When Is It Time To Get Help?


We tell ourselves we'll just have one glass, but it's never just one.

I wouldn’t be where I am today if wasn’t from the help of others. There were many moments I realized I needed help but the first one was when I ended up in the emergency room for panic attacks after a summer of drinking away the pain. I used alcohol to numb the grief, to ease the anxiety, to fill the loneliness and to battle the depression.

I grew up watching my grandmother abuse her body with alcohol and pills. Most of my memories consist of her drunk, passed out, or in the hospital. As a young child, it was hard to comprehend how people got to that point. How can people go through life feeling like shit?!

Well, now I understand.

Granted, I was nothing compared to my grandmother but alcohol became my crutch. It was how I dealt with negative emotions. I always had an excuse to turn to it even if I was having a good day. There was always a reason to drink.

I always made sure I was stocked up and was there enough? My life started to revolve around drinking. It became the only thing I looked forward to.

You know you have a problem when you're going through a bottle of wine a night by yourself. And no, the dog doesn’t count! My sleep was constantly disrupted. I woke up to more anxiety. I was always tired. I couldn’t understand why my sugar was always bottoming out. I even ended up in the hospital once again for stomach and gastrointestinal issues. I didn’t realize how much alcohol was affecting my life. Even my personality was changing. I was always angry and irritable. 

So, I reached out to the University of Central Florida and asked for help. I was not aware that UCF offered free counseling and support to students who struggle with substance abuse.

I committed to attend on a weekly basis and it truly made a difference. I was encouraged to write down how many drinks I consumed each day. This was a great exercise because I could actually see how much I was drinking. It actually motivated me to drink less. It forced me to be accountable. After a long road of counseling, I finally reached a healthy place.

Although we cannot choose what life throws at us, we can choose how we process circumstances. However, it’s not easy. We don’t know how we are going to react to certain situations. We don’t always make the right choices. It’s hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel when you’re in a dark place and sometimes it’s necessary to go through the bad to see the good.

I believe in the power of the individual. We can either choose to remain miserable or we can choose to find happiness, but we cannot do it alone. Our success in life is achieving it through others.

It's important to surround yourself with people who can provide you with honest/constructive advice. More importantly, people who can help you be the best you can be.