Leah used alcohol as medication for over 10 years. With the help of The Alcohol Experiment she’s no longer self medicating.
My name is Leah, 35 years old, mother of 3, and a wife. I’ve been a heavy drinker for the better part of ten years. Started drinking occasionally in high school, then graduated to a heavier drinking through college years. Partying was the main focus in college, and eventually prevented me from graduating all together.
A Major In Drinking
I dropped out of college and moved to San Francisco. 20 years old, at the height of my drinking at the time, the party life escalated. I managed to accumulate 10,000 dollars of debt in only four months of living in SF. That being said, I was forced to move back home with my parents. I stayed in contact with a boy I was seeing from my hometown, and we were able to see each other more often now, which turned into partying together. We fell pregnant later that year.
Forced To Stop Drinking
At the time, I was 20 years old and extremely bitter about having to stop drinking. Forced down from the peak of my partying days to being completely sober. I wanted my partner to stop drinking out of complete jealousy and bitterness. I was depressed and anxious throughout my entire pregnancy and was longing for the day I could drink again. Looking back, I am saddened that I couldn’t enjoy the fact I was growing a beautiful baby, but instead fixated on the fact that I couldn’t drink. We had the baby, she was beautiful and perfect, but I soon turned to alcohol again, as I was facing emotional anxiety and depression due to problems with my relationship.
I lived in absolute hell for the next few years, living with undiagnosed depression and anxiety.
Here We Go Again
Now married to my partner, we fell pregnant again… not planned, but again due to a drunken night and not being careful. I was a little more prepared to be a mom again, and was not quite as bitter this time around. I don’t remember craving alcohol as much after having my son.Actually, I tried to live a healthier life. Working out and not drinking as much, but rather the occasional night out or vacation. I think I could say I was actually happy.
Fast forward about 5 years, my drinking would escalate. The kids were older, and my partner and I found new freedom and able to hang out with friends more. We bought a house, and it quickly became the party house. We’d throw parties that would last till three or four in the morning sometimes. I was trying to manage my work life, but only getting three or four hours of sleep, and completely hung over, I found my self calling in sick, showing up late, or showing up but being completely useless when I was there.
On The Brink
My home life was in shambles. Nights when drinking, often turned into explosive fights with my husband, fueled by jealousy and irrational fears associated with anxiety and depression. I was using alcohol as medication. My kids suffered. My day to day attitude was anger, irritability, and edginess. About two years of this lifestyle, it would bring me to one of the lowest points in my life. After a huge raging fight with my husband, I tried to kill myself with pills. I immediately checked myself in to a mental hospital, as deep down I didn’t want to to die! But I knew I needed help.
Not Much Changed
I stayed there for three days. After hooking up with psychiatrist, I was diagnosed with bipolar. This gave me both a sense of relief and sadness. Relief because I felt I could place blame for all the explosive episodes, which many happened in front of friends and loved ones. Maybe it’s just my mental illness and not my fault? I did try to stop drinking when I left the hospital. The urge didn’t go away, and I was soon back indulging in the poison. Although, I was not too keen on socializing with friends, as the fear of judgement was still lingering in my mind from past episodes.
3rd Time’s The Charm
Not too long later, we were pregnant again. Excited for this one, the pregnancy was enjoyable. Our family was happy. Mom wasn’t drinking, mom was happy, and the family atmosphere was great. We had a beautiful baby girl. Still in the hospital, we were greeted with champagne. My husband packed wine. Tiny baby in one arm, and my wine in hand. Makes me incredibly sad. But at the time, it was just what you did to relax.
I had three months off for maternity leave, and it was summertime. So, vacation mode, right? Beach trips, camping, weekends filled with bbqs, baby showers, pool days.. which we all know are excuses to drink. Bringing my wine to every function. I fell hard into addiction this time. Finding myself drinking at home in the evenings now, so much that I needed it to sleep. Waking up every morning hungover, unable to care properly for my kids. I kept thinking, this needs to stop, but the urge was uncontrollable.
The addiction escalated into having a drink in the morning to ease the hang over, and then continued into the day. I remember taking shots of wine in the cupboard before leaving the house to run errands. Stopping by the store to pick up more for the house. Hiding in the closet drinking and thinking that I need to go to rehab. I needed to stop using alcohol as medication.
Cry For Help
One night, I took a bath and brought a razor to my wrists. I lay there bleeding next to my baby as the blood ran down. My husband sees and is furious. It was more of a cry for help than wanting to die. I tell my family I am going to AA. I drive myself to AA with a full cup of wine to drink before I enter. AA kept me sober for a period of time, but it still felt like I was losing a part of my life, and I was sorry for myself.
Not Needing Alcohol as Medication
Some how I came across The Alcohol Experiment. I watched the daily videos and soon reached my AHA moment. You gave me control, you gave me the knowledge, and you brought my happiness back. No longer did I feel like I was missing out, but how lucky I am that I don’t have to drink. A true miracle.
Have you also been using alcohol as medication? Try joining us in The Alcohol Experiment to see how a 30 day break from alcohol can bring you freedom and happiness.
I cry tears of joy now. My depression is gone, my anxiety is gone. Our family life is thriving. My work life is thriving. I can’t thank you enough for this. I am so grateful for second chances and your book. Currently I am 9 months AF. Never looking back. I’ve never been happier thanks to you.
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