I am 21 years old and have been clean and sober now for 463 days.
Let's see, I grew up in a small town where everyone knows everyone, i.e., no one has privacy! My father, who once struggled with addiction, became a successful business owner in our small town.
Meanwhile, he raised me the best he knew how, but I have always been strong willed; I make my own choices.
I started drinking alcohol at a young age, 12 years old to be exact. I would ask my dad for money for the movies, although I was actually using it to get a "Micky".
To make a long story short, in no time, that "Micky" turned into a 26 ounce, and eventually a forty. Consequently, high school is a blur, for the most part at least.
Pretty much, my life consisted of playing basketball and partying. I was captain of the court, but off the court, in my eyes, the only real captain was Captain Morgan's Spiced Rum.
To be honest, I hid my drinking pretty well, or at least that's what I thought.
However, drinking took over my life as I started to attend classes intoxicated. I even reeked of booze at basketball practice, often playing games hung-over. That's when it began to catch up with me.
One day I was called to the school office; the school administrator suspended me for an entire week when it was revealed that I was intoxicated during class.
It was devastating! Oh, and it came with other consequences; I lost my position as the girl's basketball captain, as well as my position on the team.
Even more, I was disappointed with myself, as I let everyone down. I went from experiencing wide-spread school admiration of my skill to being outcast, who was pretty much shunned.
Keep in mind, my dad has been clean and sober since the day I was born. He was disappointed with my actions. That disappointment was enough for me to make some changes. Not only did I save the booze for the weekend, I worked hard to get back on the basketball team, and regained my position as captain.
On the right track, I thought, I graduated in 2009. Yet, I had no plans. That did not stop me from getting my own place though. And although I worked, I needed that money for my booze, so my dad paid my rent.
A common day in my life consisted of: (1) work, 11:30-2:30 and (2) go home and drink until I passed out. I did the same thing, day after day, with no goals, motivation, and honestly, no "real" life.
On top of that, my relationship with my mother was awful. If you have not already guessed, let me tell that she was an alcoholic as well.
She was incredibly verbally abusive to me; for a long time I drank over that abuse.
I am sure this is no surprise, but when we did get along, well we would drink together. Of course, whenever we did drink together it was not long before we got into a fight. You guessed it, I would drink about that as well!
The fact of the matter is that at the age of 18, I realized that I was indeed a full-blown alcoholic. Never in my wildest nightmare would I have ever imagined that I would become an alcoholic at such a young age. Quite frankly, I did not realize it was possible!
My friends would always chime in, "you sure are drinking a lot" or, my favorite, "are you ever gonna slow down!"
Apparently I did not quite comprehend that I had a problem. I thought, "I graduated high school, now I am just enjoying my youth. Right? Wrong!"
Never mind the guy that I was dating…….he beat me every other day, once within an inch of my life. By this time, although I managed to keep my crappy part time job, I had no relationships with any of my family and was driving a beater car. I had nothing!
Eventually I got out of that relationship, but I still drank. If something went well for me, I would drink, and of course, if something went bad I would drink then too.
Despite leaving that abusive relationship, life still revolved around drinking.
Then an event occurred that changed me forever. After a heavy binge drinking session, I woke up at my grandmother's (where I happened to be living at the time). The only thing that I could remember was that I was at the bar 12 hours before.
I had no idea how I got home, who I with last, how much money I spent, or what the last drink was……..nothing! It frightened me how bad my blackout was. Then and there I came to the realization that enough was enough.
Next, I checked myself into an alcohol detox center with my family's support. I knew, as I walked into that center that I was making a choice to change my life, to save my life even.
I was doing it for myself.
Everything happened so quickly……I got blood work done, which revealed the cause of my blackout; I was drugged. More accurately, someone slipped me a particularly high dose of Oxycontin. That moment I realized that I could never drink again!
Fast forward to today, it's January 25, 2013. I am now 21 years old and still sober. As well, I am happy, healthy and I have a new lease on life.
Not only is my family everything to me, my dad is my best friend. I have other new friends, a new job, and even a new car. I love my life.
It was so hard at first. I felt so alone, thinking that I was missing out by not going to the bars. So many times I incorrectly thought, "it's the weekend, there is nothing to do but go to the bar." That was such a lie. There was and is so much to do!
In fact, today I am so busy doing so many awesome things that I cannot believe I ever found time to drink before!
For all the people out there that are my age, I just want you to know that you are not a loser if you don't drink; trust me on that! You are NOT the only one out there like that. Its okay to be young and have an addiction. I have so much more of my life to live because I dealt with it at such a young age. I have no regrets about getting sober and I would not change it for the world.
Make the right choice; make the choice that will make YOU happy, as YOU are the most important person in your life!
If you or someone that you love is struggling with drug addiction and alcoholism, please call or text us. We want to help you.