You might be wondering why this birthday didn’t come up on your Facebook feed or on your CALENDAR. But this isn’t that kind of birthday. Two years ago today, my entire life changed. I didn’t know it at the time. Honestly, at the time I felt like my life was going to crash down around me. But looking back, I can say that today was the best day of my life. Because today is the day I chose to stop hiding, stop numbing and start living my life again.
Today I am a person in long term recovery, which for me means it’s been two years since my last drink of alcohol. Two years since I decided that numbing myself at night to DEAL with my life wasn’t a healthy way to CONTINUE living. I think many of us have been there…working parents, overstressed, overworked and under appreciated. For me, I felt like I was constantly running, with no finish line in site. No matter how hard I worked or how much I loved my family, I felt like I could never get my head above water. I was drowning.
For a long time, I used alcohol to deal with this stress and constant feeling of overwhelm. I felt like I “deserved it” because I worked so hard. I did so much for everyone else, so why shouldn’t I get to relax at the end of the day? Well, that’s all well and good, until you can no longer relax without that glass clinking in front of you…and before I knew it, the glass had turned into two and then three and so on.
When I think about this day two years ago, I remember feeling hopeless. I felt so alone, like this huge problem was sitting on my shoulders and I had to carry it all alone. I was ashamed and afraid. I knew I couldn’t go on like I had been, but I didn’t know how to stop. I had no coping skills without wine. Wine was how I celebrated, how I cried, how I relaxed. But I knew it had to stop, or it would only get worse. For me, there was no way up as long as I kept drinking.