Meet Recovery Rockstar, Jennifer
My name is Jennifer and I am an alcoholic. Just to be able to say those words out loud is a feat. Humbling. Horrifying. Not me…I can’t have that disease. I’m attractive, I have a masters degree, I’m a good person, I am successful…but i am a drunk. And I am finally able to own it. After many years of trying and failing, I have been sober a little over 1 year. Sobriety date 8/12/15.
I never hit rock bottom, was arrested, lost everything. But I most certainly lost myself. I have always been the kind of person to throw myself into anything I do and drinking was no different. I didn’t even start drinking until college. I was a good girl…grew up in a loving home with wonderful parents, neither of who drank themselves. I went to college at 17 and found a whole new freedom, and discovered alcohol. My first party at college I drank 14 vodka shots, ended up date raped (I was a virgin) and had ruined my reputation on campus. I drank steadily for the next 25 years. I honestly can’t remember ever just having”one”drink. I couldn’t wait to drink. Every occasion was a reason…Bad day? Drink to feel better. Good day? Drink to celebrate. Just drink
I went though life, marriage 1, marriage 2, countless jobs. My last marriage is when it got really bad. Our whole marriage revolved around drinking. That’s how we met, and that’s how we stayed together. We had a baby, and things got rocky. The drinking got worse. We both lost jobs, we had money issues, I went through the death of my beloved mother, which devastated me. What is worse, is knowing that I was drunk at my mothers wake and funeral. Something I can never take back. At that point, I was drinking as soon as I could buy beer at 7 am, and it would continue all day. What used to be “I only drink red wine or beer” turned into I will drink whatever is available. I was hiding the evidence so no one knew how much I was drinking. I didn’t even go out. I just drank at home since I had a kid to take care of.
I wasn’t sleeping, eating, showering, taking care of my responsibilities…all I could think about was that next drink. I became a shell of a woman. No self-esteem or self-love, I only felt self-pity. I was selfish, I was a liar, and I was sneaky. My big scare came one day when I was supposed to drive my child over to my sisters. I of course had consumed at least a 6 pack already. My soon to be ex husband caught me and said he would call the police if I took our son in the car. My sister ended up having to come out to get him. Now my secret was out. And thank god I didn’t drive my son in that car that day. That was four years ago. I vowed to quit that day. Which failed. The traditional methods of quitting did not work for me. Honestly, I wasn’t really willing to quit. I would rather drink than not drink.
So on 8/12/15 - I woke up pale, nauseous, shaking, and terrified. I looked in the mirror and knew I was killing myself. I decided that day to stop for good. I was going to be around for my son, and I was going to be a good role model for him. So I mustered up every ounce of energy I had, prayed very hard, and stopped. I had the shakes for days…all I could think about was having that one beer so the shakes would stop. But I knew it wouldn’t be just one beer. So I didn’t do it.
I had to find something to do with my time, so I decided to go to my local gym. Little did I know that exercise would save my life and help me battle the demon of alcohol. About 2 months ago, I became very vocal about my journey on social media. This was very humbling for me, as I had never truly verbalized out loud that I was an alcoholic. The majority of my friends didn’t even know. However, on social media, I found support, and others just like me who are battling their own demons. It truly was powerful. My hope is that others read my story on line and see my strength and find hope in it. If I can just help one person struggling, then my fight has been worthwhile. Going back to drinking is not an option for me. The gym is my new addiction, and inspiring others to find that inner strength that we all possess.