I grew up with a parent and relatives who always drank – you weren’t having a good time unless you were drinking. In my teens I started drinking with friends and we didn’t stop until we were drunk. This pattern continued through my twenties and into my thirties. Still it all seemed normal because everyone around me did it. But I realized I had issues when I became depressed after a breakup and drank every night for over two months. I told myself I needed it to get to sleep, but I was numbing the pain alone. I realized I had to stop immediately and concentrated on doing other things to keep my mind away from drinking.
It was difficult because of social and family situations but I was able to cut down to almost none by examining why I drank and how it was affecting my life. When I drank I felt more confident in social situations, but ended up saying things or acting in ways that I really didn’t intend. For example, getting too drunk at a concert in public, or going to bed with a guy that I never would have if I had been sober. More than once, I would wake up with a terrible hangover and cry about what happened and feel very remorseful.
Finally I changed my life by realizing I could live a better life without drinking. I educated myself about alcohol and focused on my health and self-esteem so I wouldn’t slip back into these habits. I made my friends and family understand that alcohol is not important to me and that I would only allow it in my home or participate in it on special occasions because any more than that is not living by my intentions and not what I’m about.
For nearly 20 years now I’ve been living a healthy positive life. My associations with alcohol have completely changed and I prefer a clear mind to anything else. I don’t owe any explanations to people who don’t understand that I don’t party much these days. They can live the way they want – I choose to stay on my own path. It is great!
I am a Mental Health Counselor who is licensed in both New York (LMHC) and North Carolina (LCMHC). I have been working in the Mental Health field since 2015. I have worked in a residential setting, an outpatient program and an inpatient addictions program. I began working in Long Island, NY and then in Guelph, Ontario after moving to Canada. I have since settled in North Carolina. I have experience working with various stages of addiction, depression, anxiety, mood disorders, trauma, stages of life concerns and relationship concerns.
I tend to use a person-centered approach which simply means that I meet you where you are and work collaboratively to help you identify and work towards accomplishing goals. I will often pull from CBT when appropriate. I do encourage use of mindfulness and meditation and practice these skills in my own life. I believe in treating everyone with respect, sensitivity and compassion.
I recognize that reaching out for help is hard and commend you for taking the first step. We have professionals available who would be happy to help you move closer to reaching your goals related to your drinking concerns. You may reach these professionals by calling 877-322-2694.