When I decided to stop drinking on February 14, 2016 my therapist was the first person I told. I emailed him to ask for help. The second person I told was my husband. My decision came out of the blue and caught my close friends and even my husband by surprise.
My decision came at a moment when I least expected it. My husband and I were celebrating Valentine’s Day at home with a nice dinner and I has a few glasses of wine, one after another. The look on his face was disappointment when I became tipsy and annoying. I emailed my therapist later that night and scheduled an appointment for a couple of days later.
One drink was never enough. I could not stop at just one. I drank to escape my reality and to feel different. I self-medicated my depression and anxiety with alcohol. I will never forget the haunting experience of when I mixed too much alcohol and actual depression medication. I did not realize the consequences of what would happen before it was too late. Despite the warnings from my doctor, I still continued to drink while on medication. Addiction is a beast.
I knew I had been struggling for a long time. I was not oblivious to the fact that I drank too much. Back when I was in my early twenties, I reached out to AA but I didn’t go to a meeting. I confided in someone that I thought I had a problem and they convinced me that I didn’t need AA. I wasn’t the stereotypical drunk that they viewed alcoholics to be. What no one saw was the loneliness that I felt and how I drank to forget. A vicious cycle.
I believe that I have hit rock bottom a couple of times throughout my life and with different issues. Through a lot of searching and personal growth, I discovered that my rock bottom was a place to lift myself up from. Even in survival mode, I learned and accepted tools to help me thrive and get myself to the next step.
My number one sobriety tool is tea, specifically loose leaf tea. Tea allows me to gently relax and decompress. The warmth and the smell of tea soothes my mind. Loose leaf tea is also beautiful and lovely to admire while I am preparing a cup or a pot. I drink tea to celebrate too. A cold fruit tea mixed with Sprite is a delicious fizzy drink.
The journey I am on will continue for as long as I do. I try really hard to look at situations that I can learn from, like Easter weekend dinner for example. I need to be open to embracing new skills and if I ever sense that tea is no longer working as a tool, I need to be honest with myself before it gets too late and find a new tool.