Overcoming Addiction

The views and opinions expressed in following story are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Mental Health Colorado.


As a young one, most people would meet me and then decide that I was either just shy, or cold and mean. I quickly learned that drinking alcohol relaxed my naturally cautious nature, and it allowed me to be open and spontaneous around strangers. Having a buzz also magically removed all of my self-doubt, and I started portraying this weird chatty Cathy personality. Sadly, I always felt accepted and liked by any group of strangers, as long as I was drinking.

Unbeknownst to me, the human brain was not designed for that type of repetitive over-stimulation, and the core parts of my brain function were essentially hijacked by alcohol.

I’ll spare you all of the gory details about my drunken spiral. Maybe one day I’ll publish a memoir about all of my deep dark struggles – you may even be able to relate to them. But, I think you should hear about my rise from the ashes. It was certainly a much-needed cathartic experience, an extreme release of tension and anxiety, purging my most harmful beliefs about pity, shame, and fear.

The most influential part of my decision to want recovery was when the amazing people from Soaring Hope offered me their hearts and resources. They scooped me up like a scared little kitten, and protected me during my most vulnerable times. I was lost in every way, and without judgment they led me back to stable ground.

Diligently working a good recovery program is hands-down life changing, and I highly recommend it to anyone that has a personal desire to change and begin living a quality life. I finally feel happy, confident, alive, and present. I have a healthy amount of self-respect, and I sincerely feel hopeful about what the future holds. I can now trust myself to calmly and rationally deal with any tough situation that comes my way.

Before treatment I felt depressed, helpless, angry and alone, because beer was my only friend. It’s almost like my brain gently reset itself and returned my core belief that stress and triggers are just small potatoes – that I really don’t need alcohol just to survive. My mind also fine-tuned my heart to remember love, and to show love to the good people out there – the ones that genuinely care about my life and happiness.

I don’t have cravings for beer anymore. I actually crave food when I’m hungry! I now get a proper 8 hours of restful sleep every night, without even thinking about it. I haven’t had a single anxiety attack, and my emotionally driven vertigo is now simply a mild signal for me to take a step back and relax.

Any program or treatment is going to be far from instant or magic – I worked hard, and I trusted the process. Now, I can move forward with my life knowing that I’ll never have to deal with the consequences of another black-out, or an episode of alcohol-induced rage, or lonely suicidal thoughts. I’ll never have to suffer through any form of punishment for having a brain hijacked by alcohol, ever again. My mind, heart, and spirit are free to soar with hope!



More than 500,000 Coloradans lack the mental health care they need. You can change that. For more than 60 years, Mental Health Colorado has led the charge in promoting mental health, ending stigma, and ensuring equitable access to mental health and substance use services. It’s life-changing work. Your contribution makes it possible.

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