Today I’ve been sober for 18 days, the longest I’ve been sober since I can remember. I always was someone who couldn’t face their problems, couldn’t deal with the fact that it’s perfectly normal to feel your feelings. It’s just not something I was, or still am, comfortable with. From an early age I learned to bottle things up. At 15 I started to self harm, 19 I developed anorexia, and 19+ my drinking increased tremendously. The only coping methods I knew, and sometimes feel like I only know, are unhealthy ones. They’re the ones that destroy me because the truth is, that’s how I’ve survived all these years. I won’t get into the whole childhood trauma, by the statement above I’m sure we all know there’s something there, but I will get into the fact that these three coping methods were my best friends. Bad day? Drink, cut, starve. Good day? Drink. Stressed? Don’t eat, drink. They were there for everything, and the best part was I didn’t have to tell them a word, they’d just fix it automatically.. or so I thought.
I’m 24 now and all I’ve learned how to do is stuff my problems down. I stuff and I stuff, until there’s no more room and I’m ready to explode. That’s what happened, that was my rock bottom. 18 days ago, I woke up after a night out to my head in the toilet not being able to face the day. The night prior I had spent over an hour crying that I wanted to die, that my life was pointless and there was nothing to live for. I always knew I had a problem with alcohol, joking or not, I knew it. I’d give myself boundaries, tell myself I could stop, but the truth is I couldn’t. I can’t. Now that I’m sober, feeling my feelings is the hardest thing I’ve had to do. My life is supposed to be coming together due to sobriety but these first few weeks, it feels as though nothings happening but my life falling more apart. They say change happens when you’re ready to leave your comfort zone, and let me tell you, I’ve never been more uncomfortable in my life. I’m Jen, and I’m an alcoholic. I recognize my life has become unmanageable, and I want my life back.