My Life Story

I never thought I was an alcoholic. I thought I was a hard working physician, caring mother and loving wife. My story begins in my pursuit of my medical degree as a teenager. I did very well in high school excelling in all sports, clubs and academics. I began drinking at the legal age of eighteen. I then went to college where I found life and academics more challenging and less rewarding. I hid my inadequacies academically and socially by binge drinking and binge eating which eventually lead to bulimia. These were tough years. I made it through, eventually was accepted into medical school, residency and had a family. My drinking toned down and became more social. Life then, seemed to become more manageable. I even excelled again in my training and was elected chief medical resident. My life quickly changed again when I chose to join a practice out of state with four male physicians. It was a successful practice but I had constraints and felt inferior, inadequate once again. My drinking increased from social to more self-satisfying to alleviate the initial stresses of this new life style. The demands quickly rose, with increased patient load, hospital consults and less personal time. It became a vicious chaotic cycle. My home became my bar room. I began to drink in hiding, drink more often and in increasing amounts to cope with this.

Eventually my husband, then my best friend voiced concern and finally my family confronted me about my drinking. I was in denial. I refused to admit there was a problem even though I had tried to stop numerous times on my own. I had suffered too many consequences along the way. I failed friends, family, my practice and fooled myself all along. I disconnected with my family and the world in general. I had worsening self esteem and became more withdrawn. This spiraling came to a screeching halt one Christmas’ eve when I was arrested with a DUI. I put the precious life of my daughter and countless others on the line. Thank goodness no physical damage occurred; only emotional scars to heal.

I entered rehabilitation reluctantly yet scared. I was hardened by the years of numbing with alcohol. I had to learn that life is full of emotions and it is good to feel. I write this story while still in rehabilitation and in these few short weeks I do know that my life is different. I have a life free from the pain and degradation of drinking and denial. I want to keep this life of peace, serenity and tranquility that I have found. I want to take these principles and learn how to be a good mother, wife, and doctor but must remain honest with myself and remain sober.

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