It was 5 a.m. on a cold January morning. I was seconds from another lie. But, with tears in my eyes, I told Mom she needed to go wake my dad up and that I needed to talk. At the end of a very long list of confessions, I said,
“…and I’m an alcoholic. I’m drinking every day.”
My parents truly glorified God in those moments. They immediately started researching withdrawal symptoms. They welcomed me to move back in their home so that I could devote my time to getting better. The relief I felt was indescribable. I expected a full interrogation, but they showed me nothing but acceptance and unconditional love. I thanked God for the first time in a long time that morning. I was so grateful that He led me to a place where I would no longer wake up with an impossible battle to fight every morning.
Unfortunately, my withdrawal was so severe that I had alcohol withdrawal seizures that afternoon—in my mom’s arms, at that. I was hospitalized for a week. I experienced serious delirium tremens (DTs) and I had developed alcoholic cardiomyopathy. My heart’s ejection fraction was about 25 percent and it should’ve been at least 45 percent.
WHOA. That’s a lot, I know.
That’s how my body felt.
Basically, my body was shutting down. My heart wasn’t pumping blood right. Every few hours, my mind forgot where I was. The shakes had turned into full-body tremors. I couldn’t do anything for myself.
Most of my time in the hospital was spent in Critical Care and although I don’t remember much of it, I know it was brutal. My parents were hitting their knees. My sister Parker flew in from Philadelphia. I was out of my mind, but I was detoxing, which was a step in the right direction.
I’ve been sober for almost 10 months and there is a new, genuine happiness that exists in me now. I can’t explain it but, it’s real.
To say that God shifted my heart would be a lie. He flipped, rotated and zoomed in on that thing until He’d created something BRAND NEW.
I’m a student again. I lead at church when I can. I serve at church when I can. I’m a sister. I’m a daughter. I’m a friend and a best friend. I’m a dog-mom.
That right there. That’s all I had to remember. I needed to be reminded that I play a part. I have a role in all that I do, and as long as remember that, I’m okay.
So, yes I’m back in school, and yes, I still have anxiety over it. I would have that anxiety if I were only 18 and I would have it if I were 40. I’ll probably still have it post-graduation but, here’s the thing, I don’t have to drink over it anymore. I CHOOSE not to drink over it anymore. I’m equipped with the tools to cope. I just have to use them.
I just have to surrender. It’s the only way I’ll win.