Hey everyone its Katie and today I thought I would share with you all a little bit more about my history and how I got my alcohol addiction.
I really believe that as humans we all have our own unique story to tell and I find individual stories so fascinating about, you know, what’s brought someone to where they are today. So I just wanted to share a little bit with you today about how it was that I came to be addicted to alcohol.
The early years of my alcohol addiction
So, I started to drink more heavily when I turned 21. That’s partially attributed to the fact that that’s the legal drinking age here in the States, but I would say it’s mostly attributed to the environment I was in at the time. You know I remember it being my 21st birthday and people were trying to buy me shots and give me alcohol. I was like passing them off to other people and just kind of nursing on a couple of drinks. I would party and whatnot when I was in my like late teens and early 20s. But, I didn’t really like alcohol. I hated hangovers. I didn’t really like the way it made me feel; I would feel out of control when I drank.
so, I just didn’t really care for it but when I was 21 I got into a relationship with a man who was a few years older. He was a really heavy drinker and I was madly in love with this man. He was someone I’d had a crush on since I was a little girl pretty much. So when we finally got together, like he could do no wrong, I was totally looking beyond his drinking problem. In fact I didn’t even really notice it until we’ve been together for about a year or so.
The first six months of our relationship was long-distance and every single time we would see each other there would always be tons of alcohol and typically; we would see each other just for weekend visits. I kind of chalked it up to you know. We’re just having fun, celebrating, you know, we don’t have a lot of time together. So this is part of it. We were always drinking heavily together on weekends. We would see each other like once or twice a month.
When my drinking problem really started
Then I graduated college and I moved down to where he was living. We moved in together and that’s when I started to pick up on his his heavy drinking. We’d go up to dinner and maybe have a drink or two at dinner and he would always stop at the store to get like a fifth of whiskey or beer or something more. He would continue to drink when we got home. I remember at firs, like, noticing that thinking I don’t want anything more to drink, how can he keep drinking right now?
But over time I started to pick up on his behaviors and patterns as well. We spent a lot of time together. Truthfully at the time, I was really young and extremely insecure. I had no sense of self-worth. No real values to stand on. So I feel like I was really easily just kind of impressionable and was taking on his patterns of drinking. I definitely take responsibility. I was an adult technically and making my own decisions, but was was starting to adapt his behaviour of drinking really heavily and drinking every single day. For a while I just saw it as really fun you know. I was 21, 22, 23 just really enjoying drinking, partying, thinking it’s what people do at that age. I really had the mindset that
I’m gonna do this right now and as I get older I’ll drink less and give it up.
My alcohol addiction started making me eat less
Fast forward a couple of years. I remember I was sitting on the beach and I was drinking a warm vodka diet 7up. That was my drink of choice at the time because it was a really low calorie content. I had actually developed an eating disorder, as well and became anorexic and was really thin and was just drinking so much that I was really restricting my calories. So I was drinking about half my calories and alcohol every day, then leaving half for foo. I was just like hardly consuming any food. Just consuming tons of alcohol.
Anyway, I remember sitting on the beach one day and drinking this like drink that had gone warm. These vodka diets have enough. I could not recall the last day that I had not had a drink. Like, literally, I could not recall. I didn’t know if it had been six months, three months, a year? I could not remember a date where I hadn’t had a drink and I was like buzzed and kind of just like “man, I should probably take a break”. This is probably not good to drink every single day. So I committed to taking a week off and that was my real first attempt at trying to kind of cut back on drinking after I had been you know really drinking heavily for about three years or so. And so I took a week off and I remember feeling really excited about you know getting back on track with health.
Trying to rehab from my alcohol addiction
The first day that it was really hard because the cravings for alcohol were there. I remember I’d get to the end of the day and just end up taking sleeping pills most nights just to go to bed because the alcohol cravings were so strong in my mind. I remember trying to watch a movie or just do different things and I was just like obsessing on alcohol. Of course, my my boyfriend was still continuing to drink so the temptation was like right in my face.
I was taking sleeping pills most nights and just kind of counting the days until the week was over. A soon as the week was over I picked up right where I left off with drinking heavily again and my drinking just continued to get worse in this relationship.
