A mum reflects on her struggles with alcohol: “It took over my life. I’d get drunk everyday.”

Video by Mamamia and DrinkWise

I recently celebrated two years of being sober and living a clean life!

Although I didn’t celebrate as such, instead I chose to reflect on how much personal growth I’ve made and how much my life has changed. All for the better, and better than I could have ever imagined at that!

I love sharing the happiness in my life with you all, the positivity and the love because that is what I choose to focus my energies on daily. But, I still have struggles just like the next person and I feel it important to share those struggles too. It helps me see how far I’ve come but I also hope to inspire and remind you that you too can change your world if you’re facing similar to what I’ve experienced!

For so long I had this idea in my head of the type of person I wanted to be. She was kind, caring, loving, genuine, loyal, enjoyed life and had so much positivity about her. For so many years she was there, trying to show herself but never knowing how.

Always clouded by alcohol and negativity. For many years I chose to subdue who I really was because I never felt worthy of being her… I never felt worthy of being happy or loved. Whenever things started to go well I would self sabotage. This was a sad habit I’d developed from past experience. I felt when things in my life started to go well that’s when everything would turn to shit. It sounds crazy, I know. But that’s how I used to think. So, If I was in control of how shit things became in some way, it would hurt less…

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I was used to things being taken away from me, people leaving, friends turning on me, family hurting me that I built up a wall. I stopped feeling things because sometimes feeling was too painful. That’s why I turned to alcohol. It was my escape, I’d drink to get drunk and to let go for a while. At the start it would be just weekends, then week days and before I knew it. It took over my life. No word of a lie, I’d get drunk everyday!

I always had a fear of drinking because I knew from a young age I’d be susceptible to alcoholism considering my father was an alcoholic. I grew up going to AA meetings with him and attending Al-anon meetings for myself. When I first started noticing the signs within myself you’d think that would have scared me more to stop drinking but alcoholism isn’t something you can obviously flick a switch and stop it!

When I got sober in 2015 I never for the life of me thought I’d stay sober. I was terrified of making the decision, because what if I failed? What if I couldn’t do it? I watched my dad struggle with it for years and he lost his battle in 2002 after committing suicide. I believe he took his life because of his struggles with the disease and not being able to stop drinking after so many failed attempts he couldn’t live like that any longer. All the good had been stripped away and he was a shell of a person completely dependent on a substance. I was petrified I’d be my dad.

Everything I was and everything I wanted was just a decision away but even if I made that decision, was it enough…

Last month I celebrated two years since that decision, two years of sobriety.

And I tell you this wholeheartedly, I am still just as scared as I was back in 2015! I still feel like I’m faking it, like the person I am today I’m sometimes not worthy of being her. I look at Alina and I am so unbelievably happy, I am so in love with my daughter and being a mother. I am the person I have always wanted to be and that scares the shit out of me… I feel like there’s a dark cloud that hovers over me sometimes, like the disease of alcoholism is so close to taking over my life at any given time if I let it.

Jackie Lunn on how to talk to your kids about alcohol. (Post continues below.)

I’ve experienced things since being sober that the old Emily would have picked up the bottle for but didn’t. Lately I’ve had friends ask me if I think I’ll ever drink again, they don’t understand alcoholism. It’s not like a period of time goes by and if you don’t drink you’re somehow cured…

I’ve never been able to stop at one glass of wine, one beer or a cocktail. Every single time I’ve picked up a drink I’ve gotten smashed, blacked out and had to drink more to function the next day. It’s a cycle of destruction and I’ll never drink again for that reason but also because if I thought I had a lot to lose back then, I have everything to lose now.

I won’t put my daughter through the childhood that I went through. When I think of my dad, he was so incredible. He was the best dad in the world. When he wasn’t drinking. I never want her to think of me like that. She doesn’t need to experience me anything other than the way she does now. A happy, healthy and mentally stable mother.

The reason for this blog was to remind myself of how far I’ve come. That everything will be ok and that for the first time in so long, I am in control of my life! It’s a beautiful and freeing feeling, I am excited for the future and I am starting to let go of the fear and embrace the goodness of a happy life! A life I truly do deserve…

This post originally appeared on Loved by Emily. It has been republished here with full permission.

If you or a loved on is struggling with alcohol, help is available 24 hours a day via the Alcohol and Drug Information Service. Please call the support line on 1800 422 599.

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