After 90 days of sobriety, I am forced to reflect on my journey thus far. About three months ago, I started this blog as an outlet for my recovery to deal with uncensored feelings, emotions and fears. If I was to stop and think when I first registered my account with WordPress, I never would have imagined the gain I’ve received from simply being honest.
Three months ago, I made a new commitment with myself and my therapist to run full speed in the direction of recovery. I was determined to fight for my life and restore the shell of a young woman. A little over three months prior to today, I remember standing in my bathroom. I had just engaged in purging and I felt a chill wash over me. Standing up I turned to look in the full mirror across the wall hanging in my bathroom.
I remember the fear; I could literally feel death lurking in the room. I stared in the mirror for 20 minutes and broke down sobbing. For the first time in years, I no longer saw the 19-year-old girl I had been stuck at, but a broken and starved young woman. My brain finally clicked the age difference and I sobbed.
After that day, I returned back to AA. The first month and a half was the hardest. Not for the need or obsession to drink, but the acceptance and understanding; finding the answer that I couldn’t figure out: Was I an alcoholic?
I remember long drives, over an hour, to young people meetings and regular meetings, desperate for an answer. Just before two months, I came to my acceptance and I had found my answer that I was indeed a 22-year-old alcoholic. But it was far from the end of the world. From that answer, I was able to fully surrender and be okay with the fact I will never be able to have a drink of alcohol again. At first, it was overwhelming… but today, I am beyond grateful. Life is so much better without the drink. I just don’t need it. At a month-and-a-half, I chaired my first AA meeting.
Rounding out two months, I was trying to come out of the recent relapse with ED. Since then, I have put my weight back on and while I still do engage in the behavior, it isn’t day in and day out. I was eating when I was hungry and learning to try and stop when I was full and managed to eat more.
Halfway into my second month of sobriety, I learned the reality of my past. As I shared in my “Exposed: My Story” I learned that what happened to me when I was 19 was an incident of sexual assault. I will be honest, still, today, I have a difficult time saying those two words and I have an even harder time allowing myself to call it that. But, I accept that it is what it is…
I’ve begun working on PTSD (which is something I didn’t even know I had). That’s scary as all get out, and honestly, while I write this post, I still feel sick and raw and ill about the incident. I finally managed to reveal the remainder of the story, with what happened that night. Right now, I am struggling with urges to self-harm and engage in bulimic tendencies, and it is the highest my urges have ever been. But I am moving forward. Trembling, but still moving.
Last weekend I experienced my first AA convention and the following day, I spoke for the first time and shared my story to women in a rehab facility.
Today I woke up and was already off to a shaky start. That feeling of unbearable fear, pain, emotion, memory, shook me. Hysterically crying at 10 a.m. I was afraid to keep moving. By noon, I was at an AA meeting and announced my 90 days of sobriety.
I texted my sponsor and told her “I feel like today is my birthday!” and she replied, “IT IS!!” Think about that for a minute. I can have TWO birthdays! The day I got sober, was my birthday. A new life of sobriety. So happy fucking birthday to me!!
In regards to this blog project, I have been blessed to be in touch with other bloggers and humans around the world. I can be honest with my life and have people actually hear me, and listen, no more sitting in silence every second of the day. I interact and gain support from their encouragement and inspirational words. I am able to respond to them and share that IT IS POSSIBLE to stay sober, recover and regain life. It just takes time… and sometimes I feel the clock is ticking backward.
But here I sit, sober and at peace. My daily mantra for getting through the pain as I continue to work through all of the debris is “This too shall pass” and it will.
She is clothed with strength & dignity
& laughs without fear of the future
I feel like I have been forced to grow up a lot this past year. I’d like to say the past two years, but most accurately, I had no choice but to grow up, fast. When I was 19, I felt like I had to grow up too fast. I experienced things that typically, girls learn and experience in a paced manner, in different stages in their lives. But me? I experienced my first “real” kiss, which was a drunk kiss, my first “sexual” behaviors, my first drunk experience, my first time getting high, the first time I cut.
Then, this past year, I was forced to become an adult instantly. Within the year I had to move out, graduate, get a job, get another job, move out again, live alone, take care of myself, establish some sort of community, get well, recover, deal head on with trauma, relive that trauma, get clean from drugs, deal with the aftermath of a one-night strip show, get sober, maintain cutting and burning urges, work on my eating disorder, get control of relapses, take care of my car, start learning that I have a voice as a weapon. All of these things happened too fast.
Now; I am sober. I have stayed sober. I am dealing with my “trauma” and trying to understand sexuality overall. I am attempting to find a job, hopefully, that will allow me to feel safe and content, happy, and free and to focus on the future and try to figure out where I want to plant myself for a longer time. I am trying to get stable in life. I’m left winded,it’s fucking scary, but I am not giving up… I am growing up.
I try to gasp for air, but the harder I try, the more my breath is stolen. I can try and listen to the music and let it soothe me. Sometimes, the right song fills me inside, and calms me; it speaks for me. Sometimes it even cradles me like a child.
I cannot say that I am at a loss for words; but I am at a loss. There’s a lot of confusion and emotion and it shakes me. I feel a chill of fear for something I cannot identify. There is a cold air that freezes me inside, exhaling frost. Where is the warmth that I felt not long ago?
I’m holding myself captive by the gnawing bite of memory. It makes me squirm, my stomach drops and the wind is knocked out of me. There is a loss of control, a silence. I didn’t stand a chance because I was taken over by liquid poison. The alcohol held me down, pinned unable to think; unable to choose.
I close my eyes and I envision liquor rain washing over me, pouring down, cleansing me from his taste. It burns.
I’ve been looking in the mirror for so long that I’ve come to believe my soul’s on the other side. All the little pieces falling, shatter. Shards of me too sharp to put back together, too small to matter but big enough to cut me into so many little pieces.
I try to touch her and I bleed, I bleed and I breathe, I breathe no more.
Take a breath and I try to draw from my spirits well. Yes again you refuse to drink, like a stubborn child. Lie to me, convince me that I’ve been sick forever. And all of this will make sense when I get better. But I know the difference between myself and my reflection. I just can’t help but wonder.
So I bleed, I bleed and breathe, I breathe no more.