Meet Recovery Rockstar, Denise

My upbringing was pretty normal. I was born and raised in a small town in Texas (Clifton) with my mom, sister, and stepdad (but the only dad I ever knew). He passed away a month before my 14th birthday and that flipped my world. I started drinking around that time in high school and dropped out of sports so I could have more time for partying a few towns over. I never really had a strong relationship with my mother (still don't) so I didn't have a role model anymore. 

Life was rough when I was drinking. I would start out fine drinking but then would have one, two, ten drinks too many and I turned into an emotional mess. I would cry, yell, and run away. That's what everyone knew me to do. I made bad decisions with guys and thankfully never got hurt physically because of that. My reputation was tainted. I was a drunk, a party girl... But not the fun, cute one. I was the sloppy emotional girl. It got worse as I got older. With my boyfriend now, I would start fights for no reason. I would make things up. I would run away. He was worried but never once said I needed to stop. None of my friends ever told me this. They accepted me as I was. 

My AH HA moment was last year and it came in three's: 1) July 4th BBQ with my boyfriend's family and friends. I made a complete fool of myself and embarrassed not only myself, but my boyfriend and his family/friends. I let myself go. I was bruised up, crying, yelling, flirting, running away, etc.  I didn't even apologize the next morning because I was so disappointed in myself. 2) we had friends over for Mexican night at home and I over did it with the margaritas. I was already in a weird mood before and so the alcohol made things worse. Our friends asked my boyfriend why I was acting this way and he had no answer. Again, the embarrassment was there. 3) the last time was at a Taylor swift concert that my boyfriend gifted me with. I was supposed to be happy and dancing.. And for the most part I was until the very end when I had too much to drink. The fighting began and I had had it. Why was I drinking?! Why couldn't I have fun without it? I was the real me without alcohol but I didn't figure that out till that night and after those events that happened, all within a week of each other. 

I was at my lowest at the Fourth of July party back at his home with my boyfriend's friends and family. I was embarrassed, disappointed, and so were they. They couldn't believe that I could ever act like I did. Like a child. An immature child. It was as if I had my first alcoholic drink. There were other low points. I would drink 2 bottles and some alone at nights, no matter the day or time. Just because I could and thought I needed to feel that tipsy feeling to keep going and live life.

When I made the decision to get sober, I became my own mentor. My boyfriend and best friend were my rocks. They believed in me more than I did some times. They reminded me of all the bad and the good of not drinking alcohol when I feel I needed to. I opened myself up to God more as well. He helped me just as much as my friends. I needed them all so much, everyday. It's a little easier now after a year has passed but I still have my hard days. They're always there. 

I remind myself every day why I'm not drinking. I make myself remember those horrible times with drinking and what it did for me. It brought nothing to my life. I needed to want this for myself, and no one else or I wouldn't be where I'm at now. I keep myself busy. 

If I'm going to be somewhere where there's alcohol, I reach out to my rocks to remind me why I stopped and all the good it has brought to my life. I try to stay productive every single day so that I don't have a wandering mind and think about drinking, especially on weekends and at night time. 

I've dedicated myself to my passion.  My passion is to work with and for children. I am in school again to finish my degree in early education. I wouldn't be able to get on the Dean's List like I am now if I was drinking. My hangovers were brutal and I would do nothing for days except drink and recover. I'm a full time student and it's not easy. My life is so much better and easier now without drinking. 

If I could provide any advice I'd let people know to never forget why you stopped drinking. As bad as those memories are, remind yourself of them when you want to drink. Nothing good comes from drinking. There is not one pro. Even in social situations, I get a half pineapple and cranberry juice. It's delicious and people ask less about drinking than if I were to just drink water. It's your decision, not there's. You have to live with your choices, they don't. It's a question in a moment that will pass. And if they judge? Leave them and move forward with other friends or another group. 

For those who might be dealing with someone battling addiction I recommend you over support them. Daily, if you have to, if the need/want it. Don't pressure or force them to stop (they won't unless they want to) and don't get angry if they relapse. We are all human and perfectly flawed. Don't give up on them. No one is a lost cause. 

I'm here to talk with anyone who needs someone to listen to them or cheer them on. Not a lot of people can understand sobriety unless you've gone through it. I can be the only support system you have if you have no one else.

Kevin ZurekComment