The following article was written by an amazing young woman named Tana, who endured a LOT before enrolling in my online course months ago.
Like many people, Tana felt somewhat reluctant to share her story. I’m extremely proud of her for allowing other people to benefit from her perspective.
I will let Tana speak for herself, but I will say that her hard-won victory is a reminder that alcohol recovery is often nonlinear.
We can hit horrible lows, climb out slowly, reach new highs, and then fall all the way back to square one before discovering the missing links in our recovery and FINALLY breaking the chains of alcohol addiction.
Tana reminds us that when you change your biochemistry, you can change your life.
Her story is also a testament to the fact that nothing great is ever accomplished without tremendous internal resolve.
Without further ado, here is Tana’s story.
My family moved again. I had been to countless schools at this point. This time, my family moved me to a new school in a small town a few months into my first year in high school.
Being a freshman in high school was scary enough. Now I was the new girl after everyone had already gotten acquainted. I had to get adjusted to high school and then get readjusted to a new school with new students. I was 13.
It was hard for me to decipher who would be my people. I had grown up always wanting to do the right thing. I didn’t care that I didn’t fit in because I would rather not do the things the “cool kids” were doing and just do me and follow my faith.
But, here it was different. I was tired of moving and having to make new friends. As you get older, kids seem to get more malevolent, and I was tired of being picked on for my “good girl” persona.
I started getting asked to parties by different groups of people. The “cool girls” wanted me to hang out. I noticed that a lot of the kids were drinking, and I thought that was a little crazy.
I had heard that my peers back at my old school in the city were into drugs and alcohol and sex, but I was never actually a part of that scene.
Growing up I had watched my dad get hammered drunk more times than not when he was home. I had also seen both my parents drinking too much with friends and not making good decisions more times than I would have liked.
I was born in Vegas, and my mom jokes that I was born with a cuba libre in one hand and a poker chip in the other. I have never actually gambled, though.
I always said that I would not drink because I had seen what it did to people. I had seen how it affected the decisions that they made. But for some reason, this move was different.
I don’t remember the first night that I drank.
But I do know that after I drank, the anxiety I felt around people went away.
I could be more sociable when I drank, and I didn’t care as much about what was going on.
Fast forward many years, and I have come to the realization that I deal with quite a bit of anxiety and depression. I also get overstimulated easily. Looking back, I took on a lot of worries as a child that most kids do not take on. I was sad a lot.
These things were never addressed as issues to be dealt with. Back then, I figured that there was something wrong with me. I struggled a lot with these emotions and drinking at the time helped alleviate those struggles…or so I thought.
I was 14 when I started drinking. I spent several years drinking way too much. I made several bad decisions because of alcohol, and even had run-ins with the law.
You would think that always wanting to do the right thing would have deterred me. My drinking continued anyway.
I was forced to go to an outpatient rehab at the end of my sophomore year of high school.
Needless to say, that did not help. The kids there were all smokers, and one girl even told me she was addicted to sex. This was very uncomfortable for me.
Love, Children, And Alcohol
My junior year of high school I met my “first love”. I spent a lot of time with him, and I even moved in with him.
By this point, I thought I had learned how to drink without getting into trouble or getting out of control.
I had only learned to get black out drunk without anyone noticing.
This went on for several years and then I met the man I would have kids with and eventually marry.
I enjoyed having a family of my own. I felt like I was a true adult with a family.
I also felt like a responsible drinker: I only allowed myself to get drunk after my kids fell asleep. But I was still getting drunk. (Note: I did not drink while I was pregnant.)
After our son was born, I noticed that drinking didn’t feel the same.
Alcohol was no longer temporarily relieving my anxiety. In fact, my anxiety levels had increased.
I would lie awake almost every night listening closely to the baby monitor to make sure he was breathing. On top of that, my heart would pound and I would sweat due to the alcohol.
I would wake up and feel horrible, almost like I was having “out of body” experiences all the time.
I remember one morning I woke up with my heart pounding. I felt so anxiety-ridden and hungover that I could not take care of my son.
I took him to my dad to watch while I lay in bed and waited for the fears to go away. I knew that something wasn’t right, but I had become used to feeling this way.
This went on for another year.
Building The Resolve To Heal
Finally, I decided to put more effort into quitting drinking. I realized that something was not right internally and that I needed to take care of it. I was tired of feeling horrible and losing out on days and precious moments with my son.
I was tired of going on and off of anxiety/depression medication. I had been on these meds since the age of 17, when I had gone to the doctor myself to get them.
Every time I told the doctor that the medication was no longer working, he would prescribe more.
I would always ask him when I could stop taking them. I would get the same answer: “We’ll keep you on them and then wean you off eventually.” That never happened.
My then-husband and father of my kids received a discount from his employer to an acupuncturist. I did some research and decided to try it.
For awhile, I felt like I was doing well. I was only drinking about every four days, woohoo!
I even got back to the gym and started to lose the baby weight and the alcohol weight.
