Jen's Recovery Story
"When you feel like drinking, remind yourself about why you're choosing not to." - Jen
Hey there! I’m Jen, a full-time working Minnesota mama of two little humans, sober coach, educator and advocate to end the stigma surrounding addiction by recovering out loud.
Through my seven years of recovery, I value the importance of taking care of your health in sobriety: your physical health AND your mental health. I fully believe that when you move your body, you can change your mind. Exercise is the best medicine. Anything to get your heartrate up for 30 min.
I justified my drinking for many years because I didn’t “look” like your typical alcoholic. I was what we call a “high functioning, closet alcoholic”. Many perfectionists out there might relate. I did my drinking at home, alone... so no one would know. I never wanted to embarrass or hurt anyone… just myself.
I had a job, two in fact, a classic workaholic. I got up and went through the motions, but what people DIDN’T see was to help with the overwhelm and anxiety I experienced, I drank. I couldn't take the pressure that I put upon myself to be this perfect human being to everyone, but most importantly myself. My drinking gradually escalated to where I eventually NEEDED alcohol to even function. Why couldn’t I stop? I could do anything that I set my mind to, but I could NOT do this. Was I really an alcoholic? I didn’t look like one? AA scared me. All I knew was that I NEEDED that relief, stat.
I tried to moderate, unsuccessfully, MANY times. I always thought I could control it. While some people can moderate, it‘s not unusual or wrong if you can’t. You see, alcohol is an addictive drug. By getting addicted, your body and brain are just doing what they're supposed to! And it’s NOTHING to be ashamed about.
It took many attempts to finally get and stay sober (3 inpatient stays, multiple outpatients, AA, jail, etc), a year and a half in fact. I accepted everything I couldn't change, always did the next right thing. As long as I didn't drink, my life magically kept getting better. And just because you slip up doesn't mean you've failed at this, it's just another learning experience on your journey. Get back up and keep trying, again and again and again.
If you’re not ready to quit drinking, that’s ok. I wasn’t at first either. It wasn’t until “I” was ready and “I” really wanted it, that getting sober became easier for me. One day it just clicked. I didn’t WANT to drink anymore because nothing tastes as good as sobriety feels. I reclaimed my life seven years ago. A better life. And you can too. Getting sober is not easy, but it IS possible and it’s absolutely worth it.