April 4, 2015. The absolute hardest, but most beautiful day of my entire life. The day I got clean and sober.
How the hell did that happen? Well, it all happened so fast. I always thought I wasn’t an alcoholic because I wasn’t your everyday drinker. I would drink here and there, but my motto was black out or go home, and I would do just that. The first time I got arrested I was 15 – and it was for underage drinking. The second time I got arrested for underage drinking I was 17. I wasn’t an alcoholic I thought, I was just having fun in high school. At 21, my best friend’s parents sat me down and recommended rehab. But I wasn’t an alcoholic. I just had a rough night. At 23, my sister barely wanted me in her wedding because she just pictured me being like Sandra Bullock in 28 days.
My friends started hiding bottles from me, and stopped inviting me places. I was over everyone, I needed a change. I never did feel like I fit in, even as a child. So, I pulled my first geographic change and moved to California to pursue my dreams of acting where I didn’t know anyone. I’d be so focused on school and work, drinking wouldn’t be an issue. That lasted about 6 months.
One night I went on a date to a bar (where else would you go on a first date) and I was beaten, raped, and left on the side of the road with my heels left in the car. I then became the victim and began drinking my pain away. But it was never going away. I’d spend the next two years moving from roommate-to-roommate because my drinking became intolerable. Until I lived at a house with all guys – where my drinking was finally accepted. For the first few months, at least.
I was always the life of the party, or at least I thought I was until I got too drunk and became a sloppy. BUT I still wasn’t an alcoholic. I just needed to drink beer instead of hard liquor, or maybe I just didn’t know how to pour drinks and should have someone else pour them. Yeah, well we all know how that works… it doesn’t. Then I found my soulmate, my happiness, the love of my life, and she was alright she was alright she was alright, cocaine. No amount of weed or alcohol would make me feel the way I did when I would use cocaine. Shortly after, I was sold meth instead of cocaine and all bets were off. I said I’d never do meth because it wasn’t classy like cocaine. But little did I know it was another thing I became addicted to just as easy as it was for the drug dealer to tell me it was cocaine. My disease was in full effect. I started shipping drugs from the west coast to the east coast, and the people I hung out with thought I was crazy, but the money was so good and I was practically doing any and everything I could to get my hands on drugs. So, what if it could lead me to federal charges? I was on top of the world, until my world came crashing down on me.
My rock bottom happened so fast. My relationship with my family was chaotic and all my mother could do was cry. I couldn’t go to acting school anymore. I was going to get kicked out if anyone smelled how bad I reeked of booze or saw my jaw jerking. I had lost my dreams, all ambition, all self-worth, all self-love, but more importantly, I had lost myself. I knew I was going to die this way, and I was okay with that. I honestly didn’t plan on living past 25. I hated the person I saw in the mirror. She was so sad and so broken. I was so sick of chasing the high. I was sick of being suicidal. I was sick of abusive relationships. I was sick of fake friends. I was sick of life. I began to think, maybe there is a way out. I mean my dad has been clean and sober for 34 years, and he told me what I needed to do. For the first time in my life, I listened.
On April 4, 2015, I decided it was time for a change. I needed recovery more than anything. I posted on Facebook how broken I was, and an acting teacher from the acting school I went to reached out to me. She became my sponsor and has loved me until I learned to love myself. Everything she suggested, I did – ten times over. She helped save my life and still does to this day. I did everything that was suggested of me and more. I would carry a notebook around with me, taking notes on how this whole recovery thing worked. All I wanted was to be happy and find out who this girl was that I had been killing for so many years.
The first person I met in my recovery was a guy named Greg, who lit up the room with his presence. He became very influential to me and helped get me into a sober living home two days after meeting him. He came to see me everyday, just to make sure I was okay. He introduced me to his two other friends in recovery. They were all smiling and joking and always happy. I wanted that. I wanted that more than the air that I breathed. They became my brothers. Sadly, seven months into my recovery, that first friend I ever had in recovery, Greg, died from an overdose. I couldn’t get to the guys soon enough. This was when I began to learn that this disease was no joke. That was the first of many friends I would lose that year and unfortunately, continue to lose. It made me work so much harder and recovery became my way of life. People kept telling me there was a light in my eyes. I didn’t understand that until I was able to begin helping people find their own way, which has been the greatest gift of recovery: watching and helping people transform their lives.
Today, I am living an amazing life. I have the best relationship with my family, a boyfriend who I met in recovery, I’m the godmother to my sister’s baby (the one who thought I might ruin her wedding), I moved to the beach and live on the water, I’m graduating from beauty school next month, will be a licensed aesthetician, and I’m becoming very successful at the salon I work at. Most importantly, I am sober and I wouldn’t have any of these blessings without my recovery. I have a peace of mind. I smile and laugh more than I cry. My mother only cries happy tears now because she is so proud. And that’s an amazing feeling. I have a God of my own understanding who takes very good care of me as long as I suit up, show up, and put in the work. I’m no longer the victim. I can look in the mirror at the girl I used to hate, and ask myself how I can help another person today. That’s the best part about recovery, helping other people.
Recovery is hard work and it’s a process. It doesn’t happen overnight. If it were easy everyone would be doing it. Some days I get so much anxiety thinking I will never drink again, but then I realize I only need to live in this moment right now. And today I’m going to remain sober and that seems to work for me. I just know I never want to feel the way I felt the week of April 4, 2015 ever again in my entire life. The pain was enough to make me never want to drink or do drugs again. I’ve come so far to ever go back. I’m so grateful I was blessed with the gift of desperation and blessed with the people I’ve met to help support me along the way. I will always be an alcoholic/addict, but today I’m a woman living in long-term recovery. I’m so very grateful I am one of the lucky ones who made it out alive and after 25 years, I finally found where I fit in. Life ain’t always beautiful, but it is a beautiful ride. So just for today, I will remain clean and sober.