I was 22, hungover, and woke up single.
It was 1998 and I wondered where my boyfriend was, then my roommate told me he'd broken up with me the night before and left while I was in a black out.
Apparently I’d been making out with my best friend in front of him. Again.
I thought he liked it, that it turned him on. But he was jealous and over it.
I was mortified, confused, and sad. I really liked him.
Brokenhearted, I grabbed my journal, my breath still reeking of vodka soda with lime, and I got honest with myself.
I wrote that...
I feared alcohol had control over me.
I feared that I wasn’t able to stop.
And that if I kept this up,
I might have to go to,
I wondered if I was an alcoholic.
I wondered if it was possible to drink “responsibly.”
Or to just have a couple.
But I never wanted a couple.
I loved getting drunk.
I could see that alcohol wasn’t working for me.
I thought about quitting,
and wondered if it was possible.
Alcohol was clearly disrupting my life in a big way.
I didn’t make a decision that day.
I guess I didn’t think quitting was possible,
nor did I want to quit drinking.
What I knew for sure is that I had a problem with alcohol.
I knew alcohol was f*cking up my life.
A year later, at 23… I woke up single. Again.
By then I could clearly see how my lifestyle was destroying my life.
I KNEW I was meant for more than this.
I KNEW I needed to make drastic changes.
I KNEW I had to course correct my life.
I quit drinking.
I quit smoking cigarettes.
I reduced my weekly hours at work from 50 to 10.
I enrolled full time as a freshman into community college and moved into my mom’s house for the school year.
I told myself that if I got straight A’s,
that I didn’t have a problem…
So after the semester ended, I got drunk.
I saw those four months as a break from booze to “get my life together.”
I stayed in college six years,
through undergrad and graduate school,
and continued drinking.
What I didn’t know at 23,
is that it’d be another DECADE
before I actually got sober.
If I could go back now,
and speak to my 23 year old self…
“Go to therapy, get support you feel comfortable with, and to be totally TOTALLY honest with her about what you've been through, the drinking, anxiety, life...
Make sure in your gut you trust her, then spill it all.
You don’t have to stop drinking right now.
But you can START GETTING HELP right now.
You deserve support,
you deserve to be heard,
you deserve to be understood.
Find a supportive someone you can be honest with and tell her the truth.
Oh, and yes, it IS possible to actually quit drinking.
Let someone see who you are.
You won’t need booze as you learn how to feel comfortable in your skin.
You WILL feel comfortable in your skin.
One last thing. Trust your gut. Always.
Don’t let anyone gaslight you out of knowing what you know.
Your intuition is spot on honey.
Trust what you feel.”