We were together for a total of five years with the alcohol addiction and the heavy drinking. The relationship became really destructive, as I said, I got an eating disorder which again I just had no no sense of self-worth and I feel like on top of it, the drinking just like made it that much worse. My boyfriend at the time actually became like really abusive physically and verbally and I gotten to this point where it was just like a really dark time in my life. Of course I was hiding the abuse from anyone and everyone around me. I’d basically cut off all ties with my friends and family and was living in this very isolated abusive relationship that was just had tons of alcohol, some drugs.
And again just felt very very powerless. like I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t have any inner strength that I could lean on or any values. I was just totally dependent on alcohol and this man that I was with.
The alcohol addiction made me break ties with family
So that went on for a number of years and there was actually a point where I was living in a different state than my family was in. They were picking up on things that things weren’t right like they could tell that I was drinking a lot. They knew that I wasn’t really in touch with them like I used to be. They literally came down to the state Ryman in California and tried to do an intervention and take me away from this man that I was with. They tried to confront me about my drinking problem and all of these things and I just did not receive that well from them.
I was I was kind of blind even though this man was abusive toward me. I just loved him and I worshipped him. I’d had a crush on him since I was a child. He was my first real love and in my mind he could almost do no wrong. He was a very charismatic kind of guy too. I think he could tell that I had no self-esteem and no confidence and kind of poked at that. It kind of fed into me having this drinking problem, this eating disorder and really low self-esteem.
So, my family came down and tried to do this intervention. It just messed everything up. I was so upset that I cut them off entirely. I changed my number stop talking to everyone for about a year. Tut at that time I took their advice on the drinking pretty seriously because I knew that it had been about five years since I really started drinking heavily. I hadn’t really gone long periods of time without it. I’d taken a week off here and there, maybe a month here and there. But I knew it was a problem. I knew it was something that I was going to need to address sooner or later.
My mental battle to get rid of my alcohol addiction
So after my family left I committed to quitting drinking. It was my intention to just quit forever. During that time I just feel like; I hit a really really deep rock bottom. I was so emotionally depressed. I had destructive suicidal thoughts. I never tried anything but I just I didn’t want to live anymore. I didn’t. I was so miserable. I couldn’t really understand why. Now it’s, you know, really obvious I was anorexic and in an abusive relationship, and that I had a drinking problem. But I was just so wrapped up in it that that I could not see beyond it.
I gave up drinking. And I was able to give it up for six months. At that time I started to discover meditation. I started to discover Buddhism and just the teachings of Buddhism really really stuck out to me. The teachings were so simple and so profound. The philosophies… it just all made so much sense.
So, here I was I was sober. I was really spending a lot of time meditating and tapping into Buddhism. I’m going to Buddhism groups and I feel like I really started to awaken. At that time I was coming out of this dark time that I was in. I was starting to feel this newfound clarity and confidence that I hadn’t ever had before with my alcohol addiction. I started to find my own voice in a way with that I would start to stand out more to the boyfriend that I was with. I would start to kind of form my own opinions and thoughts which is something that I hadn’t really done before.
He really didn’t like that. It would upset him a lot and he would always kind of like shun every idea or thought I had. I just feel that I can start was really continuing to develop and started to really see more clearly the issues of this relationship; the man I was with and that my family was right about everything that they had confronted me about. I still felt very stuck in the relationship because I was still I was still really in love with him and we had a business together. We had like a whole life together and I just didn’t feel like I could get up and leave.
Looking for a way out of an unhealthy relationship
I was praying for an answer. I didn’t have the strength within me to just go out and do it on my own. But I was asking for this answer. Sure enough you know about after six months or so of being sober things got really really bad in our relationship and the abuse got worse than it had ever been before. My neighbours actually ended up calling the cops because they had heard everything that was happening at our house, and the verbal and physical abuse. The cops came and I ended up lying to them because I was really in love with him.
I said everything’s fine and so they left but I had I was like the most scared I’d ever been because it was the worst it’s ever been.
So, I called the father of my boyfriend at the time. He came and picked him up. The next day I flew home to my hometown and just kind of escaped the relationship. I left everything behind. I left my business, my house, left my dog who I loved so much. I just like had to get out of that situation.
When I got out of the situation I kind of just wanted to pretend like that never happened because it was such a traumatic experience.
