It was too easy for me to just stop


"It's all in your mind/head", or [it's] just playing tricks on you." Those two famous statements would send my nerves raging feeling my body tingle as if it were falling asleep. Then one day I had a full on panic attack, all I could think about was not to go to sleep or I might not wake up. People say we use 10% of our brain, but they have it all wrong. We only use 10% to think. We use the full capacity of our brains unless we were paralyzed. I have to remind myself that there is a difference between the mind and the brain.

The brain is the noodle looking thing being protected by our skulls. Our mind lives up there, but it is a whole other part of how we function rather than it help us to function. The brain is connected to the nerves connected to your spinal cord connected to the nerves in our bodies. The way we move, walk, eat, sleep or lack there of is what our brain is for, but the mind...

The mind is what makes us think about moving in that direction, go to sleep at a certain time, or not. The mind almost tells the brain what to do. That is the part of the brain that only uses 10% of - the mind. The brain is too busy dealing with other parts that function voluntarily or not. That is why head injuries and especially spinal injuries are very serious and take an extremely long time to recover.

Which brings me to addiction. I drank alcoholic for 15 years. I always thought I was a functioning alcoholic, at least that's what I told myself. Then one day, I wasn't. Just like that. [It reminds of my daughter, how she just agreed to stop wearing diapers and start using the toilet. Just like that.] I had tried before, but to no avail my problem was now my new best friend. I couldn't leave the house without it, go home without it, walk out or in without it - it was ugly.

Then I realized that one day it was all in my head. It was my mind playing tricks on me. Because let's face it that was too easy. I had tried plenty of times before and all of a sudden I find myself not getting upset, shaking, and almost passing out because I didn't have a drink? How was this possible. I am not exaggerating when I say that this was impossible. I am petite, but I could drink any one under the table and you wouldn't even know I was drunk.

This is how bad it was. I went to a rehab outside of the US. I had slept for nearly 24 hours, not including the flight and the drive to the rehab which was almost 12 hours. So I say I had about 48 hours sober. When I arrived to the clinic of the rehab center, the doctor was shocked and my father cried because the alcohol level in my system was still high as if I was still drunk. I was sedated for four days.

Now can you believe why I was so shocked to have come a long way - long way meaning, I went from drinking a fifth of any dark alcohol with three 24 ounces of beer in the AM, three 24 ounces around noon, and three 24 ounces in the PM. For a petite lady that stands only 5 feet and at 120 lbs, I don't know how I never got poisoned. Anything less, I was a mess.

The mind is a beautiful thing, and the brain is fundamental. I began to ween myself off the alcohol when a friend of mine opened my eyes form the drunken stuper I was always in, to realizing what I was doing. He has two boys and two girls, I was living with my boyfriend who was abusing me.

"What kind of message am I sending my kids. That it's okay for my boys to to treat a women like that or that it's okay for a man to treat my girls like that. And your brother must be rolling in his grave right now."

Those words smacked my right in the face and knocked me clear across the street. It sobered me up on the spot. I had to stick to getting sober. I would never live with myself knowing that that was a message I was sending to any child especially my own. It was the same reason I drank, the same reason I knew I had to stop. My children being away from me and losing my brother weren't excuses for me to get drunk, they were the reasons I needed to get sober.

I have to admit that I pat myself on the back for coming a long way, even though I am not completely sober, I have to be honest, I'd hate myself for lying if I did so I keep it real with myself at least. I actually cried as if it were some kind of boyfriend or best friend I was losing, but it took me 3 years to be able to go weeks without the urge because I do get the craving. I just fight the urge to go out there and get it. I don't miss it, but I do because it was my comfort, security, my go to when I felt some type of way.

I am still working on it because I will always be an alcoholic, but now I wouldn't be lying if I said I was a functioning alcoholic. With addiction there is a chemical dependency which is why I had to ween myself off as opposed to going cold turkey or especially another rehab, but the mind is powerful enough for you to fight that too. It helped talking to myself during the time I was weening.

I'd ask myself questions like: "Why do I feel I need a drink? What just happened that I am not trying to feel or trying to avoid?" I even asked my boyfriend: "Are you like this all of the time?" His reply, "I haven't changed." And he was proud of it, I asked him to pass me the bottle. I didn't take a drink, but he didn't have to know. He told me he knew I would fail. I hope he's doing fine.

Read next: Never In the Cover of Night
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