Shay's Story

Hi, I’m Shay, and I spent 16 years in a love/hate relationship with alcohol. I grew up in a conservative, religious household, I was taught not to drink but watched my parents drink against religious rules. They taught to “Do as I say, not as I do.” I thought that was bogus and couldn’t wait to drink. I got married young and started drinking right away at the age of 19. I would spend the two years of that marriage falling in love with alcohol for allowing me to be outgoing, and also to numb out. I used it to self-medicate and”cope” with my past traumas but soon I would be reliving my history and acting out in crazy ways during drunken, booze filled nights, not realizing that I was suffering with major PTSD, and so, that young marriage didn’t last. After my divorce my drinking amplified. I drank from shame. I drank from guilt, and from not feeling like I was ever good enough. I met and married my second husband and hid my actual alcohol intake from him for a long time. After a few years, I got a note from my little sister explaining that she was worried about me and my drinking (I guess I wasn’t hiding it that well after all) – I went to an impatient rehab for 90 days, graduated, and stayed sober for 2 years. During that time I had my oldest daughter. I went back to drinking, because I thought I had been “cured.” I figured I’d gone though rehab, therapy,and successfully stayed sober for two years surely I would be able to drink like a “normal” person now. What I found was that the obsession wasback almost immediately. If I wasn’t drinking, I was waiting till the next time I could have a drink “without looking like I had a problem.” If someone (usually family) would bring it up, I would quit for a while. You know,to prove to them I was fine. This went on for years.. and every time I went back to drinking after a period of sobriety (usually 1-4 months) the consequences would come faster and be bigger. After I had my second daughter in2015 my drinking really took a dive. I was suffering from Post Partum Depression and had no idea. After a couple of years, I got so bad that I was dealing with suicidal ideations and having thoughts of throwing myself in front of a car almost daily. My behavior and thoughts landed me in the Behavioral Health Unitfor 72 hours, and they began medicating me. I would only stay sober for 4 months after that experience before I would “yet again” believe thatI could successfully get it under control and drink better this time, so I relapsed on New Years Eve 2019. I would end up in the ER two times due to massive hangovers and not being able to keep liquids down and extreme dehydration. Then COVID hit, and we stocked up on booze for the lockdown. I don’t remember the lockdown because I was blacked-out the whole time, and I justified this because everyone else was day-drinking too! This was a pandemic,it was different! But after a 3-day bender the beginning of May 2020, I woke upon the morning of May 6th and had a “realization” what I can best describe as a “click.” I was so so sick again, and I was shocked Iwas back at this place. So I knew I had to be “real” and”honest” with myself, and I finally was. I knew that I could NOT control my drinking. That I would never be able to moderate or drink like anormal person. And so I decided to take my proverbial big-toe out of the drinking pool, and start building a life that I could enjoy alcohol free.
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