Two and a half years ago I was sitting in a dark, cold, and absurdly loud jail cell. I was withdrawing off of alcohol. All I wanted was peace and quiet, but that was not an option. I tried to get comfortable on my plastic mattress that barely cushioned the metal bunk bed I called my home. My head pounded, my clammy skin crawled, and my stomach flipped while fighting to hold the couple bites of food down I finally forced myself to eat.
Jail was the best possible place for me to be at that moment in my life. God knew he had to do something dramatic with my life for me to realize I was living a miserable, hopeless existence and the only way I would quit drinking is if I sat in jail for 33 days. As I sat there thinking about all the bad decisions I made and people I hurt, I realized at that point in my life I had nothing. No home. No friends. No visitors. No boyfriend. No money. No job. I had nothing. Alcohol had taken everything from me. Alcohol controlled my life. I never imagined that I could be sober. The “Sarah” that I was, the one that everyone knew, was not the real me. I was this drunk, obnoxious, life of the party that everyone loved to be around… until I got angry and mean, then nobody wanted to be around me. Who would I be if I quit drinking? What am I really like? What do I really want to do with my life? I had no idea. I’d been drunk since I was 15 and got arrested at 25, so through those important years that most people figure out who they are and what they want to be, I was drunk. I was always too scared to quit drinking. I was petrified of all the demented thoughts, which I tried to quiet down by drinking, would come back with a vengeance. And they did. Everything I tried to hide from, forget about, and never properly grieved over, came back in full force. It was great because I finally got to feel emotions again, both good and bad. I was numb for so long, so it is wonderful that I could feel!
After 33 days in jail, I finally realized I was ready to get sober and stay sober in the real world. I wasn’t so sure I could do it, but anything was better than jail. I got arrested on November 15, 2011 and I have been sober since November 16, 2011. This November, I will celebrate 3 years of sobriety. Since getting sober, I graduated with my A.A. and received Magna Cum Laude honors. I got accepted to University of South Florida where I am currently working to obtain my B.A. in Psychology. I also got accepted into USF’s Honor’s program where I will be working to develop a thesis and hopefully get published. I recently started working for a great company where I am a Peer Specialist, where I get to use all of my experiences to help others suffering from the same addictions I have conquered. I get to be a glimmer of hope to those who were previously hopeless. I finally know who I am and the kind of person I was always meant to be. For me to get sober I had to change every aspect in my life and I thank God I did, because sobriety definitely is possible!