I had lunch with an old friend yesterday. We hadn’t seen each other in a while, and I was discussing the work I have been doing with Reiki and trapped emotion release. I then mentioned that I work with a lot of clients in recovery and how much I love it. He looked at me and said “wow, what a switch from a few years ago.”
He knew me in my past life, as I like to refer to it. I drank, partied and owned a nightclub. I was literally killing myself and pushing others to believe this false sense of reality around what I built. I peddled this story of you never have to grow up, you can party until you fall down, and you can be successful. It was a lie. It is not possible to poison yourself and show up consistently in life and be happy. I was literally dying in the background, falling apart from anxiety, depression, and not showing up as the mother that my children deserved.
I have told the story before about Billy, my now fiancé, asking me why I would still be party at in my late 30’s with kids at home. It flipped a switch in my brain. I couldn’t answer him. I couldn’t answer him. I didn’t know why. Then when he said he didn’t know if he wanted to introduce a party girl to his teenage boys I was floored. This man in front of me was so loving and caring, we had an amazing time together. I was shocked that he wouldn’t want me around his kids. I was such a loving, caring person, it didn’t make sense to me.
I knew there was so much more to the life I was living. I had lived in the darkness and shadows for so long, I knew there was more out there. I wanted to see what it would be like to remove alcohol from the equation. I didn’t even tell anyone at first, scared I would fail. I still remember how proud I felt when I hit 30 days. After a few months, I realized how much better I felt. My anxiety was gone. I was so much more productive. I was able to stop doing drugs. At this point in my life, I always felt like shit after doing them, but I could never say no under the influence of alcohol. They went hand in hand with each other. When I was sober, it was an easy NO.
I started to process my relationship with alcohol. I was brought up around it. The adults in my family were big drinkers and it was normal for them to start having drinks at 5pm every night. I was allowed to start drinking with the family at 18. I didn’t learn any boundaries around alcohol, and I was the teenager that liked to push boundaries. I was already drinking heavily as a college freshman. I thought this was normal. Alcohol had been so normalized that I didn’t think anything of it. So, I pushed my boundaries with drugs.
I don’t like thinking about my party years. It creates a very unsettling sick energy in me. I was so close to a darkness that I may have never come back from. I know how lucky I am to have made it to the other side of it. I know how close I was to not make it to this point.
A few months ago, we were doing family game night, and someone made an off-the-cuff joke about my ginger beer being a real beer. My daughter immediately said, “mommy would never have that in her house.” That honestly was one of my proudest moments. She will never know that sad, depressed girl. I won’t ever have to say sorry for things I did while I was drunk. She won’t have to make sense of why my energy feels so weird when I am under the influence.
I want to teach my kids about alcohol and drugs. I want to educate them on how serious it is, and it is not a joke. I won’t glamorize it. I won’t joke about it. We have been tricked as a society to teach our kids drugs are bad but glamorize alcohol like it isn’t in the same category.
From American Addiction Centers:
“Drug addiction is considered a disease that impacts brain circuitry and behavior, and it is classified by an inability to control drug use. Addictive drugs act on the pleasure center in the brain, causing a shortcut to reward that, when repeated, can change the way a person processes information. Drugs’ addictive qualities may be enhanced by how good they make a person feel when using them and how bad they may make users feel when they wear off. Chronic drug abuse can induce drug dependency, which leads to withdrawal symptoms and drug cravings without the drug’s presence.
Some of the most addictive drugs by definition are cocaine, heroin, alcohol, nicotine and methamphetamine.”
Other statistics that are horrifying:
- An average American see 100,000 beer commercials by the time they are 18.
- Alcohol kills approximately 88,000 Americans a year
- 1 in 7 adults has alcohol use disorder
- 97,000 sexual assault cases among college students involve alcohol
- 3500 Americans under the age 21 die of excessive drinking every year
- There was a 60% increase of drinking during COVID
These are just a few. There are many more including cancer, liver disease, and children living in homes with alcoholic and abusive parents. April is alcohol awareness month. If you have been wanting to take a look at your relationship with alcohol, I empower you to do so. I am available to anyone who needs to chat. There are resources and communities of people that will help you find the information or help you need.
People always tell me how lucky Billy was to have had me by his side to walk him through his cancer battle. I have had multiple people say to me that I saved his life. I want to point out, he saved mine first. I wouldn’t be standing here 3 ½ years sober, doing work I love, if he had never asked why I need to party as a mom.
- Amanda (Lux Healing Arts ❤️)