Beth Leipholtz is someone that I have met via the online community of recovery bloggers/writers. I honor her accomplishments and have found her to be the voice for the “Twenty-something’s” in the recovery community. She has helped many young people with her story and continues to be an inspiration to many. She and I both also have a love for dogs, reality shows and our significant other!
As many alcoholics do, I used alcohol to cope with an array of emotions, and my relationship with it was anything but healthy. I began drinking in college and over time it got worse and worse. I didn’t blame alcohol for all the problems in my life or my unhappiness – I blamed everything else around me. I viewed it as an escape and a tool.
I guess I don’t know how I’d characterize the relationship since I don’t really have one. I’ve been sober 3.5 years now. I can tolerate being around alcohol, but I no longer try to be someone who can drink it and maintain a healthy relationship with it. I know that’s not realistic for me.
They were strained to an extent. Some I maintained just fine because they didn’t know the extent of my drinking. But in others, my drinking was the root of a lot of conflict. When drinking I said or did things I wouldn’t have sober. In a way I was a different person, and the people in my life didn’t like that. They worried about my wellbeing and my physical safety.
The relationships I have today are strong and healthy ones. The people in my life all know about my past, and I think that helps them to understand the person I am today. We talk about my relationship with alcohol, and I know they are all grateful I stopped drinking when I did.
When I drank, I was reckless with my emotions and my body. I hooked up with people I didn’t necessarily care about, and I tried to force romance where there was none. I didn’t have a relationship for the duration of my drinking, and for good reason. I couldn’t have handled it and it likely wouldn’t have ended well.
I am in the best relationship I’ve ever been in. We’ve been together a little over two years, and have three dogs and a home together. He supports my sobriety 100% even though I got sober before I met him. He will never know what I was like when I drank, which is weird in a way. But I am also grateful for that.
I do, I feel they are a good source of comfort when I am having a pity party for myself or when life is stressful in general. They seem to sense something is wrong and do what they can to comfort me.
I believe it’s positive. I have a job that allows me to be a big part of the local community and I feel that people respect me. Many of them know my story and appreciate that I have been honest about my past. I am able to wake up each morning and know that I am at my best.
Beth is a newspaper reporter and graphic designer from Minnesota who writes about the realities of getting sober young. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram (@EL9292) and like her blog, Life to be Continued, for updates.