A couple weeks ago I was riding in the car with my sister when she told me to pull up a video on my phone and watch it. It was something I desperately needed to see at the time (I’ll explain why later), and has saved me in tough moments ever since. The video is called “There Are No Mistakes by Oprah Winfrey” and when you are done reading this post I highly recommend watching it. Hopefully it will help you as much as it has me the past couple weeks. You’ll understand the reason I started this post with that when you are finished reading. By the way, thank you for taking the time to visit my blog tonight, and if you are having a bad day today I hope this can bring you some peace and comfort.
As I write this post tonight I am sitting on my bed at my sisters house. I just moved in with her a couple weeks ago after separating from my husband and moving out of the home we had together. It is surreal and still doesn’t feel real even typing that. We just got married on 7/21/2018 on a beautiful beach in California, and then spent a week in St. Lucia for our honeymoon. Right now should be the happiest time of both mine and my husbands lives as we settle into marriage, but its not. The last couple of weeks have been tragic to say the least. I have so many emotions going through me and haven’t found a way to properly express them, so I figured blogging about it would help. Let me tell you how this all happened, but before I do, I’ll give you the short answer: alcohol. I could stop there, but in hopes of helping someone else with my story I will tell you how this all came to be. Before I start, if you feel like you might have a drinking problem but you aren’t sure, you probably do. Please get help and don’t try to battle this one on your own, trust me.
I started drinking when I was 21, on my 21st birthday to be exact, and from the second it hit my lips I was hooked. It took me a few years to figure that out, but eventually in November of 2013 I decided to quit for the first time and I vowed never to drink again. I started going to meetings, not as often as I should have, but I went, and I even found a sponsor. I will forever be grateful for her for being there for me when I was so new in the program and being someone I could talk and vent to. I read most of the big book, journaled a lot, and after a couple months I was feeling great. I was feeling so great in fact that I decided I didn’t need meetings or to call my sponsor anymore, and that I could do it all on my own – WRONG. I wish I could go back and tell myself the things I know now, because oh how different my life would be today. Having said that, sobriety was great guys. I have never felt better, I lost close to 75 pounds and was even getting promotions at my job. Life was amazing. I had my own apartment that I paid for, and it felt good to be able to be dependent on no one but myself. My best friend at the time is the same person I just married 3 months ago, and our friendship was basically what kept me sober for as long as I was. I didn’t have a single sip of alcohol for 18 months and I owe a lot of that to him. He made me feel special in a way that no one did, and was there at the drop of a hat if I needed someone. Everything was working in my life until one day I started drinking again. It happened in April of 2015 and it was really out of the blue. I wasn’t at a party or a wedding, or in any place where I was tempted and gave in. I was at my apartment with my friend from work and we drank and played nintendo all night. I drank like not a day had passed since my last drink and forgot all the reasons why I quit the first time. At the time I thought I could handle it because my life was going so well, I wasn’t depressed like I was before, and I would tell myself that maybe I wasn’t really an alcoholic. I was going to prove myself and everyone wrong. I know we are told to not live in the past, but if I could go back and change one thing, it would be taking that very first shot. It was that shot that changed the entire path of my life, and is the reason why I am sitting on my bed at my sisters house writing this blog tonight. If only I could have seen the future.
A few weeks after I started drinking I lost my job at Progressive. I was up late partying a lot and showing up hungover, I was hanging out with people that were not good for me, and my performance at work definitely took a hit. The day I got fired was close to one of the worst days of my life. I had worked so hard to become a supervisor and had gained a family in the people I worked with. It felt like my life was over, and at the time I believed it was. I didn’t know what I was going to do because I had no income anymore and had no way to pay for my apartment. It was devastating. Instead of putting together a game plan and moving on, I did what I had always done. I drank. I drank every single day. I drank until I fell asleep at night and then started again the very next day. All of the sadness and loss I felt I put right into the bottle. I missed my co-workers, I missed my team, I missed feeling important, and alcohol was the only thing that numbed all of that. After about a month of this I finally found a new job. A good friend of mine recommended me, and even though I wasn’t very excited about it I knew I had to start working. I still continued to drink when I started that job, and because of the excessive amounts of alcohol that I had been consuming at the time it made my anxiety absolutely unbearable. I already struggle with anxiety, so when I drink it makes it feel a million times worse. It’s hard to explain unless you’ve felt it, but believe me when I say it is awful. I would go to work shaking so bad from withdrawals that I could barely answer the phone or write with a pen. It wasn’t very long after I started that job that I had a full-blown panic attack at my desk and had to leave in the middle of a phone call. I wanted so bad to go home and drink because I knew that was the only thing that would help, but instead, I called my mom and she picked me up and took me to the doctor. I remember that day sitting in his office looking at my mom knowing that everything I was feeling was caused from alcohol, but not saying anything because I felt ashamed, and I didn’t want to face that I was wrong, and that my life was going down the same path it was before. I stuck with the story that my anxiety had gotten out of control again, and that I was feeling depressed. When I left that appointment that day I had a prescription for zoloft in my hand that I knew was not going to work. I will never forget that day, and I’ve realized by telling you all this just how amazing my mother is. She has saved my life on more occasions than one.
