This day February 17th 2018 marks my six months of sobriety from alcohol. I will not say that it has been easy. There have been times where I missed the way she made me feel and I thought about giving her another try. Yet all good things must come to an end when they are destroying your relationships with others and with yourself. Alcohol was something that made me feel alive and full of possibilities. I will never forget the first time I drank and actually got drunk for the first time.
I was 16 at my first party I ever went to. Everyone was talking and laughing with each other and I was just standing there; in the middle of a big room feeling like I didn’t belong anywhere and never would. Then I went into the kitchen and this girl who I really looked up to named Claire gave me a bottle of champagne and said “Drink up!” She was stumbling and sweating a lot. Naturally I felt uneasy, because I had only had small sips of alcohol in my life and seeing Claire like this made me feel like I didn’t want to get on that level of drunk. I then saw a gleam of happiness in her eyes that showed she was having a good time, and I thought to myself that maybe just drinking a little wouldn’t hurt.
That night something changed within me. I became so in love with the feeling of drunkenness that I didn’t want to feel any other way. My parents were fine with me going to parties as long as I was being responsible and not drinking and driving. I didn’t go to a lot of parties in high school and it was hard for me to find alcohol since I was underage. Because of this I only drank rarely in high school when I went to small parties or gatherings, but every time I drank it was a problem.
Every time I drank in high school I would get really confident and say things that I probably shouldn’t have said. I then would get really sad all of a sudden and go lock myself in a bathroom or room by myself and cry for hours. Sometimes people would find me and other times I would just pass out like that. One time I blacked out crying in a bathtub and woke up with the water on. I knew I couldn’t keep this up but I kept drinking anyways.
When I got into college I was so much happier. I felt so free that I had a blank slate and no one knew who I was. I could reinvent myself and no one would ever know the old me. I went to parties every weekend and always blacked out at every one. I would say a typical night for me included 6 shots of vodka, two beers, and maybe three more shots of Fireball. And keep in mind I am 5’3”. So needless to say this did not go over the way I thought it would. I was always making crazy decisions and getting myself into trouble. Even one night went into the hospital with alcohol poisoning. I knew it was bad when 4 of my friends sat me down and had an intervention for me and made a big sign that said “intervention” on it.
Anyways, I feel like many people who stop drinking say they hit rock bottom and that’s what made them stop. That wasn’t the case for me. I actually feel like some of the times I’ve had this year have been my rock bottom, and I don’t even drink anymore. Yet through everything that has happened and will continue to happen, because rough times don’t just go away; I have learned that going through it level headed is so much easier than being in a drunken haze.
I would love to tell you that a life of sobriety relieves you of all of your problems, but I can’t tell you that. Sobriety has definitely rid me of many of my problems in relationships and I feel a lot safer than I was last year. It is also nice to not be hungover all the time. The biggest change I can see in myself is now I have come up with new ways to occupy my time and I have gained friends who are true to me and want to be my friend because of who I am and not because I’m the entertaining drunk girl. Life is still hard and sometimes it even sucks, but I know that my parents have my back and so do my friends and my supportive boyfriend who is sober with me. These people have always been there through my struggles and I thank them for trying to stop me when I was spiraling out. I wish I would have stopped myself earlier, but I am happy that I got to where I am now. Here is to many more years of sobriety to come! *glasses clink full of non-alcoholic champagne*