Stigma Fighters: Brittney Taylor

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Stigma Fighters: Brittney Taylor

For many years I was caught up in the vicious cycle of alcohol, anxiety and depression. If I was anxious, I drank. If I was depressed, I drank. Then I would sober up and the anxiety and depression were still there, only now I felt even worse.

I suffered from social anxiety. I just wanted to fit in. Alcohol solved that problem. A sip of alcohol and I turned into a bubbly, outgoing, fun girl. I had the time of my life. I laughed, I danced, and I made new friends. Alcohol is a depressant, but it seemed like the exact opposite. It made me happy. It filled the void that I felt inside. My addictive personality found its new favorite vice!

I faced more trauma than I care to think about. I had to deal with things that I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. One of the worst was losing one of my best friends when I was 17. I left the hospital and started drinking immediately until I passed out. I woke up and I grabbed a bottle of vodka that was next to me and took a big gulp. That was the first time I thought to myself, this is what alcoholics do. But I had a free pass to cope however I wanted; my friend just died.

Anytime I didn’t use alcohol to cope, depression completely consumed me. I felt like it swallowed me whole. I would feel so low that I thought the only answer was taking my life, which I attempted more than once. Little arguments were magnified in my mind. I felt so helpless. Arguments with my boyfriend were the end of the world. I was so co-dependent. My happiness depended on another person. This was not healthy.

Eventually the alcohol stopped working. Instead of turning me into the person I thought I wanted to be, it turned me into a devil. I would lash out at people I cared about. I sabotaged relationships. One sip turned me into a completely different person. I pretended I didn’t care about anything. If something hurt me, I drank and turned into this bad ass girl that gave zero fucks. I couldn’t allow myself to sober up. I couldn’t allow myself to feel anything. I needed to numb myself. When alcohol didn’t work, I started to experiment with different drugs.

I had been in the hospital multiple times and each time they had me talk to a social worker. They recommended rehab. They recommended counseling. They recommended anti-depressants. I went to detox after one visit and left within 24 hours. I tried counseling, but I didn’t want to talk to a stranger. I tried anti-depressants, but quit taking them after a week. All those recommendations sounded great and all, but they would take time and effort to work. Alcohol worked right away. Drinking always seemed like the best answer to my problems.

I gradually started to realize that alcohol wasn’t helping me anymore. It was only making things worse. I would wake up and feel shame and regret. I would wake up more anxious and more depressed than I was when I fell asleep. One day I woke up and decided I didn’t want to feel this way anymore. It was time for me to face my problems. I checked myself into rehab and this time I stayed. I stayed for 6 months. The alcohol was gone, the fog started to lift from my mind, and I could think clearly. It felt terrible. Depression and anxiety were back with a vengeance.

Over those 6 months, I faced my problems head on. I learned how to cope with depression and anxiety in healthy ways. I was surrounded by people who suffered from this disease and they helped me to feel normal. I had a counselor that I talked to twice a week. She helped me grieve over the losses I’d faced. This counselor helped me to heal from the things that I never allowed myself to confront from my past. I learned to open up and talk, rather than hold things inside until I exploded. I learned to meditate and do yoga to cope with anxiety. I started working out. Exercise helped me to release anger. I didn’t want to do any of these things in the past because I didn’t want to admit I suffered from depression or anxiety. All I ever wanted was to fit in. The last thing I wanted to do was label myself as different. Simple techniques that I would have laughed at in the past have made a world of a difference. The best therapy has been writing and sharing my story to give others hope and inspiration. I don’t need to ingest toxic substances in order to find peace. I have been able to find peace within myself and that has been the best medicine of all.

 

IMG_3418-1My name is Brittney Taylor. I am from Michigan and currently pursuing my Communications degree at Saginaw Valley State University. I went from girl gone wild to girl gone sober. I want to share my experience, strength and hope with others so they know there is more to life beyond whatever their vice may be.

 

 

 

 

Brittney can be found on her blog and Twitter.

By | 2016-04-02T17:16:57+00:00 April 2nd, 2016|Categories: Alcoholism, Depression, Sober, Stigma Fighters|0 Comments

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