Jac's Story

In college if someone would have told me one day you will “be sober” I would have never believed them…..NOT because I was such a big drinker, the very opposite – I barely EVER drank! The times I got drunk in college would not even take both hands. I was diagnosed with hypoglycemia the summer after my freshman year in college. Why would I do something that made me feel so sick? My last 3 years in college I worked as a cocktail waitress and “the bar” in college, it was the perfect job for me because I was able to make good money, was too busy to drink and was still around all my friends. The first time I threw up from drinking was one of those few times in college, it was my Junior year. I sat up in the middle of the night and just….well, out it came. Again, I was like WHY – why would I do this to myself ever again. So, again I knew drinking just wasn’t for me. I moved to Los Angeles after college and my drinking did increase a little over time, but was never a problem in my life. I never felt disconnected from myself. I did however find my first alcohol love in Pinot Grigio. Her and I would have a toxic love affair for the next 10 years. I moved back home to Pittsburgh in March, 2008. Living in the South Side, which is known for Carson St. lined miles and miles with bars, I could walk to the bars, hang out with my dear old friends who I missed the last 5 years and never pay attention to the fact that there was something slowly, at a snail like pace, gripping me like prey in a snake’s body. My life looked the same as everyone around me – working a 9-5 in the city, getting shit done,running half marathons, going to weddings and baby showers, getting engaged, spending time with my family, staying out after 2am, waking up with hangovers that would last a day, throwing up at a club, laughing about it and then ordering another shot. It was all the little times of going out that copulated into “I was now a drinker” – in my mid 20s I became a”drinker” to the point where, by the time I was 29, my family and friends knew my favorite gift was a bottle of Three Olives Grape Vodka (typing that now, my throat legit starts to water like I am going to throw up…). Me, the girl who never drank in college, was now 29 and was getting vodka for her birthday. Covid lockdown started March 2020, a week after my 39th birthday. My office was closed and everyone, everyone in the world it seemed, was inside. I started noticing my drinking more and how much I hated it. I hated how it made me feel, how it made me think, what it made me think about and what it was making me forget. I have always journaled, but now I started writing, documenting my drinking and not drinking and how I wanted to stop, but deep inside I was afraid. What would life look like without drinking? I heard about this new book called “Untamed” by Glennon Doyle. I got the Audible version, listened to it over a weekend and felt something starting to shift within me, little did I know what was to come. In May, 2020 I randomly heard on a True Crime Podcast, the host say she listened to “This Naked Mind”by Annie Grace. It sounded interesting, so I got the Audible book and in those 2 days of listening to it, my life changed. May 26, 2020 I decided I was FORREAL going to quit. May 27, 2020 I drank that evening, after I got home from my first “Pandemic Hair Appointment.” I was so used to drinking at the salon, it was a good thing when I got there no drinks were served as we had to keep our masks on, but when I got home, the “I deserve it” bug had stung me and I drank. That night I remember lying in bed, feeling angry, drunk, alone, disappointed and scared. I woke up May 28, 2020. I went into the bathroom, and as I was peeing, I saw there was a “new” note on my”Notes” app….hmmmmmm, I thought. I read the note, it was written onMay 27, around 10:30 PM and said “Can you relapse in 4 days? Ugh, fuck.I’m about to go to sleep; pass out; forfeit what I don’t want to feel, and know how this story is going to end. My heart is already racing, I did no shots but vodka doesn’t care how it grasps it’s claws in you, like legit do know it’s going, it’s gone in my bloodstream and that’s why my heart is racing and yet I’m so tired, why I feel chill now and know I’m already full of shame and wish I did it have to work tomorrow. Conversations in circles, my tooth is chipped and again I hate myself. Ugh. Every fucking time/please J can you stop, for me?” There she was again, my inner knowing. Through the drunken grammar, I still read her LOUD and CLEAR. There I was 39 years old, on the toilet, reading a note FROM MYSELF I did not remember writing the night before, begging me, to stop drinking for ME. I cried as I read that over and over. And then, I knew. From that moment forward, it was time to make the journey back home to myself. May 28, 2020 I said out loud to the world “I Choose Me.” Anything -person, place, thing, food, drink, feeling, – that didn’t fit into me being version, my authentic version – I had to say goodbye to. So, on May 28,2020 I said goodbye to alcohol, and as I write this January 3 2022, I’m 585 sober days strong, and haven’t looked back. My arms are open to help anyone who needs it. I wouldn’t be here sober today without the help of others and believe our greatest gift to each other is to listen and if asked, provide.” ‍
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