I've Come Out On the Other Side Stronger

July 2, 2017

    I had a great childhood - devoted parents,nice community, all of what I needed and mostof what I wanted. However, I was not a "normal"child. I'm one of the members they talk aboutwith a "grave emotional and mental disorders" -although I think that's quite a morbid way ofviewing it - and it's called OCD. I can rememberbeing 4 or 5 and walking down the stairs withmy hand on the railing and getting all the waydown only to feel like it wasn't done "right", so Iwould go up and down maybe 10-15 more timesto make sure it was done "correctly".

 

    Being so young, I didn't know what was goingon, so I kept it a secret from my family for along time, 15 years. But I'll back up a bit. Thefirst time I drank when I was 14, I drank alcoholically.I blacked out, threw up, passed out,and couldn't wait to do it again. While I stillperformed OCD rituals, I found that alcohol andother drugs gave me that "just right" feelingthat I had been searching for all along. Allthroughout high school I was a "weekend warrior"- I did great in school, but hung out withthe bad kids on the weekends.

 

    I experimented with drugs in high school, butwhen I got to college, I entered a whole newworld of partying. I started doing cocaine andecstasy regularly, and taking adderall justabout every day to "study" by my junior year. Iwas a "pothead" and couldn't start my day withouta bong rip. I thought it was "just college", butnot until looking back recently did I realize thatI drank way, way differently than my friends. Iwas always worried about how much alcoholwould be at the party - should I bring my own soI have enough?

 

    Toward my senior year of college, I was prescribedxanax for my anxiety and OCD. That's when thingstook a dark turn. I was experiencing memory blackoutslasting days at a time; I didn't let up on my alcoholand other drug use when I started taking xanax,I just piled it on top of it all. I had started a new jobout of college and found that if I didn't have myxanax I would call in sick to work; that started happeninga few times a week, so I ended up resigning. Imoved back in with my parents after some things inmy life went downhill - boyfriend broke up with me,lost my job, and that's when my parents noticed myproblem.

 

    They said I was like a zombie - slurring, stumbling,and not remembering what I had talked about just 5minutes prior. They encouraged me to go into detox,which I did, grudgingly. At 22 years old, I just wasn'tready to be sober, nor did I think I had a problem. Ithought it was this prescription - not the alcohol. If Icould just detox for a week, I could go back to takingit as prescribed. I could be normal. I went back outright after finishing CFR, and after 8 months, I realizedthat I really was an alcoholic.

 

    It's been a really long journey of realizing thatI'm an alcoholic through and through, but I'vecome out on the other side stronger, happier, andhealthier. I just celebrated 90 days at the end ofFebruary and although my past was rough, I don'tregret it, because it's what got me here. I have astrong program in AA and a Higher Power in my lifetoday, and those two things are the foundation of myrecovery.

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