Through all of the good days and bad days in those few months, the one person that stood by me and remained my best friend was my husband. I knew at the end of the day that he thought I was awesome, and we never parted at night without him making me laugh til my belly hurt. He fulfilled every need that no one else could and always made me feel safe. It was the following month (May 2016) that we decided we loved each other and we wanted to be together. I moved out of my apartment and in with him on May 5th and we started our journey together, a journey that I will always hold close to my heart and that has changed my life forever. He knew when I moved in that I had started drinking again but he never said much about it. I knew he would rather me not drink, but it was one of those things that we just didn’t discuss at the time. It wasn’t really an issue so we left it alone. We were too happy to care. We had fun, really fun, the type that other couples were jealous about. People would comment all the time on how amazing we were together and we believed it too. We did everything. We went bowling and went to tons of movies. We played board games and jenga and he watched me play mario until my fingers didn’t work. When I would run at the park, he would come with me and walk my dog. He made me laugh until I cried and I genuinely felt happy inside. During that time though I could never understand why I still wanted to drink. Normal people don’t drink when they are happy, so something must be wrong with me. The truth is, there is something wrong with me. I have the disease of alcoholism.
If I’m being 100% honest, from the time I moved in with him until the day I moved out a couple of weeks ago, I probably attempted to stop drinking a dozen times. Soon after I moved in, as good as things were, it started to affect our relationship and at times would cause really ugly fights that were hard to overcome. Each time I relapsed the fights got a little bit worse and I drank a little bit more. There were times I would quit for a month and feel great inside. Our relationship would improve and the fights would stop, but like each time before, it was only a matter of time before you’d find me in line at the liquor store buying cheap vodka and hiding bottles in so many places I couldn’t keep track of them all. I would sometimes drink two full pints, and then do everything I could to make it seem like I wasn’t drunk while I stumbled around the house. As drunk as I was, I knew in my heart that he wasn’t oblivious to what was going on. I wasn’t dumb and neither was he. It was easier though to just let it go because getting into a fight when I am drunk never ends well. Even on the foggiest of nights though, and nights I wish to forget, the one thing I knew is that underneath all the ugliness, he still saw a little bit of light in me and believed that one day I would stop. He believed in that so much so that he proposed to me and then married me in an attempt to try and show me that he still loves me despite the flaws I had. He hoped that by doing this it would spark something in me and motivate me to quit. But it didn’t. It still didn’t. Even after he gave me everything I had dreamed of since I was a little girl, I still didn’t quit. In fact, I drank the entire time we planned our wedding, and I even got so drunk the night before the wedding that I was embarrassing people around me. I also drank the day of the wedding from a bottle I had in my purse. Ugh. Just typing this out is bringing tears to my eyes and makes my heart hurt a little bit more than it already does. Not because I am embarrassed for myself, but because the man I was with did not deserve that. He didn’t deserve that at all. No one deserves that. I didn’t deserve that especially because the Amelia that I know and that most people know is not that person. Amelia is funny and outgoing and full of energy, Amelia doesn’t lie and hide alcohol and drink till she passes out. Amelia is a runner and loves being around family and friends. Amelia does not avoid people and push away the ones she loves. So why? How and why could I let myself do those things? I have repeated those words to myself so many times and the response is always the same, and it will remain the same for the rest of my life. I am an alcoholic. My body does not respond the same way that other peoples do when they drink. As soon as I take that first sip I can’t stop, and when I do its because I have drank every ounce of alcohol that is in the house and then I am upset because it’s all gone. I turn into a completely different person and do things to the people I love the most that I would never in a million years do normally. I lie, I hide, I am incredibly selfish and self-centered, I don’t finish things I start, I’m not the best employee, I blame every problem I have on other people, and to make it all worse, I lose my health and gain excessive amounts of weight. Thats what this disease does to you. You are not fun to be around and in turn you end up hating yourself. And even though my husband would tell me day in and day out how beautiful I was and spent years telling me I was loveable, eventually he got tired and had nothing left to give. And that was that. The party was over. The one person that made me feel loved and cherished for 7 years is also the one person who left me in the end. Now, I could sit here and try and list all the things that he wasn’t perfect at in an attempt to make myself feel better, but the fact remains the same, my marriage ended because of alcohol. That’s the way it is. And for the rest of my life I’m not sure I will never forgive myself. My future was taken away from me in a matter of a day. I had the world in front of me. I had an amazing husband, a nice home, a new family, and everything I always dreamed of….. and then it was all just.. gone. All because of alcohol. I don’t know if there is a worse feeling than the way I have felt the last 14 days. I wish I could have a do over and make it all right. I wish I could tell him thank you for being there for me as long as he was and for believing in me on days when I didn’t. I wish I could say I am sorry to him for all of it and for not being the wife that I know I can be. For being drunk and asleep at night when he came home. For not thinking of him first before I bought those bottles. I wish I could tell him that I loved every second we had together and that he was never the reason I drank. I wish, I wish, I wish. But I can’t. I have to live with my choice and the consequence that followed. Its hard to believe that I was the one who had to hit rock bottom before I would quit, and I pray that no one has to go through what I have. Thats why I share this, because although it is healing for me to write this all down, I hope that it will help someone else too. I know one day my heart will mend, but I know that day is not near and that I have a lot of work to do on myself. I am glad my sister shared that video with me that day because it has reminded me that there are no mistakes in life. Everything we do and all the experiences we go through lead us to where we are supposed to be. As bad as I hurt, I am hanging on to that, and I hope you do to. So, heres to day 15.