KB's Recovery Story

"Heal yourself first. The rest will come" - KB Brannan

kbstory

My name is KB Brannan and my sobriety date is July 1st, 2019. I am from Baltimore, MD and recently moved to Washington, DC. 

I started drinking when I was 13 right after my dad died from cirrhosis of the liver and kidneys due to alcoholism. Instead of staying away from alcohol because of my dads death, I wanted to see what the big deal was. I almost immediately had a drinking problem and it was quite obvious by the time I was 17. I was driving while blacked out, putting myself in extremely dangerous situations, and it is a miracle that I am still alive. 

Over time, I grew more and more dependent on alcohol. I used it to find relief from anxiety and stress, and used it to celebrate good events in my life. I used any excuse to drink. Therefore, I was almost always drunk, unless I was at work. And even while at work, I was typically hungover. Towards the end of my drinking, around the age of 29/30, I woke up everyday wanting to stop so badly, but found myself unable to resist the urge to drink. 

One night, while I was drunk, I told one of my best friends that I have been in love with her for a long time. Although she was married, she basically decided to leave her wife and pursue a relationship with me. A lot of destruction was caused in their marriage and our friend group through our decision to pursue our interest in each other. I felt lost and knew that alcohol was either the problem, or not a part of the solution in this situation, so I decided to stop. 

The challenges I faced during the process included learning how to regulate my emotions without alcohol, how to have fun without alcohol, how to have confidence without alcohol, how to make friends without alcohol, how to dj without alcohol, etc. Basically, I had to relearn how to live life without alcohol. 

kbstory

I made sure to put myself back in therapy at the start of my sobriety to get my life back on track. Through therapy, I was encouraged to join a 12 step recovery program, which I did. Having a network of other sober people helps a lot. Focusing on my spiritual health helps keep me sober. 

The best part of being sober is developing a more conscious contact with my higher power. I also love being able to feel all of my feelings and being confident in knowing that I can handle anything without the help of alcohol. 

If you are just starting out, I would suggest finding other sober people with which to connect and develop friendships. Support is key. I would also recommend taking a break from the places where you drank and the people with whom you drank until you have a solid foundation and a sober “toolkit”.