Silver Linings is a blog series created and written by members of the CWCC Young Professionals board to engage and support other young professionals (and everyone, really), and to share their perspectives, experiences, and to show that no one is alone as we work through overcoming challenging times.
Silver Linings: 3 Years of Healing
On May 19, 2018, I woke up thinking my biggest problem was not responding to my best friends’ text messages, but it was far worse than I could have imagined. The night prior I had too many drinks, and by that morning, I was at the emergency room.
In a state of desperation, I called my older sister and cried out hysterically, “I am never drinking again!” Thus began my journey of sobriety. Although I was only 26 at the time, making the decision to stop drinking was radical. I felt isolated not knowing another sober person, bothered and misunderstood by my sobriety and constantly questioned why I could not practice self-control with alcohol. I had a difficult time explaining and understanding this attempt to improve my life, if not save my life.
I reflect back and ask myself, what was happening in my life that led me to drink so much? What I intended to be a few drinks to relax would almost exclusively lead to blacking out. Blacking out led to guilt and shame the following morning. Guilt and shame led to drinking again. A vicious cycle, to say the least.
Our society has openly embraced drinking as a coping skill. We have accepted drinking alcohol at every event and celebration: baby showers, promotions, Friday nights to relieve stress after a week of work, birthdays, and just because alcohol is present. It is not surprising to me how much I reached to alcohol to help me cope with daily stress.
As a mental health therapist, I constantly remind my clients of the need to practice healthy coping skills to manage the stress that comes from life. Looking back, I was not accessing healthy resources to manage my own stress. Now, as a woman in the workforce, I recognize the need to take care of myself. For myself, yoga, CrossFit, lattes, 8 hours of sleep, staying hydrated, family, friends, my sponsor, therapy, reading, and being a plant mom has helped me manage stress, prioritize my relationship and keep me sober.
On May 19, 2021, I celebrated three years of sobriety with friends and family. My radical choice to become sober was initially connected to feeling isolated and misunderstood and has transformed into feeling celebrated and supported. Sobriety may not be the answer for everyone, but it was the answer that saved me. I have come to recognize that we need community and a variety of healthy coping skills to help us navigate the daily stress of life. I hope you have found your community and practice healthy ways to take care of yourself. Every day is a constant reminder to choose yourself and your healing.
Marisol has been serving on the CWCC Young Professionals Board for two years and currently serves as the Engagement Chair, working with other YP board members to engage other YP’s in the community and introduce them to CWCC, as well as creating unique and fun opportunities for board members to connect with one another. During the day, she is a licensed therapist for the Mental Health Center of Denver and in her own private practice.
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