Name: Valerie Zepeda
Sober Since: 09 / 01 / 2018
Sober For: 1 Years & 172 Days
What it was like?
Alcohol began to take a toll on my self esteem, my confidence and was hurting my soul. I was waking up from blackouts completely in the dark about the previous nights events.
I started drinking alcohol and experimenting with drugs at the age of 14 because I felt angry, lonely and ugly. Additionally, I was raised in an environment where alcohol abuse and drugs were normalized. I thought that alcohol equated to a good time and a party wasn't quite fun without being drunk. This belief layered with multiple childhood traumas created an exit route for an inner desire to escape myself and my loneliness. At the age of 37, I reached a major inner crossroad. I was trying to convince myself that I had my drinking under control. I really tried hard to stay present when I drank, while pushing passed my limit. One or two was never enough. I was sneaking drinks so that my friends and family wouldn't notice I was having more than them. I loved getting wasted but my black outs began to slowly eat away at my self esteem and self worth. Towards the end they were happening regularly, I tried holding on for dear life when I was boozing. I tried forcing my brain to stay with me during my drunken bouts. I didn't want to stop, I preferred the risky adventure instead of facing my problem. It was a battle that I was desperately trying to win while still consuming. Amidst my fourth relapse and my last blackout, I had an accident, my car was totaled, three other vehicles were damaged and I came back to my senses in a jail cell. I had hit rock bottom. I had to accept the only way I was going to beat it was if I stopped altogether. I am now six months sober which has been such an emotional rollercoaster and a redirected path towards deep self reflection. I've realized that sobriety is just the beginning because my true self is unfolding, I am shedding my past, my shame, and my pain. Its as though the authentic me is trying to emerge in the absence of all the numbing. I am face to face with the darkest parts of me that I ran from all my life. One of the toughest things that I've had to come to terms with recently is releasing the expectation of perfection. It's a constant tug-o-war between my ego and my soul. But god knows I am trying to let go of who I thought I was supposed to be, accepting that I don't have all the answers and that life didn't have a blueprint I was supposed to follow. Perhaps, this redirection is part of my growth and there's a blessing in disguise hidden in this beautiful mess.
What it is like now?
I am healing and discoverying the real me. I feel as though I am experiencing life anew, I've been given a second chance. I am deeply grateful to be here. I am deeply grateful that I didn't hurt anyone or myself. I am utterly grateful to be sober.