Nicole's Recovery Story
Believe you can and you're halfway there. - Theodore Roosevelt
Hi! I'm Nicole and I'm alcohol-free. I got sober at 22 on March 30th, 2019. Currently, I live in Wisconsin. In my opinion, and many others, we have one of the most toxic drinking cultures of any state in the U.S. Binge drinking, drinking with every meal, constant excuses to party through the weekend - It's all normal here. You'll get roasted for ordering a drink and not finishing it. So, safe to stay it's been a challenge.
I got sober in my last year of college. If I hadn't, I never would have graduated! I started drinking at 15 and became an every-day-drinker at 18. In a short amount of time, I racked up thousands of dollars in drinking tickets, hospital bills from multiple occasions of alcohol poisoning, and destroyed many relationships. I was on a very clear path of destruction and desperately needed a way out.
At 20, I got serious about quitting. I got a tattoo on my arm and swore I'd never drink again. It took two years of trying and failing, but it finally clicked one day. All the bad that came from my drinking just wasn't worth it. I was fed up with hurting people. I could no longer stand to look at the faces of my family and friends. All I saw was hurt and disappointment.
Because I was only 22 when I stopped for good, all my friends were still partying. I choose to basically lock myself away for 6 months. I focused on school, I watched Netflix, I repaired relationships. I stay clear of the bars and toxic friends. I gave up my entire lifestyle and traded it for something more low-key. At first, I was pissed. It seemed like the whole world could drink without consequences - except me.
After 2 months, I knew I would never go back. I started to seriously enjoy my alone time. I learned to reconnect with myself and found things I genuinely enjoyed. I graduated, started a business, moved to a new city, and haven't stopped grinding since. I'm now 2+ years sober and I wouldn't give this life up for ANYTHING. Sobriety gave me peace of mind, soothed my anxiety, skyrocketed my confidence, and helped me form better relationships.
My best advice is this: Putting down the booze is not enough. You have to change your lifestyle too. This means - where you hang out, who you talk to, how you talk to yourself, what your goals look like. It's a huge transformation, but try to focus on one step at a time! You are more than capable of making this change, but just cutting alcohol won't be enough. These changes will come naturally if you keep an open mind and listen to what your body and mind need. If it feels wrong, it probably is. Only you know what you need, so always listen to your gut. YOU CAN DO IT. Follow me on Instagram for advice and feel free to reach out - @nicole.nettell