My name is Sara, and I’m an alcoholic and addict. I never in a million years thought I’d get to the point where I needed to finish my intro with those words. I had reached and achieved all my dreams. Played basketball through college, now owning my own business, being my own boss, and moved to paradise on the beach in Costa Rica 5 months ago. I have a loving wife, amazing friends & a life I was thankful for (and many people only dream of).

But there was one problem… I hadn’t dealt with the pain from my past that was slowly eating away at me. I’ve never felt so defeated in my life. Completely broken into a million pieces and I had no idea where to begin to pick them up and start to sew everything together again. My pain disguised by a mask of happiness that had everyone fooled. I was also masking my pain with alcohol and drugs, slowly losing myself more and more. I couldn’t face emotion, I couldn’t deal. Pain from past emotional trauma, negative self-talk, and overwhelming anxiety had captured me. I couldn’t be strong and face my past, accept it, and move past it… at least not yet. The more I tried to run from it, it grew in strength, and it was always there again the next morning. Along with a massive hangover (that I would take care of within a few hours by just having another drink). The happy, “life of the party” Sara was actually a ticking time bomb.

Well then the bomb exploded, and there was no stopping it. A night that started harmlessly turned into drinking into oblivion because I was aggravated about something so small, but I didn’t want to feel aggravated anymore. I didn’t want to feel any emotion anymore. You definitely know you’re loved when in a drunken rage you scream and yell and hurt your spouse worse than you ever have before & she’s still by your side! Let me tell you though…she’s got a mean right hook that I profoundly deserved. That was an eye opener for me. One that was about 10 years long overdue. Jail due to a DUI didn’t do it, waking up in the hospital after an extreme alcohol poisoning incident didn’t do it, literally and figuratively getting punched in the face finally did. It took me almost completely destroying my marriage and emotionally crushing another human to wake the hell up. That next morning after that crazy night, I knew I was done. That night was the last night I drank or used.

So I’m now 73 days, 5 Hours, and 19 minutes sober and I looked back shortly after I got sober on a wake of destruction, devastation, and lies. My business, my marriage, my friends, my family… my life, slipping through my fingers. I was tired. Tired of living my life the way I was. I knew I wanted to find myself again and to be finally be truly happy. No mask, no disguise, just me. I knew I was ready to surrender. I couldn’t continue my life feeling so miserable. I was finally ready to make a change in my life that was literally going to save me. Two days after, we were on a plane from Costa Rica back to Florida. I was going to get sober. I had to.

Let me tell you, I was not happy. I felt like I had failed more at that moment, landing back in the US, than any time in my life. I had achieved my dream of moving to Costa Rica, and I messed it all up so bad I had to come back. But deep down, I had a fire still burning inside of me that was just waiting to be reignited. I was going to get us back to Costa Rica no matter what. I was going to make sure we restarted our life again in Costa Rica, and this time did it right. I was going to prove everyone wrong. I just needed a “do-over”. In that moment, I felt a sense of peace I hadn’t felt in a long time. I just knew in my heart that everything was going to be alright. The only thing that was different was this time I truly believed it. Fast forward just shy of two months and I’m sitting in the spare bedroom of my friend’s house, the night before we board a flight back to Costa Rica in mid December. I had done it. I had actually done it.

After walking into my first NA Meeting after getting back to Florida, I had truly surrendered my life to getting sober, both physically and mentally. I was finally ready to let go of having to be in control of everything, having to know “why?” about everything and finally living Life on Life’s terms. I haven’t felt so clear and alive in a long time. I’m not going to lie, some days are really really hard. When you’ve masked feeling anything for so long, going to the other end of the spectrum and feeling everything can be very overwhelming. But I’m alive, and there’s some times before where I wasn’t sure how much longer that was going to last. Now, I’m writing this from my kitchen table back in Costa Rica. With a sense of peace in my heart, a smile on my face, and a loving wife by my side, I know that I can do this. This time I’m going to do it right.

Story Submitted by Sara