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So I know it’s alcohol awareness month. This month is also important to me because I just celebrated 8 months sober. I was drinking and using drugs in attempt to cope with the pain. But really it just made everything worse. It wasn’t fun anymore. Being sober has changed my life. I’m learning how to live again. I have a real chance of dealing with my mental health now and I just feel so grateful. There is a lot of days when I hate everything and being sober sucks and I want to drink; not feel. And then I have these moments where I feel like everything is gonna be alright. And that makes it all worth it.
First of all, congrats Sam on this monumental accomplishment–I am sure there are many who are proud of you. The road to sobriety may present itself as being long and arduous, so I want to congratulate you on sticking through and keeping your goals set high. Moreover, it is really important to keep this conversation going on the impending issue that is the alcohol/party culture. The use of alcohol in young people, in specific high school students, has grown exponentially. It has become this “thing” to party and drink on the weekends–and it has actually been spilling into the weekdays what with “Wasted Wednesday” and “Thirsty Thursday.” But, I do believe there is a silver lining to this extensive issue. Education is a big component of it. I am lucky enough to have had such an extensive and blunt Health curriculum at my high school. But most students are not privy to such programs. Students need better education and management in such areas and need to understand that this culture is severely harming them.
If you have any other ideas on how to improve this issue among teens, please feel free to share with me. Thank you.
Sam, thank you for your honesty and openness. You described a lot of what I feel as I continue on my path of recovery. My drinking began innocently after I met someone who drank with his friends on the weekends. I wanted to fit in with him and his friends, to be the “cool” girlfriend, and before long it got out of control. I now have just over seven months sober and that man is not in my life. I have survived cancer, overcome severe depression and the loss of loved ones but this has been the hardest battle I have ever fought. It has also been the most rewarding. I know more about myself than I ever thought I could and I have emerged into a much better person. Keep up the good work and hope to see updates in the future on all the wonderful things you are doing!
Recovery is hard. I know this all too well. Reese I totally feel the exact same way you do about going through this from the depression and the addiction. Accepting the fact that you know I can’t do these things normally, and that’s okay. I definitely feel like I’m missing out sometimes. It is crazy how I can so easily forget how bad it was. And the whole cool factor in the beginning! I thought I was hot shit because I had a crazy story to tell the day after. Except in the end, there was no one that really wanted to listen to it. I’m actually coming up on 11 months now and I’m “doing life”. Which at times has been scary but I’m just trying to continue working my program and doing the next right thing. What has been helping you?
I credit AA with saving my life and the people I have met in the program keep me grounded. I resisted everything I heard in AA for years. Although I never stopped going to meetings, I kept drinking because I didn’t want anyone telling me what to do or how to do it. When I decided to grow up, take responsibility for my actions, and stop blaming others for my problems my head cleared and a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders. Now I practice gratitude for the smallest things especially my family. They had stopped speaking to me and I eventually became homeless. Now I am employed, healthy, and have great relationships with my family. I get the privilege of helping others in recovery now. People often don’t realize how much alcohol is part of society and how the media makes it appear sexy and glamorous. It was never fun for me. There were no crazy parties, clubs, bars, or wild moments worth sharing with others. I am so happy to be free of all that.
Wowwwww. I feel like you are telling my story. Like everything you just said is everything that I have been realizing since being in recovery. And what was really cool and helpful for me was the fellowship of young people I met in recovery. It was crazy because I was thinking I am way to young to be doing this. But the thing is I’m not the only one and it’s possible. I know I still have a long way to go, but having that support along the way is soo important.
you’re right it really is crazy how universal these feelings and realizations are. I didn’t realize that until I met other people that are going through what I’m going through (especially the other young people). It was like we already knew each other on this deeply personal level. With the whole being more grateful now, I can really relate. Before I used to take a lot for granted because my vision was so fogged. But now I do my best to really remember how lucky I am to have a family and friends that are there for me and this second chance to really live.
I am so happy you are inspired by Reese’s story. That is what this forum is all about – coming together in a safe place and learning from each other. I sometimes like to think of other people as “teachers,” in the sense that I can always learn something from them and grow as a person.
You are so right Sam. You are not alone in your recovery journey. 🙂
TurningPointCT.org was developed by young people in Connecticut who are in recovery from mental health and substance use issues. We know what it’s like to feel alone, stressed, worried, sad, and angry. We’ve lived through the ups and downs of self-harm, drugs and alcohol, and the struggle to find help.
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