Updated: Feb 29, 2020
If you know me you're aware that I talk very openly about about many difficult topics. I share about my struggles with mental illness and suicidal ideation. I co-hosted a podcast on race. Being vulnerable is one of my super powers, or so I thought.
But, I've been keeping a secret. I abuse alcohol, or put more simply I'm alcoholic. I know a lot of my friends reading this might be shocked because I don't "look" like an alcoholic, but I can assure you that I am. I stayed in denial about my alcoholism for a few years because alcohol is such a prevalent part of society. I told myself I drank like my peers.
I didn't drink in high school or college. I was the "good' girl. I always have been. It wasn't until my late 20's that I started drinking heavily. There are many reasons I started drinking and continued to do so. I'll be sharing more of that in later blog posts.
For the past 5 years, I've been sharing openly about my mental illnesses. I've shared my journey with therapy, medicine, and more. All the while I was drinking heavily. I hid this from everyone, well at least I attempted to. I went to the bar alone and didn't come until or 1 or 2 a.m. a few nights a week.
A month ago I hit rock bottom. I drank all night and didn't go to sleep. I'd never done that before.
Recently, I was living in Norfolk, VA with my husband who is in the Navy. After I hit my rock bottom I knew I had to return home to Cleveland, Ohio. I needed the support of close friends and family.
So, Clayton and I packed up my many many shoes and clothes and moved me home. Once I was home I thought things would be different. Surely, I thought I'd be able to stop drinking. That wasn't the case at all. I just got creative, and more manipulative. I found ways to drink.
A month ago I remember thinking that I would never be able to stop drinking. It was impossible. I enjoyed it too much. It was the way I coped. It wasn't until I entered AA, got a sponsor, joined an intensive outpatient program that I started getting sober,
I don't have much sober time under my belt. I have 24 days today. I've contemplated writing this blog post for awhile. My mind kept telling me that I should wait until I had at least six months sober, that I shouldn't open up about this problem.
I thought there was a large stigma around mental illness, but I'm starting to see that there's an even almost larger one related to addiction/alcoholism. Society isn't kind to people who can't drink.
Drinking is just a part of our culture. If you can't drink it's your fault.
In my outpatient treatment, I've met many amazing people. It's my hope that with this blog I can share some of those stories, erase the stigma of addiction and share my story of hope and healing.