When most of the world envisions an addict or alcoholic they picture someone homeless, in poor health, and with a lengthy criminal record. I know this was true even for myself. Whenever I would begin to wonder if my drinking or use was becoming problematic that stigma would pop in my mind and quiet my fears.


How could I have a problem when I held a job, went to school, paid my bills and still attended family functions? It was the very idea in my head of what an addict was that kept me in denial for so long. Even though at this time in my life I had yet to experience many physical consequences, once I picked up the first drink or drug something happened inside me that was different than that of my peers. Once I started I never wanted the party to stop.


I could go weeks without it and it wouldn’t phase me. “See,” I would say to my family “I can’t be an addict! I’m not like those people!” What was everyone to say? Externally I appeared as someone who just drank too much, internally I was at constant war with myself. I would often drink for days straight and would even hide alcohol. I hid it at my desk at work, in my glove department and even from my husband. Vodka was the easiest to drink to conceal the smell of alcohol. Although I do prefer wine. Wine always seems to be an appropriate drink of choice. Almost classy yet just as dangerous.


There came a time when I had to ask myself if I could see my life without drugs or alcohol. I would try to not drink at parties, or stop at just one. I had to face the facts that I was powerless over it. Although I had not lost my home or my job emotionally I was just as bankrupt as the man begging for change on the corner.  Even though I hadn’t lost anything materialistic I was killing myself. That is when I decided to take a stand and accept the fact that I was an alcoholic.


Embarrassingly enough, I checked myself into rehab. Life Changes Addiction Treatment Center helped me with my addiction in so many ways. I had to learn the 12 steps and participate in groups. At first I felt like I was being talked down to but now I realize it was for my best interest. I have 364 days clean, almost a full year. I sit here and share this with the world because if I could do it, so can you. I now know the feeling of embarrassment I first felt when entering treatment was just in my head. I have done brain mappings and have actually seen my brain heal over the course of 2 months. I am in recovery, but always working to be recovered.

If you or a loved one is suffering from any kind of addiction, please call 1-800-NEW-CHOICE. It could save your life; I know it saved mine.

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