After a few visits to the acupuncturist, I started sleeping better. My anxiety levels decreased significantly. I also got hooked up with some ladies from church who sold essential oils, which worked well.
A month after I had started my journey toward “getting better”, I got pregnant with our daughter. My body was focused on growing a baby, not repairing itself.
After my daughter was born, I quickly got back into drinking.
However, my drinking had significantly decreased. I was hitting the gym more and more, and I was really getting into the essential oils. I had stopped going to the acupuncturist due to time and money, but I was starting to feel much better.
I was still doing research. I started realizing that maybe healing my body naturally was the way to go. I found a good chiropractor in the area who helped me change my life.
Still, I was nervous because I felt that my brain was not working like it should.
Back To Square One
I was still having those strange “out of body” experiences. I was at times unable to hold intelligent conversations, and I would say things that people normally wouldn’t say.
I had a meeting scheduled with a neurologist around the same time as the chiropractor. I decided to give the chiropractor a chance before I went through all the testing that the neurologist suggested. It was amazing how much better I started to feel.
My then-husband saw the same chiropractor, and he even quit smoking, something that he was unable to accomplish after so many years.
I was really starting to get going with a more holistic approach to taking care of myself and repairing my body.
Suddenly, things got bad between my then-husband and me. I had to leave him.
We went through a long and ugly divorce. My depression became worse than ever.
I had two little ones to take care of, mostly on my own. I went from being a stay-at-home mom for six years to going into the working world.
My alcohol cravings increased severely. I thought about drinking every day. It seemed like every minute.
When I did not have the kids, I found myself able to go through a bottle of tequila, or 2-3 bottles of wine.
My body started bloating up after drinking. My face would feel swollen. It would take me days to recover.
I would quit, only to start again.
I didn’t like who I was when I drank. I didn’t make good decisions when I drank. I was supposed to be the one taking care of my kids, and I was having a hard time taking care of myself. I would cry and get angry that I was unable to quit drinking.
Why would I go back when I knew what alcohol did to me?!
Trial And Error
I searched and searched for answers. I tried this, I tried that. I knew that AA or rehab were not the answer since I had tried both of them before.
Then one night, I came across Fit Recovery.
I immediately bought Chris’s book. I began to feel really dedicated.
I went over 20 days without drinking, and that was incredible for me.
I was starting to feel better again. I was making strides to do better and to be better.
However, I would take two steps forward and then I would drink again and feel like I was taking three steps back.
I knew that I had so many goals and dreams that I could accomplish if I could just quit drinking!
I had to do this for my kids. Never had I ever wanted something so bad. I needed to quit for my kids. They deserved so much more.
So, why couldn’t I quit? Why would I get to the 20-day mark only to fall short?
You would think that when your Why is something so important to you that your accomplishment would come easy. That’s not the case. It just means that you can go the extra mile to accomplish your goal.
I was willing to stick it out. This wasn’t easy. If you can have just one drink, you may not fully understand the chains of alcohol addiction. I was a slave.
But I continued to implement the nutrient repair and recovery process Chris speaks about so often.
I could tell that these things were starting to make me feel better.
I decided to buy Total Alcohol Recovery 2.0 and really start taking Chris’s recommended supplements and hitting the gym more. Man, that was a turning point!
I also started asking others who have immersed their lives into holistic healing about other supplements and vitamins that would help.
I found out that I was suffering from adrenal fatigue.
This made sense with all of the stress that I had been living with for so long. I started taking a supplement for adrenal health that contains rhodiola extract and holy basil leaf.
Breakthrough: The View From 82 Days!!!
My goal was to be disgusted by alcohol. When I first started Total Alcohol Recovery 2.0, I watched a video of Chris saying that for him, drinking alcohol would be like drinking paint thinner.
While I may not be disgusted to this extent by alcohol, I am proud to say that I have zero desire to drink it. I do now feel disgusted by the thought of drinking.
At 82 days alcohol-free, I am so excited and happy to be on this journey of self-healing.
Our bodies are so amazing, and it is miraculous to see how quickly they can repair.
When we take care of our bodies, they take care of us.
I do not tell everyone my story, but whoever is suffering from being enslaved to alcohol I tell them that I was there too.
I lead them to Fit Recovery because it has changed my life.
I now have a lot of experience in holistic health research, trial and error, and downright disgust with myself.
All of this in order to finally say that I am happy.
I have gone through hell so that I too can help others going through the same thing, and now I can assure them that I TOO HAVE BEEN THERE!
Update: Tana has now been alcohol-free since 2017! She’s a Fit Recovery Coach, with an additional certification from Academy For Addiction & Mental Health Nutrition, and has now helped many people conquer alcohol addiction and build their best lives.
Drinking Sucks is a game changer- I read it, re-read it, made notes, and began my journey of sobriety. Chris’s personal experience, wisdom and frankness is very motivational – wish I had discovered it years ago.
Thank you for the kind words Bev!
Thank you so much for sharing your story! I have been struggling for years and this website has given me hope that I can survive this and thrive again. Thank you Tana and Chris!