My name is Juliana and I am an Alcoholic.
My story is not unlike many other Alcoholics, a few of the facts may vary but for the most part I am not as unique as I would like to think I am. I grew up in a loving home, where we were always financially stable and I wanted for nothing. My childhood was ideal. Puberty hit me like a truck though. Almost over night I went from a happy-go-lucky social butterfly to a gloomy little preteen with a head full of doubt and self-loathing. I watched a lot of movies as a kid and that gave me an idea or two about how to make my own life a little more interesting with drugs, alcohol, sex, self-harm and an eating disorder. I wanted to be Girl Interrupted and I got my wish. I mean right off the bat I was greeting life with an alcoholic’s mindset.
Fast-forward and my story heats up at age seventeen when my therapist suggested my first treatment center for my eating disorder, after a very close suicide attempt. They addressed my eating disorder, introduced me to Xanax and told me that I was a potential alcoholic and I ran with that. There was something romantic to me about the idea of being an alcoholic, something that was all mine. Soon after returning home from treatment I began drinking daily and I scored myself a pretty sweet and reliable prescription for Xanax and Vyvanse from my new doctor. The drugs helped me in-between drinks, but the drinking never stopped. By eight teen I’d dropped out of high school, been hospitalized once more for suicidal tendencies and I was officially a closet drinker. At eighteen I got my drivers license and within 2 months I totaled the car, went to jail, was put on house arrest, brought to Alcoholics Anonymous with a court card and was given the ultimatum of completion of treatment or jail time. I went with treatment, clearly. And this began the cycle of rehab, sober living, relapse, repeat for the next 3 years.
My sobriety date is now January 21st 2015. I am twenty-two years old and I’ve now been sober for over a year and my life has drastically changed. The thing about relapsing is once I started it felt damn near impossible to stop the cycle. The key for me to staying sober one day at a time is genuinely believing that everyone and everything I have in my life today is a result of being an sober person. In sobriety I’m learning to communicate, to trust, and to be genuine. If I pick up a drink, I forget all of those things and life, as I know it flips upside down and I revert back to that gloomy little preteen that picked up the bottle in the first place. I pray when I remember to, I talk to my sponsor through out the week and I go to AA meetings when I feel like it. My journey has been a questionable one, sometimes I feel unworthy of my sobriety or that I haven’t ‘earned’ it but the truth is I’m light-years away from the person I was a year ago and I have a place in society and amongst friends to prove it. I hope you see something in my alcoholism that speaks to your alcoholism in reading this, because that just means we’re both not alone on this journey.