Recovery has become a passion for Stephanie

First off I want to say thank you for reading my story! I have been sober 4.5 months now (135 days to be exact) and recovery/sobriety has become a passion of mine.  It's an honor to talk about my addictions and my recovery!

I grew up in a home where alcohol was always present, unfortunately. My parents owned a bar/restaurant and my dad was an alcoholic and would verbally abuse my mother, sister and myself. My happiest childhood memories were when he quit drinking which was no more than a couple months, if that!

As a teenager, I was curious about trying hashish, alcohol, weed, pills etc.  I surely developed a taste for it before I turned 18, which is actually no big deal where I come from (France). That is sad I know!  As I grew up I experimented with the hard stuff, and just loved mixing my dad's anti-anxiety pills with alcohol, and would smoke joints from morning till night!  Luckily I never really developed an addiction for drugs at that time, alcohol was always my first choice! Escaping reality was great and most of the days I would be high on something.  I was never sober that is for sure!

Lucky enough, I had the opportunity to travel and ended up in San Francisco, where I met some friends.  It was a new chapter in my life. I met someone, got married and gave birth to my amazing kid Jean-Paul. By then I had quit smoking, started working out and did kickboxing (Muy Thai) for a few years and had found balance.

This all came to an end when my son's dad and I went our separate ways.  I started going out at night a lot more, discovered that I could drink not only with friends, but at home alone.  Wine became my best friend. Since I was still practicing Kickboxing, and exercising on a regular basis (well when I was not too hungover of course) I was able to keep up for a while with drinking, smoking weed, and taking vicodin when I had the chance!

In 2012 I had a DUI, I was so embarrassed from this.  I spent the night in jail and kept this episode to myself.  I did not share any of this with anyone and decided to bury this secret and acted like it never existed. I guess deep down I would rather keep doing what I was doing, meaning being busy drinking this damn wine and act like everything was smooth sailing!  I didn't face what was becoming a real issue and the beginning of a nightmare.

From 2012 to 2016, I was living in a hidden hell!  I drove on suspended driver licence, had my dark secrets but on the outside everything looked perfectly fine.  I would always do my job well, i was still active, and put well together since I was a makeup artist working for a high fashion brand of cosmetics. Friends would say Stephanie loves wine, which is normal since she is French! It's a French thing! haha

Behind closed doors my drinking habit took a turn for the worse. My days off consisted of drinking as soon as 12pm hit or even earlier.  I would hide wine in my closet, in my bathroom drawers, everywhere where nobody would look for it.  At one point someone told me I should be drinking vodka as it had less calories than wine so I started doing just that.  I thought I would drink less since it's stronger, but I had no control. I could not just stop at a couple drinks which led to absolute misery!

On my work days I would start by drinking my coffee, then a redbull to be perky at work, then pre-workout energizer before hitting the gym.  I'd come home to a few drinks (my excuse was that I needed to whine down from all the caffeine) and then I would take sleeping pills to be able to sleep at night. I became a mad scientist, I tried every little trick to minimize the drinking! I'd smoke more weed, take Benadryl, and continually mix it up thinking I would not drink as much! It never ever worked!  I ended up feeling worse and worse.

I remember feeling the pain, crying and crying. not knowing how to stop this vicious circle!   I'd think night and day about my disease and about all the troubles I never took care of and this deep hole I buried myself in. Once again nobody could see how much I was affected except for the most important person in my world unfortunately...my son. He started making comments and said that as soon as I drink I act different.  He even said I looked stupid! 😞

July 8th, I blacked out and I do not remember exactly what happened, but I remember that I had the plan to have a mellow evening so i just wanted to smoke some weed.  Unfortunately I decided to go buy a couple of Buzz ball drinks (premade hard liquor mixed drinks). Totally made sense right?  After I finished the Buzz ball drinks, I went to buy a bottle of wine and then who knows what happened after that!?  Nothing good, I can tell you that!

