My name is Beck and I have been sober since July 11, 2005.
I started using when I was 14. From the first time I blacked out, and everyone was talking about it at school, I knew I had found my calling. Drinking made me invincible and popular. It also helped me to hide who I really was.
I came out as gay when I was 18. And the only place I felt comfortable were gay clubs. I was so comfortable in them that at 21 I started my career as a bartender at a gay club in Santa Cruz, CA. My popularity grew as did my using. I started using club drugs more frequently and drinking was an everyday occurrence.
I was sitting at the bar one day and had an overwhelming feeling that my life was meant to be something more. It was noon, it was me and a regular drunk hanging out on a Tuesday afternoon. Luckily, I knew one person in recovery. And one drunk night at 4am I texted her that I needed help. She offered to take me to meetings, but I told her that I couldn’t go to a meeting. That I would know people there, that I had served over the years, and that they would probably shun me (all about me). And she just left the door open, without pushing or dragging.
I moved to Bozeman, MT, to get away from all the “drama” in California. I was 3 weeks away from any drink or drug, detoxing on my own. It was on a hike, smoking a pack of cigarettes at 8000 feet I finally lost it and asked my friend to take me to a meeting. We went that night, and my life shifted that day.
In recovery, I finished undergrad and went to grad school. I was 5 years sober, happy to be sober but still harboring a huge secret from everyone I knew.
At 5 years sober I had completed grad school, had a great job, was dating people, life on the outside looked amazing to anyone passing on the street.
At 5 years sober I found myself on a bridge ready to take my life, because I had was not honest with myself about being transgender. I knew deep inside that this was who I was, since I was little. But there were no words, and once I found the words I stuffed it deep inside, promising I would never let anyone know. That day in October will be the moment that changed my life forever. I sought outside help from a therapist and started doing trauma work. I started to connect to myself in ways that I had never done before.
Today, seven years later and almost 12 years sober, I am a new person. I strive to be honest and open about my transition, my recovery, my mental health struggles of anxiety and depression. I try to de-stigmatize all of those through meeting others and talking openly. I try to help the LGBTQ+ community realize that there is help, that there is a way to recover. I don’t kid myself and pretend that every day is rainbows and glitter. But I do try to step into each day to help someone else and ask for help when I need it.
Recovery has given me a freedom to truly be who I am. To truly live the life that I was meant to live and for that I am forever grateful.