Brenna's Recovery Story
"My addiction lead to my recovery" - Brenna
My name is Brenna (@sobrennity) and I am a 29 year old recovering alcoholic. I celebrate my sobriety daily, but especially on April 23 yearly. I recently celebrated 41 months and I am just as amazed as you are. Never in a million years did I think I’d make it to see 29, but here we are. I am figuring it out and rocking my recovery daily.
I started drinking at 13 years old. I can remember who I was with, where I was, how it made me feel, and surprisingly - how it tasted. My “friends” and I were at their grandparents cabin in Ste. Genevieve county and go figure - the grandparents weren't home. I felt cool. I wanted to be as cool as the older kids who were very much present at this party. I first tasted bud light knowing that it didn’t taste good and I faked it. I even tried my first cigarette and never looked back.
My life changed drastically after I began drinking. I would make plans revolving around alcohol, spending money, and sleepless nights. I started hanging out with not so nice people and making poor decisions. These decisions would eventually drive me away. At 19 years old, I made the biggest decision of my entire life and that was to move far away. I knew that I needed more in life than depressive episodes, binge drinking, and nightly panic attacks. It wasn’t until I moved away that I realized that it wasn’t about where you were or who you were with when you find an excuse to drink - you stick with it.
I was 26 and suicidal. Never in a million years, did I think I’d ever go through with taking my own life. I know how your pain transfers to those you love. I know how it feels when you lose someone you love without any explanation or reasoning. Yet, it was something I contemplated daily. April 22, 2017 started out like any other night out on the town. I turned to the bartender and ordered my usual drink (double shot of Greygoose, sprite, and a lime) in a short glass because I knew just what I needed to quiet those obnoxious voices in my head. I somehow thought that face planting on the ground, struggling to get up, and wobbling around like a toddler who is learning how to walk for the first time was cute. Boy, was I wrong and it nearly cost me my life. I went home that night, hopped in my car, and drove recklessly throughout the neighborhood. I had plans to take my life that night, but something within me spoke to me and I knew in that moment that it was not my time.
Breaking up with booze is by far the hardest, most rewarding decision I’ve ever made but with sobriety - come challenges. I have learned that it is okay to be by yourself and that some people simply don’t want you to succeed. I have learned that there are more people in this life who want you to fail. I use this as a way to push past and still be successful. I’ve learned that you’re not missing out by not going to the bar every weekend and your bank account will thank you. I’ve also learned that your mental state won’t change in a day. It takes months and months and months to get back on track. I’ve also learned that it is 1000 percent okay to ask for help when you need it and that the only ones who make you feel wrong for doing so, are the ones who are secretly fighting their own battles.
Nomo was my biggest friend when I first quit drinking and messaging the only sober person I knew at the time. His response meant everything to me in those moments. I try to be that for others who are new to recovery. The digital sponsor app has been an amazing tool in the recent months and I am so very thankful that we have these tools when we need them most.
The best part of being sober is that I no longer want to die. If I hadn’t quit when I did, I would not be here today. The people recovery has brought me to, the places I’ve experienced, the memories, and experiences are what make this all worth the while. I would 10/10 recommend this sober life. I offer you this if you are new (or old) to recovery - cling to those who bring out the best in you. 99.9% of the time, they are on a similar boat. Document your recovery journey, write to your past self, seek forgiveness, create a bucket list yearly, and follow like minded people. Those are the people who will take you places and pick your head up when you need it the most. Oh, and always remember to look on the bright side (even when the bright side isn’t so bright. You’ve got this - I, along with the rest of the sober community are rooting for you!