On July 9th I went to the beach and threw up on the sand in front of children from being so sick (CLASSY AF!)! After throwing up I went in the ocean and had a moment. I decided that was it! That Saturday would be the first day of my recovery! I had to sober up! I had lost control and I was powerless!  I knew I could not drink like a normal person even though I tried and tried.  I was addicted and had to accept that it was time to STOP...so I did! 

I stayed sober on my own for the first 90 days. I was very much involved in social media which gave me support but also made me accountable. I have to practice what I preach! My head was spinning at first and it was exhausting (the battle) to make the right decision, and not drink! I had friends from France stay with me for 10 days. They drank in front of me everyday and I could not join them. I was soooooooo tired! It was the hardest thing I had ever done! I really had the devil on one shoulder whispering to me to go ahead to just have one, and an angel on the other shoulder who would be the voice of reason!

Waking up sober each day has been awesome.  I keep thinking about that feeling and how proud I am to stick to my sobriety. Once my friends went back home, I avoided any social situations where alcohol would be at reach. I was very much a loner, and started my own spiritual journey. I also lost a few "friends" who do not understand my journey!  Oh well, my sober gang has become the people I can rely on and there is no judgment which is so beautiful!

Shortly after my 90 days of sobriety I met this beautiful woman, who is now one of my best friend, and my sponsor. I saw her at the gym where I work and noticed that she is special!
We connected in many ways, especially in our recovery and sobriety!  She took me under her wings and introduced me to AA.  She is now walking me through the steps which has truly changed my life. It all makes sense to me now.  I don't have to battle as much in my head and I give it all to my higher power. My addict mind is a sick mind, and in order to heal it, I have to shift my thoughts.

I start each day now with a prayer while watching the sunrise from the same window where I used to look at the sky crying in pain. I also end my day with a prayer that my son and I do together. It's amazing how this moment of gratitude that we share brought us so much
closer together.  I LOVE my son so much!!!

Every single day I wake up feeling blessed and grateful to be alive.  To be breathing, to feel amazing without having a headache from the booze, or just being plain tired from the trauma I caused my body and my mind. Life is amazing and full of little miracles and blessings

I'm not saying that it's easy, some days are f'ing hard!  I feel everything and my emotions are raw, but my worst day sober is soooo much better than any day spent drunk out of my mind! I was so afraid that life would be boring if I got sober.  I thought I'd lose my edge, my humor, my social outlet... but it's quite the opposite. I'm so much more fun, more loving, more patient with my surrounding and my relationships! I'm such a nicer person!! I used to be really judgmental. I was also really good at playing the victim...poor little frenchie, here by herself in Cali like an orphan! It's all changed, and it's not over, it's just the beginning! I can't wait to see the person I haven't yet become!

Sobriety/recovery means being safe, it means LOVE!  You become aware of who you really are when you are on your spiritual path. It's a constant need to better yourself and you learn to be more compassionate and express gratitude! it's beautiful and magical! The secret is just to do it one day at a time. Don't think too much about the future, just have a rad day each day and be the best you can be while staying clean/sober and thank God for it!

As of today, I finally took charge of my life! My goal is to be the best mom I can be! I have my son with me full time and I'm so grateful for him! My other goal is to be at service to others, motivate and help anyone that is struggling with addiction. I understand the pain and how hard it is to deal with those demons that won't leave you alone day after day.  To feel like a prisoner in your own mind, to feel POWERLESS!

I can tell you that there is a way out.  If I light up someone's soul, it truly makes me the happiest girl in the world.  Recently, I've help a couple people.  I didn't realize my sobriety could influence others.  One of my friends is now 45 days sober because she looked up to me and my journey in recovery.  It's amazing how we can all connect and help encourgage each other and fight against this horrible disease!

Love the addicts - Hate the addiction.

Stephanie Q.

AlcoholKevin ZurekComment