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My Story

I’m not sure when I crossed the line from a “normal” drinker to an “every day, out of my  control” drinker.

January, 2019

I wake up with a sense of dread every day. My mind is racing around trying to remember things that it can’t. I reach for my phone to search for clues as to who I might have called or texted last night; maybe there is a tiny bit of information that can trigger a partial memory of a conversation or a promise that I made. My body is exhausted, but I know I have to get up and go on with my day. So I get up, put on the mask that I want the world to see, and carry on. I carry on with my day, along with my secret, behind my mask, until I have to start drinking. And then it’s morning again…This is the way I lived for years.

The mask that I wore portrayed a productive adult functioning as a wife, mom, business owner, church member, children’s choir director, committee member, community volunteer, caretaker for my mom, and more. You get the idea—someone that had their act together. But behind that mask was… a women terrified of being found out…a woman ashamed of who she was and what she was doing…a woman consumed with anxiety…a woman who wasn’t sure the world wouldn’t be better off without her.

I’m not sure when I crossed the line from a “normal” drinker to an “every day, out of my  control” drinker. It might have happened in one event or one year, but the fact remains that alcohol became the most important thing in my life. And then alcohol started stealing my life.

Alcohol stole my memories, my self-respect, my dreams, and my freedom.

I knew for a long time that I needed to change. I tried to cut back or quit drinking with various methods—AA, willpower, various self-help books and programs—with no lasting results. Each time that I failed, I sank deeper into a dark hole of despair and hopelessness.

Then I found This Naked Mind

I honestly cannot remember how I found This Naked Mind (maybe it found me), but the book and the 30 day alcohol experiment changed my life. I found hope in each successful day that I was able to remain AF (alcohol free). And I wasn’t miserable or unhappy! After the 30 days, I wanted to keep going and continued with the 100 days of lasting change. I could not believe that I was able to easily remain AF after years of failure!

My alcohol-free life has been and continues to be an eye-opening journey. As I learn to trust myself more and more, pieces of my mask are falling away and disappearing. And as the mask falls away, I am discovering Pam and the power that she has to create the life that she’s always wanted. I am able to make new memories with my grandsons playing baseball and sharing stories. I have discovered a love for hiking in the beautiful Buffalo River National Park near where I live. I wake up with a clear head and a sense of opportunity. Integrity and honesty feel deep and genuine instead a part of the mask that I put on each day. Possibilities of adventure and exploration have come back into my life. Driving on the interstate or crossing a bridge over a deep canyon doesn’t fill me with anxiety and panic. Contentment and gratitude are becoming more and more available to me. My life is my own again and I am learning that I am enough.

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