July 15, 2011, was one of the worst days of my life, yet it’s a day I wouldn’t change for anything. It was a full moon. I was a twenty-two year old girl living in a sixty-year-old woman’s body, wrongly diagnosed with a rare liver disease.
I maybe ate once a week, but my body was constantly swollen and puffy. I weighed about a hundred pounds, and drank roughly two bottles a day of whatever vodka was the cheapest. At this point, I was either severely sick from alcohol withdrawals or totally blacked out. This had been my daily routine for four years.
It Gets Worse Before it Gets Better
I was used to the panic attacks when I woke up. I was used to the projectile vomiting when I was trying to stomach something just to make them stop. I was used to the whole body shaking and cold sweats. I was used to the insomnia and complete lack of appetite.
On July 15, 2011, I experienced Delirium Tremens (DTs) for the first time. This was something I was not used to. I spent six hours hallucinating before I called 911, telling them all about a shooting that happened in my house.
Needless to say, I ended up in the psych ward.
Now, this wasn’t your typical 72-hour hold. They kept me in that hospital for two weeks before inevitably giving me the ultimatum that it was either rehab or the streets. It wasn’t a hard choice. I wanted help, I wanted to be able to be sober without being so incredibly sick. I wanted to hold a job for longer than a few months. I wanted a life.
The Help I Desperately Needed
I never realized rehab was an option for someone like me. From the way these facilities were depicted in the media, I assumed treatment centers were either for the rich and the famous or the people who were fortunate enough to make it on an episode of Intervention.
But there I was. Packing up to enroll in a residential treatment program. My caseworker informed me that my insurance covered the entire cost. I was dumbfounded, excited, scared, apprehensive, but most of all…I was hopeful. I was hopeful for the first time in a very long time.
July 15, 2011, was the first day of the rest of my life – a day I will never forget.
Additional Reading: When Does a Moderate Drinker Turn into an Alcoholic?
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