I started drinking again.
I started drinking again so heavily. To give you an example: I’d be out at the bar till like 2:00 or 3:00 in the morning and while I had to be at work the next day at 8:00. I was doing this like almost every single night. I was just like numbing myself out to the extreme.
I was still in communication with my then-boyfriend. We’d been broken up but we were still talking. I don’t know why I was still talking to him but he ended up shipping me some of my stuff back that I had left there that I really wanted. I received it. It all was either burned or cut up into little pieces. These things that I had treasured. My clothe, my possessions, he’d like destroyed them all and shipped them to me. That sent me into another downward spiral.
My drinking just continued to increase. I was in this dark space for about two years. I started to come out of it though. I had a really good job. The people I worked with were super supportive. They didn’t really understand the full extent that I had gone through but they knew some of it. My family was also really supportive. But here I was just continuing with this drinking problem.
Moving on from an abusive relationship
I moved out of my hometown, back to California which is where I live now. That was about three years ago. I was really wanting to get a handle on my drinking but I couldn’t. I was living by myself when I first moved back here. I remember there would be nights where I would drink like a bottle or two of wine just on my own. I’d have whiskey and go through like a bottle of whiskey really quickly. Again, I was just trying to get my drinking under control. I was trying different diets, and again I was tapping into these spiritual kind of practices that I’ve learned reading books. But I really couldn’t figure it out.
I was so confused because I thought that my ex from the the abusive relationship I thought that he was really the reason I was continuing to drink and without him I could give it up. I had really obviously developed my own alcohol addiction that I couldn’t seem to shake. So, I was continuing to drink.
And then a year ago right when I was looking for solutions and discovered the Sinclair method. I was at a point where you know there’s members in my family who are alcoholics. It’s something that I see a lot just in my environment. There’s a lot of people who drink heavily and I was kind of surrendering to the fact that “okay I guess this is the hand of cards I’ve been dealt.” I’m just going to be an alcoholic. But I knew that there had to be a solution out there. It was really starting to become apparent to me how bad my my drinking was really when I when I met my now husband because he is someone who will drink like a glass of wine a week and like sip on it and has no drinking problem whatsoever. So you know we’d have wine with dinner and I feel like I would be guzzling in he would just be like, “what are you doing?”. I really wanted to get a handle on my drinking. I just didn’t know how so I was really searching for solutions and then I saw Claudia’s TED talk on YouTube and I was like “no way”.
I was in total disbelief that this was a solution, that the Sinclair method could really work. It took me a couple of months to finally get the prescription for medical checks on medication and in the meantime I was calling all the doctors in my area who were in my insurance network just to see if I could get an appointment to talk about my alcohol addiction, if they had heard of the Sinclair method or an L trek zone.
I was met with like a cold brick wall. It was so devastating and crushing because first of all I didn’t really believe that this was something that was possible. It seemed too good to be true but something inside me knew that it might work for me. This might be the solution I’ve been looking for. But here I am calling all of these doctors offices and they wanted me to check into rehab, to be totally abstinent they wanted me to pay like five, ten thousand dollars up front just to get into the program.
It was just like a real nightmare for me to try to find a solution. That’s when I stumbled upon the CE3 foundation website which I didn’t know existed during that time. I found a doctor that was listed and finally was able to get the null check zone.
My life after a long journey of addiction
It was a really really long and painful. It was also a really beautiful journey this past ten years of being an alcohol addict in a lot of ways. I’m really grateful for the experience of it because it’s given me so much perspective on how much suffering people have when they’re addicted to alcohol.
Like I said when I was starting out, I never thought that I would be addicted to alcohol. I just thought it was a phase I was going through, I would stop drinking eventually over time I really realised I was addicted to it.
I had kind of developed my own my own addiction by myself that I couldn’t seem to get out of. That’s another thing too. So many people start drinking heavily when they’re young and this alcohol addiction can creep up on you.
You can have all the best intentions in the world but it can happen without you even realizing it. So that’s why I want to be such an advocate for this method. I think that happens to most if not everyone. They find themselves addicted to alcohol one day and they have no idea how to get out of it and they had no intention of getting to that place.
So, yeah that’s a little bit more of my story.
Thank you for listening and I’ll talk to you all again soon, bye!