Suicide.. Prevent the preventable. 

Suicide is never an easy subject to talk about, whether you have experienced a loss from suicide, dealing with depression and contemplating the act, or know someone who has thought of doing it. 

In today’s society it is becoming more acceptable (but not by much) to have a mental illness. Depression affects more individuals than not probably, I’m no scientist so don’t quote me on that. 

TWLOHA (to write love on her arms) is a movement that has been around for years that helps individuals who are struggling with addiction, depression, self-harm, etc. to find hope! 

The most recent movement is the semicolon project. Individuals have been tattooing semicolons on their bodies as a perminate indication that their life is not over, that they are choosing to instead of ending their life with a perminate period, they choose to continue their story, their life, with a semicolon. 

My story is different from anyone else’s, but also the same. 300 days ago I decided my life wasn’t precious enough to keep, and with the help of a great deal of alcohol, I did the most selfish thing anyone could do, I purposely crashed my car in hopes I wouldn’t wake up. Thankfully I was unsuccessful, and I knew a great deal of therapy and support was going to be needed to get me to a place where I was happy and healthy.  

Suicide is a very serious act that a lot of people turn to as an easy escape from that moments weakness. You never know the struggles anyone else is dealing with, so remember to be kind to people, even if they are strangers. We as humans have lost a sense of humanity when it comes to showing care and kindness to each other. 

You are worthy of the life you were given, live it fully one day at a time! 

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Why stay Sober? 

Everyday I wake up and I decide “today I will stay sober”, but why? 

The answer is completely clear right… I’m an alcoholic who almost lost her life because of alcohol, I really didn’t have a choice. 

But there are so many other reasons, big and small, that play a role in my choice of remaining sober each and every day and I want to share some of those reasons with all of you. 

  1. My best friend. She is my rock. When I was in the hospital after I crashed my car to end my life, she was the only one allowed to come see me, other than my parents. She yelled at me for being selfish and didn’t hold back. I can always count on her to talk to when I am having a craving, a depressive episode, a bad day, a great day, etc. She loved me when I was confused, she loved me when I was inperfect and struggling, she loved the wrong me, and she loves the new me even more. 
  2. My parents. I put them through hell and back when I tried to kill myself, and self harmed. They never left my side. My father is a recovering alcoholic as well, he knows what I am going through and my mother grew up around alcoholics so this isn’t her first rodeo. They want the world for me, and I want to give them a happy and healthy daughter. 
  3. My godson and his father, my other best friend. My godson is my world, he makes me smile, laugh, and melts my heart with each day he grows. He is brilliant and I know he will achieve greatness. Why wouldn’t I want to witness every part of that? I want to watch him grow, and remember every part of it, be there fully and sober! His father is my other best friend, and happens to be married to my best friend. We’ve known each other for a long time, but have truly become close over the past few years. He has attained success in his career field recently and I am so happy to be able to share in the joy and celebration of him! I know he is always there for me, and has told me on many occasions how worthy I am of so much greatness in life. They are my family, and I wouldn’t be in such a great spot right now without them! 
  4. My family. Whether it is my brother, my aunts, my cousins, I am beyond blessed to have such a amazing supportive family. No one judged me when they found out the pain and addiction I was dealing with, they embraced me with open arms and were there if I needed anything.

Not everyone is lucky to have as much support as I do going through recovery from addiction, mental illness, eating disorders, etc. I am blessed, and I wake up each morning and am thankful to have each and every person, who has loved me through the bad and the good, in my life. 

There are many other reasons I choose to remain sober; no hangovers, how great it feels to wake up and remember the night before, not regretting any decision I have made. 

A life without regret is a simple pleasure I hold dear. I am human, I will and have made mistakes, but the mistakes in the past are behind me, I can grow from them, and the mistakes I make in the future I hope to learn lessons from them. 

So why stay sober? Because I am worthy of the life I was given, and I am loved by too many amazing people to hurt them, I want to make them proud, I want to make myself proud! 

I found the Love that matters most ❤️ 

Love is the ultimate goal in life, to find it, to feel it, to share it, to have it. 

