A year ago I didn’t know my years of enjoying wine here and there recreationally would turn into PRISON.
Those close to me and have known me growing up will remember in my teen years when I wouldn’t ever touch any cigarettes, drugs or alcohol. I was different that way. Always encouraged to just give it a try, but I stood firm because it was how I was raised. So how did I end up becoming addicted to alcohol? 🤔
When I think about it….Life happened.
And I couldn’t handle it. 😓
From day one, I was destined for a lifetime of living alongside anxiety. Anxiety ebbed and flowed throughout my early years, reaching its highest peaks around times in my life when circumstances happened that were seemingly out of my control. I now know, I could’ve been more in control of how I responded to life than I was at the time. But, I didn’t understand that yet.
Journeying into the ‘unknown’ through life is scary. None of us know what path our life will take, or how it will end. All we can do is work through each day as it comes, and make choices about which road to take.
As I grew and was faced with my life’s challenges, I didn’t like – and greatly feared – normal human emotions, particularly fear, grief and sickness. (I developed and lived with Emetophobia [fear of vomiting] for 24 years). I can say in all honesty, I was convinced that any negative or bad emotion I felt, meant there was something wrong with me. Anxiety, fear, sadness, worry, stress, illnesses, etc.
That doesn’t mean I haven’t made many, many awesome memories along the way!!!
I have a wonderfully supportive family, have made everlasting friendships, travelled, succeeded in my chosen career path, excelled academically, fallen in love, gotten married, been blessed with two beautiful children and have loved so deeply, with all my heart! ❤️
I have been blessed with life itself, which I suppose I took for granted. 😞
So back to the point of this blog post….
A year ago, I was married with two beautiful children, and my husband worked away. It was hard when he was away. My anxiety had become so unbearable, I fell into a habit of avoidance.
I avoided everything. I completely withdrew into my cave, inside my house, and only emerged when I absolutely had no choice. But quickly returned as soon as I could.
I remember sitting on my couch, day after day, staring at the same spot on a blank wall wishing I could feel happy and healthy again, and waiting and waiting for the hour to strike when I could pick up a glass. 🍷
Between April 2018 to September 2018, I don’t even remember the exact point when it changed from drinking only in the evenings, to the end when I couldn’t go more than two/three hours without needing to give my body it’s fix.
When ‘normal people’ would get up during the night to visit the bathroom or have a glass of water, my body was waking me up, throwing me into extreme anxiety and panic and I knew if I didn’t ‘medicate’ it, I would go into withdrawal, and I knew that wasn’t good…
Wine went from ‘an occasional escape’ to ‘medicine’, frighteningly quickly. 😨
My life turned into living a life of shame. I knew what I was doing was so wrong, but I had gotten to the point where I needed it. I felt extreme levels of anxiety, I was barely eating because I constantly felt sick, I lost A LOT of weight, confidence, direction, and faith. I lost the ability to think clearly and feel any emotion.
I lost hope for my life because I couldn’t see any way out of this hole I had dug myself into.
I am so so soooo grateful to say that my husband came home one night, made a phone call, and my life was about to change… whether I liked it or not.
For the next six days, my life was put on hold while I waited…and waited… for the poison to leave my body.
I went into alcohol withdrawal.
(Please seek help and medical advice before entering this stage if you know that’s what you need, because it can be life threatening to do it alone).
On the first day, I was taken to see my doctor about nine hours after my last drink. By the time we were leaving the doctors office, I couldn’t walk. The shaking was so severe for the next six days, I couldn’t be left alone.
I was very heavily medicated to combat this to avoid my body having a seizure.
I couldn’t eat. I couldn’t sleep. I couldn’t move. I just had to wait.
Let me tell you, this was when I finally had to face my fear of vomiting. 🤢 Because there was a great deal of that going on!
I have a vivid memory of my husband kneeling by my bedside, praying for me. 🙏🏻
The days continued to pass, and I was slowly regaining the ability to walk, bathe, eat, and wake up.
Two weeks sober
Here is a photo of me, two weeks after the day I stopped drinking. Here I am, reborn.
I posted this photo on Instagram and said ‘I have never felt better!’. Now, when I see this photo, I see a very exhausted, weak, and tired soul, who just faced a MASSIVE rebirth.
I vowed to NEVER touch alcohol ever again.
It has now been over six months into my sobriety, and I now look like this…
How do I feel?
ALIVE! And I know because of the fact that I ‘feel’ at all! I feel anxious, stressed, angry, sick, tired and confused. But I also get to feel happy, healthy, positive, strong, confident, proud, and FREE!
In my darkest days, I could not even imagine that life could be so beautiful. ❤️
Now, I’m learning everyday to treasure life!
My faith has been restored, my happiness and joy is back! 😁 And the world is open again! 🌎
I don’t have a fancy life, I make do with what’s mine, and I’m happy – as long as my children are happy. When they ask me “Just five more minutes Mummy?” at the park when it’s time to go, I try to say ‘yes!’. Not because they get an extra five minutes, but because that is five minutes I could of never seen again if I had kept going the way I was going.
I’m one of the lucky ones 🙏🏻 A lot of people don’t come back from a place like that. 😞
I now see life as an opportunity!
I pray for anyone who may be struggling. 🙏🏻
I now face my feelings and emotions, the good and the bad, because they are a normal part of being a human!
Feelings like anxiety are intense!! But I now know, it will pass and I am okay! I do not let it stop me living life now. I face it everyday, head on! 💪🏻
I’m now in bed ready to go to sleep, and I have a picture in my mind of my son falling asleep in my arms tonight, imprinted in my mind. I’m always taking pictures now, of every opportunity to capture the smiles of my family. Or of the beauty of life!
I am still learning this new way of life, and I feel new emotions all the time. I see everything with so much more clarity, I’m eating well, I remember things, I’m active, I’m driven and I love life!
But my driving force is my family, my faith and my purpose which I feel I may have figured out; to help others!
If you are struggling, you are not alone! And there really can be life after addiction!
A much much much better one 😁