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I am truly grateful

Everything was falling apart. I was about to drop out of school (again), I was about to get fired from my job (again), and every time I turned around someone else I loved was dying from the disease of addiction. All for a drink, a drug, an escape from reality. I was so insecure, anxious, and depressed that I couldn’t stand being in my own skin.

I had known I had a problem with alcohol for a while. I even tried quitting drinking several times—claiming I was doing a cleanse or just taking a break. Throughout my using career, I tried any drug I could get my hands on, including sex, food, and people. I tried to control anything and everything around me because I couldn’t handle the inner turmoil I was experiencing. Alcohol was my constant. No matter what my drug of choice was at the time, alcohol was always there for me to help me come down. Finally, it happened. After years of watching people die from this disease, my closest and dearest friend for 12 years was lost to this disease. This woke me up. I realized that every shitty thing that had ever happened to me or to someone I knew—alcohol or drugs were involved. That was it. After drinking off an especially horrendous hangover, I finally set the drink down and walked away. I was done. I was broken and I didn’t have a clue how I was going to do it, but I was finally willing to ask for help.

I woke up from my very last hangover on December 28th, 2012. In the last 6 years I have finished my bachelor’s degree and went on to get my masters in social work, thanks largely to Collegiate Recovery Communities. I met the love of my life, moved across the country twice, went to India to become a yoga teacher, travelled internationally with sober friends (made tons of sober friends!!), made amends with both of my parents and solidified my relationship with my sister. I am now back in Alaska working as a clinician in a town I grew up in and have had the opportunity to make amends with places from my adolescence that carried a lot of pain. I’ve brought yoga for recovery back to my hometown and shared my story in places that I first started drinking and using.

Life is more incredible than I ever could have dreamed. I find myself experiencing a childlike sense of wonder for what the future may hold, and for that, I am truly grateful.

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