Brandy kept finding herself in situations where she was being abused by alcohol use. This Naked Mind helped her find her freedom from alcohol and no longer accept the abuse.
When I was in my late teens and early 20s, I partied a lot. Growing up, I was pretty sheltered so during the first part of my adult years, I just wanted to see what all was out there to be experienced. Instead, I ended up getting pregnant and having a baby when I was 20. At this point I was involved with a man who was sexually abusive. But, being a sheltered 20 year old, I didn’t realize that. I didn’t know you could be sexually assaulted by someone you were in a relationship with.
I did ultimately leave that relationship, but my self-esteem had plummeted and I think I used alcohol and sex as a way to cope and feel loved or cared for.
In 2004, about four months after I ended the relationship, I got a DWI. That was the beginning of my turning point. I attended an outpatient rehab, and committed to stop binge drinking. It was time to stop being abused by alcohol. I also became a devoted Christian. Although my faith has evolved quite a bit since then, and I currently host my own podcast where I delve into weird spiritual wisdom and mental health issues, it was a huge turning for me.
For the first few years after my DWI, I did not drink much, if at all. In 2008, I married the love of my life and we had a dry wedding-he has never liked the taste of alcohol and it was cheaper!
As my faith evolved, I struggled against the white/black, all or nothing way of thinking that seemed to permeate so much of my religion. As I found freedom from dogma in my belief system, I sought it out also in my drinking habits.
Somewhere around 2011, I began experimenting with moderation. I would describe those responsible adult drinking years as “mostly okay.” Like it was fine 98% of the time. Around 2014, I started questioning whether or not I had a problem again. I had become really accustomed to having a glass of wine or two every night. I didn’t want there to be a problem because I didn’t want to stop. It felt like such a huge part of my well being as a mom and a grown woman.
Abused By Alcohol Use
Every once in a blue moon, I would drink waaay too much. This started happening a bit more frequently in 2015, when I got a job waiting tables to supplement my income. One night I went out for a drink with a co-worker and afterwards, in his car, he jumped on top of me and tried to force himself inside of me, despite me repeatedly saying “NO”. I escaped and drove home in tears, devastated, ashamed, and blaming myself. After telling my husband the entire story, he said that it sounded like sexual assault. I was dumbfounded.
At that point, my husband and I began to search for a counselor. We’ve now been with her for the last three years. I have been given the opportunity to work through my complicated history of sexual trauma. In our time together, she disclosed that she was an alcoholic, and began gently encouraging me to consider abstaining from alcohol. I was resistant for ages. And then, last April, after an intense second semester of grad school, I went out salsa dancing with one of my best friends.
No Going Back
The short version of the story is that I drank to the point where I blacked out and ended up agreeing to hang out with men that likely would have tried to rape us if the driver had not been arrested for a DWI on the way. (I shared the story in detail on my own podcast, Throwing Light, in an episode called Sober AF.)
It was that night that became the straw that broke my back. I decided I was never going to put myself in a situation like that again. And I was going to find resources to help me be successful. Shortly after that, I found your book. As of January 21st, I am nine months sober.
Are you over being abused by alcohol? You can preview the book and learn how to live life alcohol free! Start reading This Naked Mind today!
Share Your Story
I’m proud to share my story with your audience. The link between sexual violence and drinking is not talked about enough, even within the sobriety community. My hope is for others to be brave and share their stories of overcoming. Please share your story and help others!