Submitted by Samantha R. Peach / Instagram: @projectgaiapod
My name is Samantha. I grew up in a fairly normal household but my family was riddled with addicts, some functional, others not so much.
I never thought the disease would happen to me. I always thought that my successes in childhood and throughout life would help me “beat” that type of life. I was wrong. Not only did I become an addict, but I suffered anxiety and depression as well.
One of my first thoughts as a child was that I was so stupid. Fear preyed on me and I often masked this pain by a perfectionist façade that I was pretty good at for many years of my life. I eventually turned to alcohol and that became how I coped with the stressors in life. I categorised myself as a casual drinker because I worked in corporate America and had graduated with a masters in business! However, I often drank way more than my friends and terrible things would happen to me while I drank. I remember waking up with crippling anxiety but I had no clue that my alcoholism was making my mental health suffer.
Eventually, after a series of horrible relationships in my early twenties, I had a pregnancy loss and this sent me to the depths of my addiction and mental illness. I had no healthy coping mechanisms so I turned to my old friend alcohol again. That lasted for about 6 months and then I went to rehab. I stayed sober for about 4 months but I really didn’t work on my mental health and I suffered some pretty bad trauma from the loss I had.
My mind tricked me to turning to alcohol again, so I did, and every relapse got worse and worse. I was in a new state of pain not knowing how to escape. I did another stint of rehab because I feared I was on the verge of losing my job.. I took the much needed time off work and did 6 months at that rehab where I did therapy weekly, took medications, and did my addiction support groups.. I suffered a pretty traumatic event at around 100 days sober and with all this support, I managed to stay sober.
I built a foundation in a spiritual practice unique to me as well. This is what I rely on most over two years later. I work at my mental health daily through weekly therapy sessions centered around trauma and building my support community. What I have found is by doing this coupled with a spiritual practice, the pandemic – while terrifying – has been a lot easier to cope with.
The number one thing I did was I reached out when I needed help. The next thing was taking action on the suggestions given to me. The third thing was trusting in the process and realising that every day won’t be a breeze, but if I can learn how to accept that there is both negative and positive in life at the same time, I will be okay.
You can do amazing things too. I find that the people who have gone through the hardest things can often come out of that experience triumphant. Painful experiences transform our lives and when we do the work, we can look back and use that experience to help others heal one day. Love and light be with you all.