We want to be loved, fullheartedly, to the moon and back, till death do us part… Right? 
In the past few months of my journey to sobriety I have been thinking about love. Will I ever find it? Will a guy love me even though I have baggage, a past, problems. Will I ever feel that connection that two love birds feel? Will I find my Romeo, my Mr. Darcy, my “one true love”?
Then it hit me… I already have found that one love I truly need in my life, the love for myself. I have grown up never feeling worthy of anything, always hating how I looked, acted, etc. 

These past few months I realized, I can only control whether or not I love myself. And also, I cannot fully appreciate anyone, male or female, until I full appreciate and love myself. 

When you are on a journey to live a life of sobriety your eyes are truly opened to the world around you. Why did that person come into my life? Was it to teach me a lesson? I believe people come into your life for many reasons, and lessons are inevitable. 

To love someone fully, one must fully love themselves. 

I still see flaws in my own self, but I am perminately and inevitable flawed. Deep down I have a kind heart, a loving soul, and I would say a decent sense of humor. All of these qualities I look for in another person, but yet I have found in myself. 

I love myself 

-Abby 

That is a direct quote from my lips, and it only took 25 years to admit, but better late than never they say! 

My Journey has only just begun, but finding true love with myself has been one if the greatest milestones I have reached to date. 

You are worth it, you are flawed, but you are loved, by the very person who matters most, yourself! 

Having Depression doesn’t mean you have to be Depressed. 

Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times if one remembers to turn on the light.

-Albus Dumbledore 

Depression takes hold of you and forces you into a deep sad state of mind, it is your choice whether to flip that light switch and see the brightness the world can offer. 

I was recently given the diagnosis of having depression. In my days of intense inpatient and outpatient recovery we were taught that we are not our diagnosis. I’m not depressed, “john” isn’t bipolar, “kate” isn’t anorexic. We are not defined by our diagnosis, so why label ourselves that. 

I have depression, yes, but that doesn’t mean I have to be depressed. I can choose to be happy each and every day of my life if I live it that way. 

In the last 8 months, I have lost “friends”,  but my true relationships with my true friends have grown immensely. That makes me happy. 

In the last 8 months, I have gained weight, but I stopped throwing everything up and eating healthy. That makes me happy. 

In the last 8 months, I have had anxiety attacks, but I am clear headed and aware of my bodies reaction to negative situations. That makes me happy. 

In the last 8 months, I have not gone out and gotten wasted at bars and parties, but I still dance my ass off and have a blast with my friends. That makes me happy. 

Depression is only a part of my life, yes I have been diagnosed with severe depression and anxiety; diagnosed with an addiction problem, however, it is my choice to rise above the labels and prove I am able to be happy and live my life. 

8 months ago I took off a mask, that mask hid my feelings, my thoughts, my problems… That mask made me look happy. 

Today, 251 days after I took off that mask, I can say I am finally wholeheartedly happy for the first time in a long time. 

The secret to my own happiness is to live my life one day at a time, no secrets and no shame for my past. 

I am who I am because I have fought to turn that switch to escape the darkness of my past. Each day I fight to turn on that switch because it’s worth it to be happy, it’s worth it to have a bright future. 

I love my permanently and inevitably flawed self! 

I am not perfect. 

My body is permanently and inevitably flawed; covered in scars and stretch marks. But who has the power to say that my body isn’t beautiful the way it is? 
For my entire life I have battled the endless battle of being overweight. I have always been the chubby girl, and it didn’t start bothering me till high school. I was always active in sports, so I was always an “athletic big” I guess you can say. But I started looking in the mirror and wondered how I had gotten so big. 

It wasn’t until college that I started really losing weight. I worked out, stopped eating crap, and started to feel better! 

I had dipped my toes into bulimia a few times in high school, but after college I started to become a pro. I knew how much time I needed to excuse myself to “go to the bathroom” without people questioning why I was taking so long. Also, not living with my parents helped a lot because they weren’t around to hear it. 

Purging allowed me to eat, avoiding the anorexia questions, and throwing everything up gave me more room to drink. Drinking on an empty stomach only led me to faster blackouts. Times I would throw up till I saw blood, I had to get everything out. 

Eventually I was 50lbs lighter than my heaviest weight in high school, and people were telling me I looked so great. I however, still only saw that severely overweight 16 year old bulging out of her sophomore dance dress. 

Individuals with eating disorders, or have a negative body image, will never see themselves the way others see them. I can be my healthiest and smallest weight and still look in the mirror and feel gigantic and heavy. 

