I’ve never introduced myself really or explained my story fully. I’m Lea and it’s my one year sober anniversary. My main DOC is alcohol. But I have other addictions as well. Below is just me. Me in a nutshell. Addiction is so many things coming together…I think it was always in me to be an addict. How I was raised, life unfolding, lack of support, society’s acceptance of alcohol in every aspect of life, genetics,-it all comes together to make me who I am today.
I started to drink in an unhealthy manner originally because of heart ache. I had been in a relationship that I felt was my everything. He was my world. And we decided to create one for ourselves…Him and I moved really far north of the border into the woods of British Columbia, past Prince George…three hours down a dirt road. We lived in the cabin he had grown up in. Fishing, hiking, hunting, canoeing along the most serene river… The Omineca River, the lazy river. We brought our dog every where with us up there…It was out of a fairy tale in my eyes. He was stable, focused, motivated, lovely to my heart and soul and our interests intertwined seamlessly… He also had a big family, 4 sisters, two loving parents I considered my own.
But I was young. I was insecure. I was jealous. And I was afraid of losing this beautiful man… I held on so tightly… My fears of abandonment and my lack of confidence in who I was growing up were directly related to the family I was surrounded by. My parents were absent and my sister was physically and emotionally abusive for 10 years (and continued with the emotional abuse into my late 20s).
While me and him were living in Canada, mind you I was 19/20, but we’d been together for a year at that point… We accidentally ran over our dog. He died instantly. I won’t go into details but it was probably the worst thing to happen to me at that point. We moved back to the states and it was a beginning to an end.
Choosing to get so close to this dog and him being torn away from me, blaming myself for what had happened…I had always closed myself off to love before that.
This loss, my insecurities that stemmed from my childhood, was too much…He broke things off about a year later…i had created such a hostile environment for us. I depended on him to make me feel better about everything. I hardly ever pointed the finger at myself. I had so many issues I wouldn’t address, I felt very wronged by everything. I felt scared and alone a lot growing up and didn’t develop adequate coping skills or true love for myself.
I started drinking heavily after that. Walking to the store every night to get large cans of beer to bring back to this tiny one bedroom apartment I moved into by myself. Before that I had been living with my boyfriend and three of our friends in a large home by the water and we did everything together. But now I had a bed on the floor and drank myself to sleep most nights. I started working at a restaurant again. One day hungover and depressed, I put my head on the steering wheel while I was stopped and rolled into the car in front of me. Nothing dramatic came of it. But the look the driver gave me was of pitty. I could tell he saw despair. I felt very broken. And it wasn’t just from the loss of this relationship. It was so much more than that.
I continued to drink but I told myself that I would never be that insecure, jealous, clingy person ever again… And how would I do it? (Not by addressing the issues deep down) By drowning my desires to love and be loved. By never allowing myself to get too close to someone good again. So I filled the next couple of years by dating people that were toxic, addicts. Always keeping myself at a distance to not fall… Drinking to drown my loneliness. Drinking because I had no self worth. Drinking Because I wouldn’t work on myself…I wouldn’t do it. I didn’t see anything in my self like I do today.
I met my husband when I was 23/24 and he was nice. He was stable. I wasn’t head over heels but he was smart and loyal and loved me. I decided to take a chance with him because he was the opposite of the people I had been surrounding myself with at that point. We quickly/accidentally got pregnant after 6 months of dating and we were married after 10. I knew it wasn’t right for me, he knew it wasn’t right for me. But I was scared.
And so the last 9 years of my life/marriage, my drinking got progressively worse and worse. Because how do you do something to your kids that was done to you? How do I look at the family that has been there for me when my previous nuclear family was not, and tell them I still need more? How do I tell them that my happiness needs to come first? How do I break the hearts of the loves of my life (my sons)? I drank so much to suppress those thoughts and desires. Who was I to want more? Who did I think I was to be so selfish?
I’m still trying to figure those questions out. But I received some very good advice recently… Evaluate your thoughts, and really think about if they are coming from a place of fear or a place of faith? And I don’t mean the religious faith. I mean faith/trust/hope/love.
Are your thoughts/decisions fear based? What things would you do differently if every thought you had spoke to your soul? What if all your decisions were directly in line with the needs you’ve been trying to bury?
I drank to suppress. I drank out of fear. I’m sober and I am finally able to start taking away the layers of fear I have suffocated myself with. I’m not going to be the one to say that I’ve come so far and everything is amazing…Everything for me is taking a very long time. I take a small step forward and then giant steps back all the time. But I keep trying. And staying sober, free from mind altering substances is the only way I’ll truly get freedom from my fear. And the only way I can really work towards the one goal I’ve wanted for so long- HAPPINESS.
This is my my son…I started this journey on his 7th birthday and it will always be special to me.
I have two son’s, and I hope I am able to show them unconditional love from me and for themselves.
I made this playlist. It’s a compilation of my 11 years of drinking and my 1 year of sobriety. If you listen, I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.