The world can be a mystifying and magnificent place. It was only a few short months ago I found myself in the emergency room of Mackenzie Health. I had called an ambulance to my house because I knew I was having delusions. Any rational person would not be as paranoid as I was becoming. Scared of my own family members, I found myself hiding under a cupboard in my kitchen shaking and crying.
It was at this moment that I knew something was not right in my head. I had never felt this way before. And although my thoughts seemed very real, there was still a part of me that said: “This can’t be possible. You aren’t so important in the world that this many people would be out to get you”.
Now here I am writing this to you laughing out of embarrassment for many of my actions the months before I ended up in the hospital. I was using alcohol to dull my pain. I had a lot of it. On the outside I looked like a well adapted individual. I had the title of Content Manager at an up and coming company, I had a great family who loved and loves me. I had close friends, who all are great and smart people. Yet I found myself depressed and wanting out of this so called perfect life. I think this is common among many women. We want to look like we have it figured out, but no one has it figured out or there wouldn’t be psychologists and philosophers looking for the meaning of life or for how to find true happiness.
I’m reading a book currently called Drink. It is a bunch of true stories and research done on women who have drinking issues. Reading through the stories, I see I am on the lower end of the spectrum. I’m not an addict but I was on the road to becoming one. My sadness stems from self loathing and bad relationships. It comes from me missing the people who have passed away in my life and it comes down to unresolved issues. Instead of facing my sadness I turned to people and to alcohol, hoping someone could fix me. But I knew no one could fix me but myself.
I share this story with you because if you are in the same place I was then you know you have a problem. Seeking help is the strongest thing you can do. Trying to change your drinking habits on your own is proven to be a fruitless strategy.
I had my last drink on January 21st around 1am. I haven’t touched a drop of alcohol since then. It was that drink that catapulted me into a full blown nervous breakdown. It was already there for months before this. For many reasons I felt depressed but this was the tipping point. I had gone two weeks without drinking and that night I found myself at a Starbucks beside a bar. “One drink,” I told myself and it turned into 4. I met a charming young man there and all of his friends. We chatted and got along well and our drinking brought us together. He was to young for me. I’m on the brink of 30 (turning 29 in May). He had just barely turned 20. We had absolutely nothing in common other then our desire to drown out the world for a night.
I don’t know about him, but I had been drowning out my world since 2011. It wasn’t extreme. A night out here, a binge drink there. I couldn’t hold down a real relationship because I always knew I was with the wrong people. I couldn’t hold down a good family life because I was embarrassed of who I was becoming and would lie more often then not to hide the true drunken woman I was becoming. I held down jobs because I am a hard worker, but something always seemed off to me.
And what was off has always been constant: my mental state. It’s been 6 years of drinking and 6 years of making the same mistakes. 2011 is the year that marks (in my head) when my depression and sadness started to take a toll on the woman I was becoming. I was always aware of this. I am a self aware person. I just didn’t want to face reality. Reality is scary for most of us because it usually means change and it usually means coming to terms with our mistakes and shortcomings.
I am on the journey to self healing and I hope that you out there reading this find the strength to deal with any of the problems that you bear on your shoulders.
- Vanessa Vallozzi