so I got off. I walked away from it all and accepted that I wasn’t, nor will I ever be “normal.” And at 27 years old, for the first time in my life, I chose my health and happiness as a priority.
Almost two years later, I have learned to replace those unhealthy habits with things that benefit my growth as a person mentally, physically, and spiritually. It’s not always easy and it’s not always fun but it’s always worth it.
My story is long, my patience short, and I’m continually working on both. So rather than look back in anger, I’m looking forward to all of the things I am meant to accomplish without numbing and avoiding life’s many challenges.
Thank you to all who choose to support me. Thank you to all who have been brave enough to say “me too” when we talk about alcohol, addiction, or mental illness. I love this crazy, beautiful life and want to spend the rest of it showing that all is not lost on the things that threaten to steal your light.