“I started by questioning my drinking and it changed my whole life. Today I am a different person.”
Three years ago, I was exhausted, miserable, and riddled with guilt. I had no idea who I was or what I wanted. I had everything I was “supposed” to want, but I was empty. And I felt a tremendous amount of guilt for not being happy when I thought I had every reason to be happy.
I spent my entire life trying to be everything to everyone. I went to extreme efforts to be perfect because I was afraid if I didn’t, I would be rejected and alone. I completely lost sight of who I was and what I wanted out of life.
Trying to live up to my own impossible standards and the feelings of emptiness led me to numb with food and then alcohol. When weight loss surgery made it impossible to eat my emotions, wine became my best friend, my escape from the constant barrage of negativity in my mind.
I was so engulfed in trying to keep up this façade that I didn’t realize the trap I was falling into until it was too late. When I tried to quit drinking, I realized I was in deeper than I thought. And to make matters worse, I began beating myself up even more because I believed I “should have known better.” How could I let this happen after what I watched my dad go through? After all that I learned in my studies as an addiction counselor. To say I felt worthless was a drastic understatement. Thankfully, there was a small, but determined part of me that would not let me give in…
When I started this journey to let go of alcohol, I only wanted relief from the pain and misery I was in. I was terrified of what a life without alcohol would look like, but I knew it wasn’t serving me anymore. It was only by uncovering the reasons why I drank that I realized alcohol was only masking the real problems underneath.
Alcohol is just a tool that we’re taught is ok to use. It’s not a real “drug” after all. When you look around, everyone uses this tool for all sorts of reasons. We’re even taught that a life without alcohol is boring and mundane. But we’re also sent a message that if you can’t control your drinking, there’s something wrong with you. And, for a perfectionist like me, that made the guilt and shame infinitely worse.
After years of this, I was beginning to believe I was broken. But there was a very small yet determined part of me that would not let me give in to that belief. That determination was what led me out of that Groundhog Day existence to a life full of joy, wonder, and fulfillment. I am a different person today. I’m learning to let go of perfectionism and people-pleasing and love myself wholly and completely. My mission is to help other women who suffer like I did discover what already lies within them and realize their true potential and value.