  
The picture on the left is that 16 year old in her sophomore dance dress, and the right is me today. 

I still struggle to see myself as any smaller between the two pictures when I look in the mirror. But today I am healthy, I choose to eat healthy and keep it all down. I work out (not as often as I should, but I’ll get back to it) and I take care of my body. Being sober has opened my eyes to the harmful affect alcohol puts on your body, and taking that out of the equation has helped me to feel better about myself. I may not be thin, I will always have curves, but I’m learning to love them each and every day. 

My body is flawed, covered in stretch marks, covered in scars from when I self harmed, but it is my body, and I love every inch of it! 

I have come a long way since that 16 year old girl, hell I’ve come a long way since my 24 year old self 8 months ago, but each day is still a battle. It is a battle I will continue to fight, because I am worth it! 

I truly love myself. Something that took me 25 years to admit! 

Holiday Haze 

Holidays in general in my experience meant one thing.. Alcohol. 

Every holiday seemed like an excuse to over drink and that was okay, because how else does one celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, America and it’s independence, birthdays of any living being, or even an Easter bunny hiding eggs. 

I never wanted my family to see me drunk, or get to the point of blacking out, maybe because I didn’t want to slip up and share any of my secrets. But I always knew I could find some type of alcohol at any family event and party. 

Birthdays were always another excuse to drink! And an excuse to continuely buy and take shots. 

Thanksgiving 2014 was my first sober holiday. It was hard to be around alcohol, but I didn’t want my family to know that I was weak and anxious. I made it through, but only barely. There was a champagne toast to celebrate the engagement of my cousin and her fiancé, something I would normally love, but all of my being wanted to run out of the house screaming. I went to the bathroom and splashed water on my then brused up face and looked hard into the mirror.  


I had to look at myself to remind myself that alcohol caused these bruses, alcohol was my enemy. 

I had made it through Thankgiving, Christmas was a different story. 

Christmas Eve we always went to my aunts house, and there was always a plethora of alcohol available. Nothing like ringing in Jesus’ birth like a cold brew or a vodka sprite! I had driven home from Memphis that morning, after visiting a friend. Maybe it was the four hour car drive, but I started thinking about being in that situation, and the anxiety kicked into high gear. 

I had my first blown anxiety attack, and my brother was the unfortunate one to witness it. I couldn’t stop crying, my breathing increased (breathing into a brown bag really does work!), I was shaking, throwing up, I was a complete mess. I could tell my brother was scared shitless and he had to call my parents. 

I never wanted to disappoint my parents, but that night that’s all I could think about. I knew I mentally couldn’t handle going to the party, and I knew that disappointment my mother but what else could I do? They didn’t want to leave me alone at home, but I didn’t want them to miss out on the celebrations. I still hadn’t gained their trust, they still worried I would try to kill myself again, who can blame them! My brother ended up staying with me, I never felt more safe, my big brother was my guardian angel that night. 

I made it through New Years thanks to my best friends, enjoying a relaxing night at their house, avoiding the bar life. It was never hard to not drink around them, but then again my relationship with them was never based around alcohol. 

Birthdays were always hard to celebrate, being 25, my friends celebrated with dinner then usually drinks afterwards at the local bars in soulard. 

I learned from therapy that alcoholics crave the sugar from alcohol. When you have a craving, that craving only lasts about 5 minutes. I learned that drinking a soda, or a red bull, cut that craving for alcohol, I turned to mocktails to help me through the nights I had to go out. 

This past weekend was the Fourth of July. Instead of following in the majority of the US population in getting “star spangled hammered” I decided to look at it in a different way. The Fourth of July is a time to remember our freedom as a country and as people. I am free from the chains of alcohol, I am free from hiding the fact that I have depression and anxiety, I am free from the deathly  hand of cutting myself and purging all the glorious foods the world has to offer. Most of all I am free from the negative hate I always saw in myself. 

Today I am learning to love holidays for what they truly have to offer; whether it be spending time with family and friends, enjoying the delicious foods, or just being thankful, holiday haze is no longer! 

 

My Story

“Hey I’m Abby and I’m an alcoholic..”

