A Prisoner in My Own Mind

“I was born and raised in Medicine Hat, the middle daughter of 3. I grew up in an alcohol free home. I often heard stories of alcoholic relatives and was aware that alcoholism was in our family. From my very first memories as a young child I remember the constant feelings of loneliness and fear. Always wanting to be someone else, always wanting to feel different, never content and always comparing my insides to everyone’s outsides. I was to the extreme quiet and shy but always seeking attention and approval. From a very young age I had suicidal thoughts. My brain never was quiet. I felt a prisoner in my own mind. Even the simplest things would happen and I would spend days if not months still thinking it over. I had my first drink at 12 years old and drinking became regular on weekends until graduation year. It felt a way to escape from reality, it blocked the thoughts for a while and took away the fears of living. But I never drank the way my friends did, I could never have just one and would wake up the next day with no recollection of the night before. I won awards for funniest person in grade 9 and grade 12. I never understood what they saw in me that I didn’t. Alcohol made me everything I wanted to be funny, confident, social, until it stopped working.

At 18 I was married and and had my first daughter. I truly believed I had found my purpose, I felt it was who I was destined to be my whole life. I thought I had everything I ever wanted. 3 healthy beautiful daughters, the family home, nice vehicles, family vacations. Yet I still felt alone and very uncomfortable in my own skin. I made many visits to the Dr. office, I suffered from depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts. My marriage ended after 15 years. As my daughters grew older I found I had more time to myself and continued on where I had left off in High-school. Alcohol once again made me more social, and gave me a sense of worth and belonging. I searched for myself in relationships with men, drugs, alcohol. What was just drinking on the weekends became daily and no matter how hard I tried I could not stop.

I tried just quitting drugs hoping that was my problem, I tried just beer for a while, then just wine, soon I couldn’t leave the house or go to work because I knew I couldn’t go long without a drink. Within 3 years I was a daily black out drunk. Waking up the next day full of guilt and shame. Terrorizing the lives of all those who cared and loved me. I became someone I could not control while drinking. I physically and mentally harmed my children, family and friends. I didn’t want to live sober and I didn’t want to live drunk anymore. The solution to my problems no longer worked. My daughters were saddened and scared so they made the decision to leave and go live with there dad. A recovered alcoholic friend reached out to me . I never knew there could be others out there that felt like I did, had thoughts like I did, and wanted to die just like I did. She first gave me hope by sharing her experience and then by taking me through the 12 step program of recovery. Today I am 20 months sober and will be forever indebted to the people that reached out to me. They showed me that I can make right the wrongs of my past and live free from the obsession I had. Today I know longer live in fear and live in the present. I want to be alive! Not all are fortunate live through this and I am very blessed to share my story with others that it may also give someone hope and a chance to ask for help.”

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