Wherever I went, I was there...
Although my parents did the best they knew how, I learned at a very young age that Its not okay to be who I am. To express myself meant shaming, belittling, anger and hostility. It was quite confusing - I still don't understand why affection was always held from me but not my younger brother. Throughout the years, I did everything I could to win over my parents and nothing changed. I did well in school, I worked part time, I graduated- moved out on my own. When my children were born, I got married. When my husband died- I got a university degree, I landed great jobs in the community, I made good money, raised two, well-adjusted children on my own and I have a very large social circle of close, loving friendships. I did all of this on my own- never asked for help as I thought being independent was a good thing. After my brother died of a drug overdose, the relationship with my family became so hurtful and unhealthy and we have now been estranged for many years.
What my family and many of my friends did not know was the double life I had always been living. Since I was young, every free minute outside of my responsibilities I was drinking, using drugs, using people, using anything external to get outside of my busy, overactive brain. My solution to every feeling that I felt was to have a drink or do drugs, or both. Bored-drink, insecure- drink beer. Happy- get wasted, stressed- smoke joints, anxious-hard alcohol, excited- blow, booze. Every social situation, funerals, weddings, birthday, holidays, Fridays, Saturdays…..eventually all of my friendships, hobbies, interests all revolved around drinking and drug use.
Throughout the past 18 years there were constant attempts at moderating, exploring other interests, counselling, journaling, reading books on self-growth, psychology and addiction courses, wellness courses, fitness challenges, diets, travel retreats, hanging out with nondrinkers and pretending to be interested. Nothing was exciting or felt right without drugs and alcohol taking me to the next level.
I was so incredibly sick and tired- exhausted and disgusted with who I was as a person. I felt so lost, so confused and couldn’t understand why I hurt so many people and set myself back every time I was left to my own devices. Why did I hate myself so much? My soul was screaming. My brain was fried. I wanted more – I knew there was more out there for me and I just couldn’t seem to get it. In May 2018 I realized that I couldn’t do this alone anymore. I asked for help. Since then my relationships are meaningful- healthy. My life has grown immensely. I am comfortable and proud of who I am.
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