For a long time, I told myself it was social drinking. That alcohol made me funnier, happier, more outgoing, etc. But every time I told myself only a few, it turned into a night I didn’t remember and, from what I’m told, my head hanging in the toilet. My friends even named my drunk alter-ego. The next day would come and I would cringe as I heard the horror stories about what I did or said the night before. And cue the hangover vomit.

No one wants to admit to the fact they drink too much. That maybe drinking isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. I would think about quitting… How I wouldn’t have my liquid courage, how I probably wouldn’t be as much fun without it, how I would probably lose friends and miss out on a lot of things. It stressed me out. And what do I do when I’m stressed? Oh.. I drink. Which brings me to Sunday morning and the awful realization that I was never going to get out of this cycle.

Alcohol is consumed by 86% of Americans and is absolutely romanticized. Teenagers are told it’s an acquired taste. The stories of hangovers and black outs are bragged about as if they were trophies. And I bet that drinking some Bud Light will really help improve your football skills like the commercials show, along with all of the Facebook posts insisting that drinking wine will help you lose weight.

Anyway, I started reading an AA book. Some of the first words I read were, “you are powerless over alcohol.” Wait.. Seriously? This is DEFINITELY going to give people faith in themselves. My eyes rolled. I wasn’t having anything to do with that kind of mindset, so I went on a search for a different book and stumbled upon “This Naked Mind: Control Alcohol.” It already had a better title. I read two chapters of this book a day.

On November 25th, I drank my last drink. It didn’t feel like I was losing anything. It didn’t feel like I was missing out. At this point, I would get extremely nervous about being around alcohol before I would go to parties or bars. But every time became ten times easier. I am 100% present in every conversation and I remember every moment. I could list all of the benefits I have experienced, but the list is long. So I will just tell you that it is worth it.

If you are struggling, just know it doesn’t have to be hard. You don’t need to beat yourself up over it. All you need is time, faith, and patience with yourself.

Story Submitted By Emily