Some of you may already know of my physical transformation. For those of you who don’t , I struggled with my weight a majority of my life . I was an unathletic 300 lbs when I graduated high school, CLICK here to read the story
But that is not the story I want to share today. This past month marked 5 years sober. Anyone who knows my past , knows I was a pretty epic drinker . I was known for it and all the crazy stories that came with it . It defined me in some aspects. For the past 5 years , I haven’t drank a lick of alcohol , sometimes feeling like I didn’t belong , like I was the weirdo or an alien when I went out .
Why did I stop drinking ? because I wasn’t doing anything but causing problems for myself. Saturday/Sunday (occasionally a week day after college) mornings hung over and way too much money was spent on alcohol . But more importantly I used it , as a crutch, as a drug , as a cure all. Bored at home/ nervous during a hurricane ? drink, Upset from a break up ? drink .And the main crutch of it I used alcohol to survive , thrive in social situations. I deal with anxiety , mainly social anxiety. Wasn’t diagnosed till in my 30’s but all throughout my 20’s,I used alcohol to turn me from a shy and quiet guy at a party ,to the life of it , getting myself into crazy shenanigans . The problem , as time went on , it took more and more alcohol to calm down the anxiety .
One morning after a rough night of drinking , I flipped the switch and said enough was enough . I did not go to AA, I tried it wasn’t for me . I chose not to talk about it but to live my sober life . I decided I would work to get past my anxiety in social situations , that I could be stronger then the disease and that it would not define me. It’s not easy , some days are better than others, but as time has gone on I learn and grow and will continue to. But not drinking has afforded me the joy getting up early on a Saturday or Sunday , get things done and not be hung over till noon, feeling good about myself . I enjoy feeling good about my body ( working out all week + heavy drinking on the weekend kind of just evened each other out in my younger days ).I don’t vilify anyone for liking to drink , I in fact DO ENJOY going to a bar , listening to live music , dancing and being the permeant DD . Sometimes rock a glass of water like it’s a drink , even imitating drinking mannerisms .
Don’t get me wrong , I did not do it alone I had the support of close friends and family , which is extremely important. I even talked to a couple counselors to help me with my anxiety. You are not weak for seeking help , but wiser and stronger for it
And I say all this not looking for attention or a pat on the back , but to be a resource for anyone who is thinking of not drinking , who may have anxiety or any other mental illness ( a lot of times the drinking and mental illness go hand and hand )and has dangerous ways of coping with it. I am here to tell you , you’re not alone . Reach out talk to someone , talk to me if need be. Don’t suffer in silence .