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Learning how to get sober is not a topic not often considered among the twenty-something population.
In fact, learning how to get sober is almost unheard of to be in college. Why would you want to practice sobriety in this kind of environment? How else would you socialize? What would you do on the weekends if you didn’t go to bars or house parties literally flooded with booze? I’m sure a good number of you aren’t quite sure.
Because drinking is one of the main social activities for twenty-somethings, it’s also much more difficult to uncover whether someone is actually suffering from alcoholism, or if it’s a phase that will end when they graduate.
These are the reasons why I thought Grace’s post on sobriety would be a perfect one for this week’s Mental Health Monday. As you guys know, mental health is an incredibly important part of learning how to be a great adult, which is what Uninspired is all about. In the past, we’ve talked about getting through depression, not letting anxiety stop you from getting your dream job, and more. Today, Grace talks about how she drank a lot in college, but she blended right in with her friends because that’s the thing to do there.
It is so easy for someone suffering from alcoholism to slip through the cracks when the norm in our society is to spend all of our social time around alcohol. If someone who might benefit from practicing sobriety is out there reading this, I hope that seeing this post gives you the strength to get help. There are young people out there who are suffering from alcoholism. Alcoholism is not just an affliction suffered by older people, as Grace points out. It can affect anyone, and can be even more ruthless on younger people because it goes unnoticed.
Grace’s personal experiences with mental health have led her to write passionately about the subject. She is a blogger at Healthy Place, and she also has a personal blog called Wisdom, Courage, Acceptance. She has a lot of wisdom to offer, and I hope that even if you aren’t suffering from alcoholism, you’ll still learn to look for signs of it in other people. Even if they’re young and in college.
“My Name Is Grace And I’m An Alcoholic….
My story with alcohol starts back in the college years. Of course, then I had no idea I was beginning to exhibit problem behaviors because ‘everyone drinks in college.’ However, not everyone drinks for the reasons I was.
I was drinking to relieve pain, to numb emotions, and to get away from all my anxiety. I drank to forget anything and everything I was feeling. Since by this time I had been dealing with depression and an eating disorder for years, finding alcohol was like finding a new friend.
I loved this friend. It made me more outgoing, more fun, and more able to relax for once in my life. I wish I had known at the time that this friendship would soon tear my life into pieces, leaving me alone to clean up its mess.
The real problems began soon after my gradation from college.
I can remember the first night after returning to my hometown. I bought a bottle of wine and sat alone only to drink the entire thing by myself. This turned into a nightly ritual, which turned into a day and night ritual, and soon I was intoxicated for most of my days. With no job and few friends at home, I felt like my life was empty. This is what I thought would fill the void.
Soon, I was going out every night, staying out til morning, and drinking more than I thought I could in a lifetime. I used to think I’d look back and see these as the greatest times of my life, but now looking back, I see there was a veil over my eyes keeping me from the truth. The truth was, I was a miserable individual and a drunken fool 99% of the time.
When I ran out of money from going out so much, I resorted to drinking the contents of my family’s liquor cabinet. I’d sit outside all day drinking my drinks and smoking my cigarettes (that is, if I wasn’t passed out in bed or puking my guts out). Even at this point, I did not entertain the idea that I might have a problem. Denial has been a huge part of my recovery journey, and the most difficult wall I had to break through.
Time passed, I drunkenly interviewed for and got a job, and so my mornings were blessed with hungover drives to work. This didn’t stop me, didn’t even make me question my behavior. These mornings just became the norm for me.
Eventually, enough time went by, and I began to realize I could not stop drinking.
I had tried learning how to get sober on my own. I never cried more than when I finally confessed to my mother what was going on. Shockingly, she had no idea. I met with my doctor, who gave me a medication to help with withdrawal symptoms. I think this plan lasted maybe two days.
Then, the day came when I finally knew I needed more help; learning how to get sober was not a demon I could fight on my own. I was taking my medication as prescribed, but then I began drinking on it, which was an awful combination. One day, I had finished whatever booze I was drinking and decided I needed to go out and get more.
I’m not going to lie, I’ve regretfully driven drunk many times, but this time was something completely different.
After driving for a few minutes, my vision doubled and I couldn’t see straight for the life of me. Do you think that stopped me? Of course not. I continued on, a little shaken, but I got what I needed and returned home, still seeing blurry.
Later, my mom got home to find me completely trashed, and I had an emotional breakdown. I sat on the kitchen floor, bawling my eyes out, embarrassed but unable to stop. This is about all I can remember. Days after being in detox, I finally felt safe from my crazy self.
I followed detox up with an outpatient program to maintain my sobriety and was soon doing pretty well.
Unfortunately, like I said before, recovery is in no way linear, and sobriety may not stick the first time. After more denial and many more relapses, I was finally able to say no more.
I have been sober since November 17, 2014, and could not be more proud. Yes, there are struggles. Learning how to get sober is not easy and I give props to anyone who is living an alcohol free life. There is so much temptation, and being young doesn’t help because much of being social includes being at a bar. However, things are getting easier, and every time I want to drink, I remind myself how much better off I am these days. I am at every moment grateful for my sobriety.
If you think you may have a problem with alcohol and want to know how to get sober, talk to someone. Don’t dig yourself further into that destructive hole. Remember, you don’t have to have had this problem for 50 years to ‘deserve’ help. If it’s an issue, it’s an issue no matter the length of time it’s been going on. Don’t let denial get in your way.”
Get trusted mental health information at https://www.healthyplace.com/