Tara's Recovery Story
"A great future doesn't require a great past" - Tara
My name is Tara my sober date is May 19, 2019 and I am from Weston, Missouri. The first time I took a drink I was 14 years old, that just so happened to be the age when I was first arrested. I experienced my first black out at 15, and my high school years were spent not much different than that first night. I grew up in a home with parents who abused alcohol, my dad passed out at the wheel and crashed his car nearly dying. My mom went to rehab when I was in elementary school and after that I do not remember any more domestic abuse or violence, but the fighting never stopped. I drank to numb and to escape a home I never wanted to be at. I have never known a time in my life where I drank to have fun, my goal was to always black out/pass out and I was always left searching for a feeling. When I was 17 my parents finally decided to get a divorce, my mom moved out and I chose to stay with my dad and my sister lived with my mom and that is a choice that changed so much in my life. I woke up one morning and found my dad lifeless on the bathroom floor and truthfully from that moment on my desire to live did not exist. Once I turned 18 my mom put a restraining order on me so I could not see my sister. I tried to go to college, but all I did was drink and I failed my first year. I landed in the hospital from alcohol poisoning, I had been taking straight shots of vodka in a college dorm room I do not remember the night just what was told to me. I ended up passing out and slamming my face into the toilet, broke my tooth half off and went unconscious and was later taken to the emergency room. These escapades kept happening until I was 29. Whether it was fights with bartenders trying to take my keys, peeing the bed, vomiting in my floorboard, punching holes in walls or windows or driving drunk like it was not a big deal. My final breaking point was the day I wrecked my car, got a DUI and went to jail…when I pulled over, I thought I just had a flat tire on my car. I had been followed by a local woman who said I hit a parked car, almost hit a pedestrian and hit a guard rail. I called my sister and she told me to sit in jail and think about what I did and I was so angry at first, and then once I got out her exact words to me were “I’ve been waiting for your face to show up on my Facebook that you had been arrested or to get a call that you were dead or had killed someone and it finally happened.” Those words will forever live with me, and that is when I realized I had spent years dragging my family through the same stuff that I had gone through as a kid.
When I first got sober, I basically quarantined myself. I stayed away from people and drinking, basically anything that could tempt me. I look at old pictures of myself, including my mug shot to remind myself of a path I could so easily take again if I mess up. Sobriety is life or death for me, and once you realize that your own life is worth fighting for it makes it easier.
Things that have helped me: Strong support system. Surround yourself with people who think like you, or who have been through a similar situation. I could not do this without external support. Find a physical and creative outlet, keeping yourself active your body and mind operable keeps the brain moving. The biggest thing of all though, fix what is in your head and on your heart. Most people turn to drugs or alcohol because they are wanting to escape some part of reality, they want to feel cool or invincible. Ask for help, we live in a world where asking for help is looked down upon. I wish I would have asked for help when I was 15. Always remember there isn’t a one size fits all for recovery, mine will look different than yours the best chance at being successful is finding what works for you.