January 26th 2018 I decided to get clean. After years of destroying myself physically, mentally, and spiritually, I had enough. At first when I got clean I had no idea what to expect. I thought “okay, I’ll do this for a month and see what happens.” When that month went by I said “okay, maybe I’ll give it six months? That seems like enough time to get myself together.” Well, today I have 9 months and 17 days clean, which is something indescribable and truly amazing to me. Today, I have a healthy relationship with my girlfriend who I love more and more every day, because my sobriety taught me that I am capable of loving both myself and somebody else. Today I have meaningful friendships, not just friends I can talk to when I need something. Today I have both my parents in my life, which is something you would not find me saying 9 months and 17 days ago.
My story did not involve rehabs, detoxes, arrests, or anything that people stereo-typically think of when they hear the word “addict.” My story was that I was hurt, scared, and broken on the inside, so I made the outside look prettier than it was. Addicts don’t have a drug problem, alcoholics don’t have a drinking problem, they have a THEM problem, the substances are the solution that they choose. I did not have a drinking problem, I did not have a food problem, I did not have a self-harm problem, and I had a Jen problem. I was not able to face the girl I created behind so many masks because I wore that mask for so long, I had no idea who I was without it. Today? I don’t have that Jen problem, at least not so much anymore. Today I can look in the mirror and actually like, even love, the reflection that stares back at me. I won’t sit here and say that sobriety has made all my problems disappear, but I can sit here and say that sobriety gave me the clarity I needed to help me face those problems head on, one day at a time.
If you or anybody you know is struggling, please don’t be afraid to talk to them. Awareness and acceptance is one of the two major keys of this disease. Because yes, addiction IS a disease and there is no known cure, but it can be worked on. You deserve the care and love that I’m sure you are able to give everybody else but yourself.