I started drinking in 2008 when I moved out to Montana on my own at 18 years old. At the time it seemed normal, I was going to school and everyone was partying.
As the years went on, my friends started graduating and getting good jobs and settling down, but I was stuck. I kept switching my degree and choosing partying over good grades. In 2012, I dropped out and started serving tables full time. Working in a restaurant I was surrounded by drinking, there was always someone to go out with me or stay after my shift for drinks.
After some time (and a few 4am rescues) my friends and family reached out to me with their concerns. Unfortunately, the draw to continue drinking was stronger than I wanted to admit so I began drinking on my own. I started going out to the bar by myself, spending hundreds of dollars every week on booze wondering why I couldn’t get ahead and why I was all alone. In 2016, I decided to move back closer to home and start over.
I moved to a town called Paradise, Ca.
About three months after I moved to California I started dating a handsome man named Sam. About six weeks after we started dating I found out I was four weeks pregnant. Surprise! I immediately quit drinking and smoking and holy moly did my body go through some crazy changes. You know those women that get sick for a month or so in the beginning? That wasn’t me, for nine months I couldn’t keep anything down. I was miserable pregnant, but I felt like it was my body’s way of detoxing all the bad I had done to myself for so many years. And after it all I got a beautiful baby girl.
Things weren't always plain sailing.
I didn’t drink for almost a year after having her, and when I did, it was A drink. After about a year and a half I started nursing less and felt comfortable drinking more… then something happened. On November 8, 2018 the town of Paradise, California burned to the ground. My mom, sister and both brothers all lost their homes. I lost my job, my family had to move out of state, my friends were relocated, and once again I felt alone. It was devastating to say the least. I did what I knew and turned to alcohol. I knew I couldn’t drink much during the day so I started taking shots at night where no one could lecture me. I got sick, sick in my body, sick in my mind. My emotions were out of control, I was losing myself and my daughter needed me, so I started looking for help.
I had gone to AA meetings before but they weren’t for me, so I looked at other clubs and groups. I can’t remember exactly how I came across OYNB but I do remember how I felt reading the testimonies. I remember thinking, “I want to feel great, I want to take control, I want to be happy again.”
For the first time in 28 years I feel like I am winning.
I feel stronger than I ever have. I am happy, I have energy, life is clearer, I am never going back. I don’t think I could have done it without the amazing people at OYNB. They gave me strength on days I was feeling weak and reminded me every day that I’m not alone, and everyone deserves happiness. I loved waking up early and reading my daily email with my tea in the morning, it was like homework for life. How am I empowering myself today?
I did have a difficult time being around drinking at first, but used the OYNB tools and community to help me through it. I also learned who my real friends are, not everyone you love is going to love that you quit drinking, in fact some people might be sour over it. I ignored it though and I reminded myself that I quit for me and my children. Now I love going out to social events, I love dancing and laughing and singing and running, I keep up with the drunk people on the dance floor and have much more energy to chase the littles. I wake up every morning feeling great! My skin is clearer, my teeth are whiter, my body is loving life, I couldn’t be happier about my new amazing AF life
Thank you OYNB
P.S. If you like the sticker shown in this article, and would like to get your hands on your own – do not despair! We have just launched a sticker pack in our store in collaboration with Sticker Mule. At OYNB HQ, we have covered our laptops and other devices in them – what will you do with yours? Check out all the fun designs on our website!