Being forced to grow up too fast made me an angry teenager. I began binge drinking two years later at the age of 15 after my father died in an alcohol-related accident. Throughout the years, I abused all kinds of drugs, but alcohol was by far the most prevalent; my entire person was entwined with it. When I was 28 years old, already a mother of two, I was trusted to care for a friend’s toddler, and she came home to me blacked-out drunk. I’ve never felt so much shame in my life and I vowed to never drink again. And I failed, multiple times after that. I was hospitalized for my drinking, and it felt like I’d hit rock bottom. I tried AA meetings but then I realized that I was viewing alcohol in an inanimate way. “How could something affect me mentally and spiritually if it’s just an inanimate object like a lamp or a chair?” – That’s how my addict brain kept me drinking. One evening, I was drinking alone, and I fell face-first on my concrete patio. That was the moment when a switch had flipped in my brain, and I could no longer return to my carefree days of binge drinking. Ever since then, one night of drinking would be followed by crippling hangovers and massive anxiety attached. It took me several relapses but today I am joyful to have three years alcohol-free. I’m a devoted wife, attentive parent, and most importantly a trustworthy person again. I love living my life with integrity.