Six months ago I came to in the ICU of a major trauma hospital in NE Ohio. I was on a backboard, in a cervical collar, intubated, on oxygen, and had a giant soft cast on my left arm. Not only did I not know what had happened to me, I had zero memory of my first helicopter ride (I have to insert humor somewhere…). The past six months have been the most physically and emotionally taxing of my life, but I am making progress in so many ways. This month (and always), I have gratitude for so much: for the unwavering support and love of my family, for my friends who have seen me at my worst and still stand by me no matter what, for my fur-kids who act like they haven’t seen me in ten years each and every time I walk through the door, and for the courage to change and grow.
Today also marks six months since I’ve had alcohol. It was in my hospital room that I realized that I had to change. I had known for a long time that I had a problem, but I wasn’t yet ready to say goodbye to alcohol. It is a miracle that I am alive today, and it took that miracle to give me the strength to give up my crutch. I was done feeling bad for being unable to control something that I would never be able to control, no matter how hard I tried. I was done feeling guilty for lying to friends and family to cover up my tracks. For waking up and not knowing how I got home. For feeling this horrible sense of doom all day following a particularly crazy night, worried to hear from my friends about the stupid things I had said or done while being drunk out of my mind. I was sick of two day hangovers, and getting really shitty sleep.
I hate that it took such extreme measures for me to give up drinking, but it had to happen. And despite how hard this lesson is, it has filled me with gratitude.