Cate is finally comfortable in her own skin after years of drinking

Growing up, I always felt uncomfortable in my own skin. I was always anxious and full of fear. I always wore different "hats" and to try to be whatever I thought people wanted me to be. I can remember as early as 10 trying to go on a diet, even though I was already underweight, and sometime in middle school I discovered self harm.

When I was 16, I took my first drink, and even though I blacked out and threw up the next day, I couldn't wait to do it again. I found that when I was drunk, that voice in my head that told me I wasn't good enough was silenced for a while. I was never a normal drinker, I always drank to get drunk and blackout. I would get angry if I didn't get drunk enough or if no one wanted to go out on that particular night. I would do things when I was drunk (like get in fights, hook up with random guys, and other various things) that I would be mortified of the next day.

At 21, I got a DWI, which should have been a wake up call for me, but it wasn't. I left college and continued with no direction or purpose in life, except to get drunk. It was then that I also started dabbling in drugs, because drinking alone just didn't do it for me anymore. I was unhappy, in debt, and I wanted to die every day.

 In 2015 I was in an extremely toxic relationship, and every time I drank things got worse and worse. My boyfriend at the time told me that if I didn't change, he would leave. I had a friend who was sober 2 years at the time, and she took me to my very first AA meeting. However, I wasn't completely convinced I was an alcoholic, and wasn't really willing to do all of the work. After 4 months of sobriety, I started to go to less and less meetings. In December 2015, when my boyfriend cheated on me and broke up with me, I lost it, and started drinking again. I was out for 2 weeks before I was completely broken and realized I really couldn't do this anymore. I had no more tricks up my sleeve. My way clearly wasn't working anymore. I called my sponsor and immediately went to a meeting, and that's when the real work began.

I listened to every single thing my sponsor told me to do, even though I hated most of it. I went to a meeting a day, I did service work, I reached out to other women, and slowly but surely, I started to feel better. My advice to anyone struggling with addiction or mental health is; don't be afraid to reach out to help. Most people just want to help you. You need to let go of thinking you know best and be willing to try something completely different. I would highly recommend anyone dealing with addiction to try out a 12 step meeting in their area. Alcoholics Anonymous saved and continues to save my life. I have met so many beautiful people through that program and I have the tools now to deal with everything that comes my way.

Today, my life is drastically different. I am finally comfortable in my own skin. I have friends who are there for me through the good times and the bad times. I have fun sober, which is something I never would have thought possible. Yes, there have been hard times too. My first sponsee I ever had passed away. I went through a breakup. I lost my car for a little. But I stayed sober through all of it. I am so grateful for the life I have today, and it's only the beginning.