Along the way, I stopped drinking alcohol and started using it.
My love affair with alcohol transformed over the many years that I embraced it. What began as an innocent social lubricant morphed itself into a daily life crutch that hindered me from becoming the best version of myself.
Overall, instead of helping me, alcohol started hurting me. Instead of adding to my story, it began to take parts of it away. My drinking generated drama and began to make my life harder, not easier to manage.
I was in love with the instant gratification that alcohol provided me. I was a busy Mom—I didn’t have time to relax! If wine came in pill form, I would have taken that to save time! It would have been far more efficient and more discreet too.
My reality was that when I wasn’t out socially, I began to use alcohol as a coping mechanism for my life. It wasn’t “a drink.” It was a tool.
I used alcohol to relax.
I used alcohol to relieve anxiety.
I used alcohol to relieve stress.
I used alcohol when I was bored.
I used alcohol when I was lonely.
I used alcohol when I was scared.
I used alcohol to help me fall asleep.
I used alcohol when I was annoyed.
I used alcohol when I was sad.
I used alcohol when I was sick.
I used alcohol when I was angry.
I used alcohol when I didn’t know what to do, or what the right decision was, or when I was confused.
I used alcohol to reward myself.
It’s not like there was always a reason to drink alcohol; it’s that there was never a reason not to drink alcohol. So widely available, so socially accepted, so socially expected—I was simply utilizing my resources!
I clung to it because I was convinced that I could take control of it. Like an abusive boyfriend, I could change my relationship with it; l figured I could fix it. I believed I could reverse my relationship with it, back to when it was fun and naive if I just tried harder.
In the meantime, I would continue to subject myself to more abuse. Instead of accepting that alcohol had begun to cause me more harm than good, I suffered unnecessarily. Driving me was the illusion that I needed it.
As hard as I tried, using alcohol to cope with my life didn’t work out too well because I began to drink over complications that only the alcohol gave rise to. The guilt, the shame, the remorse, the regrets, the cognitive dissonance, the soul-crushing chronic anxiety.
Round and round the merry-go-round. The worse I felt, the more I drank. The more I drank, the worse I felt. Until one random Wednesday morning, I said enough. Hungover and emotionally depleted, I had an effortless thought that changed the trajectory of my existence…
I don’t ever have to feel this way again. I can change this. I can fix this.
Eight hundred and five days ago, I stopped fighting my losing struggle with alcohol. Sometimes quitting makes you the winner. Sobriety has been the greatest gift I have ever given to myself and my family.