My story is long, there are good parts, there are bad parts, and there are a lot of blurry parts. I am 25 years old, and I suffer from addiction, depression , anxiety, and an eating disorder. I had my first alcohol experience at the age of 13. A typical house party, when ended up with me falling out of a two story window and sleeping in a closet. Of course my parents found out, and I vowed I’d never do that again… “I’ll never do that again” would be the story of my life from here on out. 

I wasn’t much of a drinker in my early high school days, I experimented with marijuana, and lived a somewhat carefree life, but I also lived in my own little bubble. That bubble was popped the day I realized my best friend was a heroin addict. My whole word was turned upside down, and I was placed smack dab in the middle of the world of drugs. 

I lived my life to please everyone, and I never wanted my problems to affect anyone else’s happiness. My junior year I turned to self harm to deal with the pain I had been bottling up, cutting myself and lying to my friends and family. These were the first signs of my depression downfall. I went on a retreat called Kairos the middle of my junior year and finally opened up about my struggles and started making progress towards a happier life. “I will never cut myself again…” 

My senior year I establish who I was as a person, carefree and loved life. It was a good year. 

I was never a girl that got the guy, I was one of the guys. I was okay with that to an extent, but every girl wants to feel pretty and wanted. I drank, and eventually I learned what it felt like to blackout. I drank a lot the summer after graduation, parties were my main source of fun and entertainment. I was eighteen when I “lost” my virginity… But I can’t say I remember it or that I was a willing participant. My trust issues increased from there, and my self worth was flushed down the toilet. “Sex doesn’t mean anything…” I completely separated any emotions from the act of coitus. 

Freshman year of college I was a typical drunk girl, partied with the best of them! College calmed down when I started up a relationship my sophomore year, and I never felt the need to over drink. 

After college I was lost, I didn’t go straight Into a career, and I took to drinking more because it was a way to escape the pressures of adulthood. 

I never knew my limit, I would drink till I couldn’t remember where I was, who I was with, or even who I was. I would wake up in places I didn’t know, with people I couldn’t even tell you their name. My “friends” were always down to drink all night, and grab that hair of the dog to calm that hangover. 

I chose my friends based off of whether or not they wanted to drink with me, because that was what my world revolved around. 

I lost sight of everything important, true friends, family, and myself. 

I constantly struggled with my weight. I have always been heavier, and I started losing weight the correct way in the beginning, working out and eating healthy. But then it seemed easier to throw up everything so that I could drink more calories, or not eat at all. Food had become my enemy. 

With my days spent worrying about what I would eat and throw up, or when I could start drinking, I was clearly a mess. The depression set in real bad, and to cope with the pain, I turned to cutting again and keeping secrets. It’s easy to hide behind a mask, and I got really good at it. I knew when people were watching, and I knew to keep smiling even though I was dying inside. 

My first trip to the psych ward was brought on when I lost all control when I was drunk and I woke up with cut marks on my arms and legs. I knew I needed help, and I went through intense therapy and found the root to all my problems: alcohol.

I finally opened up and thought I was on the path to recovery. “I will never drink again… I will never cut again.. I will never make myself throw up..”

That lasted a full month, then I thought I could handle drinking again.  I ended up back where I started. Drinking till I couldn’t remember anything, binge eating and throwing up till I saw blood. 

November 15th, 2014 

I started off my night like any other, drinking casually with a few friends, ending up blacking out. I don’t remember crashing my car, or the ambulance ride, or the early hours of my time in the hospital. I woke up with an IV in my arm, my parents standing around me, and a nurse sitting there reading a magazine; I was on suicide watch. My best friend was the only one allowed to visit me, and she didn’t hold back when she finally got to see me. 

I had been hurting my family and friends and I didn’t want to see it. I knew this time I really had to change otherwise I could lose what truly mattered to me, or I could lose my life. 

November 16, 2014

Sobriety was my new goal, to get my life back on track. This was day one, the day I would choose to live my life instead of drink it away. 
… One day at a time … 

That had become more than just a saying, but a life motto. I choose to live my life one day at a time because I cannot change my past, I can only learn from it. I cannot predict my future because then I will miss out on the present. Today I am sober 231 days, I do not self harm, and I am learning to love food! I am happy with how I am growing as a person and I cannot wait to share with my followers my journey. Everyday is a struggle, but it’s a struggle I’m willing to endure because I am worth the life I was given!