I owe my life to a power greater than myself I choose to call God. I fell into a pit that I didn’t think I could get of. I used to say it started when Rich died, but that’s not true.
I always had a depressive and addictive personality. I have memories of when I was a child watching myself in the bathroom mirror as I cried. Maybe I had a reason. Maybe I was born that way, but I always felt alone. I remember daydreaming. I would go off by myself and not want to be disturbed so I could live the other life I created in my mind. I was a boy named Danny and I had a dad. That’s really all I can remember about it. I know now it was how the child me escaped.
I spent some tween years with anorexia. This also was about escape. When I was 10 I was diagnosed with scoliosis. I started wearing the Milwaukie brace the summer before I began 6th grade. It was a solid piece of plastic that wrapped around my abdomen. A thick bar stretched up to my chin and wrapped around my neck. Two thinner bars went down my back to connect with the body of the brace. I wore it until 9th grade. Talk about traumatizing… I systematically stopped eating and started exercising an absurd amount of time. I wanted to shrink and hide. Isolating myself began. I was addicted to starving.
After a lengthy stay at Children’s Hospital and my “secret” was revealed I was able to get through the physical damage it caused. The emotional damage had never been addressed.
I had no sense of self as a teenager. I was emotionally stunted. I didn’t know how to make new friends in a high school that tripled in size from one school year to the next. I certainly didn’t know how to maintain any sort of relationship on any level.
My addictive personality and my wanting to escape from myself found the best thing ever – alcohol. Drinking on the weekends became the norm. I blacked out at the very first high school party I attended. It was fruity, numbing bliss! I found the answer. It didn’t matter how I felt because I couldn’t feel it. Perfect. College was even better. Everyone was drinking every night! At least I thought they were.
Then I met Rich. He did not drink every night – hardly at all, in fact. I calmed down a lot, but he knew there was something in me that could get quite ugly when mixed with alcohol. I knew it, too. I finished college. I finished graduate school. I became a teacher of at risk youth. I married the man I loved. I had a beautiful daughter and was expecting a son. Then Rich died.
All my untreated crazy erupted! The easiest escape was to drink it away. Slowly at first. Soon my self-confidence, self-respect, self-worth, personality, laugher, career and much more, but worst of all, my children were gone.
Stayed tuned for what happened.