Dear You: You’re Not Alone

Hi, friends! My name is Brittany and I recently created this lil’ ole’ blog to have a place to share my experience, strength, and hope with anyone who needs it. As an undeniable alcoholic (I choose to use that term but you absolutely don’t have to), I’ve spent a lot of years fighting my truth followed by accepting my truth followed by embracing my truth. While I am absolutely not an expert on alcoholism or an alcoholic guru or anything of that nature, I am a real human being who has been through hell and back in terms of alcohol and other addictions. I think that’s as good a qualification as any to start a blog, amirite?

Before I go any further, I want to share with you a little about me and how I got here. Our stories are our power, and I want to give you some of my power and hope.

I started drinking when I was 14. It wasn’t immediately apparent to me or others that there was a problem, but looking back the signs were definitely there. Drinking myself into blackouts, driving drunk, doing things I regretted on a regular basis – this all started at a pretty young age. But I’m a pretty good girl and was decent in every other respect, so no one thought anything of it. I went off to a good college with a full scholarship and enjoyed a year and a half of pretty average college experiences. This was great for my morale and temporarily squashed any questions as to whether I could be a problem drinker. After all, when everyone else is falling down drunk alongside you, that means it’s not a problem, right?

Unfortunately, I was soon introduced to Adderall and went down a two-year path of extreme Adderall abuse and addiction that quickly and very efficiently wrecked my world. When your alcoholic boyfriend who is rarely sober notices you’re taking too much Adderall, that’s a good sign you have a problem and aren’t great at hiding it. During the Adderall Years, I drank daily (gotta come down somehow), partied regularly, and barely managed to keep my shit together enough to avoid getting asked uncomfortable questions. This was great for a while, but I’m one of those people who struggle to ignore inner turmoil, and this is ultimately what has saved my life time and again. When I couldn’t bear the personal and emotional pain of Adderall addiction, I begged my parents to ship me off to rehab for a 30-day reality check.

I was 21 when I went into rehab, so I’m sure you can imagine the combination of crippling ignorance and obnoxious entitlement I had coursing through my veins. I was vehemently sure I was not an alcoholic and that Adderall (and other uppers) were my problem. I was also pretty positive I could deal with my issues on my own and didn’t need the help I had quite literally begged for just a few days earlier. Millenials, man. Always ungrateful.

After a whole lot of bitching and moaning and the successful completion of a 32-day rehab stay, I managed to reclaim somewhat of a normal, independent life. It worked out for about three months and then I started drinking. Despite “not being an alcoholic, I SWEAR,” I quickly found myself drinking a minimum of a bottle of wine a night, alone. It quickly – let me repeat, quickly – got out of hand. Random hookups, regular blackouts, calling in sick to work, close calls with the cops, broken trust and ruined friendships – this was my daily life. And it sucked. So I drank more to forget how much it sucked. I’m sure you’re familiar with the cycle.

This went on from age 22 to 25. While many people drink for several years or even decades, I did a shit ton of damage in a short amount of time and truly believe I have earned my seat in recovery. Whereas some start off slow, I took off running with a bottle of booze in each hand and didn’t look back. This wasn’t a conscious decision but rather a crippling need to fill the holes that hollowed my insides when sober. Please know: I didn’t choose to be a raging alcoholic.

Somehow, I stumbled upon an amazing man who promptly informed me that I needed to get my shit together or I could kiss our relationship goodbye. I thought that was cute and kept drinking. Until one day I woke up, having drunk our $500 anniversary champagne (warm, I might add), with a terrible hangover and a genuinely confused husband. He looked at me with bewilderment and asked, “why would you drink this champagne?” And I honestly had no answer. I had no idea why I drank it, just like I had no idea why I chugged mini-bottles of wine when no one was looking or hid wine throughout my apartment or lied about how much I drank or drank and drove or any of the things I did in relation to alcohol. I didn’t know. I was dumbstruck. And I was broken.

That day is the day I decided to get sober. And I’ve spent every day since then doing my best to become the person I want to be: A sober, dignified woman.

 

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