In 2005 I was devastated by the sudden loss of my husband, Terence. My children were only 3,6, and 9 years old. I can remember sitting on the front porch on a Saturday, watching my neighbors drive by doing their weekend activities, while my life and my children’s lives were forever changed. Not only did I lose a beloved partner, but I also lost my identity as a wife!
Determined to remain strong, I ignored my emotional needs and buried my grief in work and my children. Then—in 2012, after 17 years in the pharmaceutical industry–I was laid off. Having put so much of my identity into my work after losing my husband, I was devastated again. My oldest daughter was a sophomore in high school, financial insecurity creeped in, and my anxiety skyrocketed.
Prior to these events, I had always enjoyed a glass of wine after work to relax and unwind, Now with my employment concerns, my buried grief, and too much time to ruminate in my thoughts, I began to use alcohol as a way to numb my anxiety and grief. It was how I could distract myself from what was really going on inside of me
A glass of wine turned into two, three, four and more. Before I realized it, I increased consumption was taking me to a dangerous place.
My children and my family knew I needed help, but I couldn’t see it or I should say choose not to see it. Meanwhile, my relationships crumbled, my anxiety was at an all-time high and the world grew smaller by the day.
One day, I finally surrendered. I understood that alcohol seemed like a solution until it became the source of my problems. I did the hardest thing I’ve ever done–I asked for help.
Once I did that, my family encouraged me to enter an inpatient program at a local treatment center, Silver Hill Hospital. While I was there, I started to do the work. I addressed my unprocessed grief, learned coping skills to manage my anxiety, and started to attend twelve-step support meetings. Slowly the enormous walls started to come down, and I began to see a shimmer of hope I discovered the power of community, and that many people share my struggle.
Several years into my recovery, I realize all the chaos that alcohol had created in my life and my children’s lives. I regard my recovery as a journey, not a destination.Today I couldn’t be more grateful for how much my life has changed for the better. Today, I’m not just focused on bettering my life, but also the lives of many others. As a Recovery Coach, now it’s my passion to show others the good life I now enjoy.