From Caterpillar to Butterfly

How being addicted to alcohol and shitty relationships made me strong


I was a junior in high school when I fell in love for the first time. I was as innocent as one can be. Drinking, sex, and smoking were completely out of the question and I was never the type of girl to chase after boys. Until I met him.

He came into my life like a sneaky little cat prying on my innocence. We met through a mutual friend, and from that day on, we became inseparable.

I quickly fell for his lanky tall figure and hazel brown eyes. I can clearly remember the ecstasy of happiness I felt throughout my body during those months. I remember waking up and feeling that everything around me shined brighter. I felt like I had a purpose in the world and each day I was more excited to live in it.

And then something changed me forever.

The night I lost my virginity to him left me believing that I would spend my life with this guy. He stated his love for me and we talked about our goals and aspirations. I was the happiest girl in the world. He dropped me off that night unaware that he had left his phone in my purse.

Crazy how God throws signs at you, right?

His phone kept buzzing until I finally checked his locked screen to make sure it wasn’t an emergency. I saw 10 missed calls from “baby” and a text saying how much fun the sex was the other night. My world came crashing down.
I physically felt my heart break into a million pieces. My throat and chest were so tight that I didn’t think I would ever catch my breath. I couldn’t understand how someone could claim they love you and still want to hurt you?

I found out later that he was with his ex the entire time we were together. And for the many months that followed, he continued to beg for my forgiveness. I allowed him to come in and out of my life and toss me around like a worthless little toy. I was numb.

I started drinking and sneaking out of the house on such a daily basis I almost forgot what my bed looked like. I would cry myself to sleep with a bottle of vodka in hand trying to forget the boy who had once made me feel so alive.

I craved the numbing feeling alcohol gave me so much that I would find any excuse to be able to drink it. I started having sex with randoms in order to fulfill that void of emotional and physical intimacy. I was addicted to sex and alcohol and the feeling of sadness was almost too comforting. I used my pain as a sorry excuse for acting out. During that entire year, I felt so completely worthless that I didn’t think anyone would ever love me.

When you’re that young you don’t look at addiction the same way you might if you were a man or woman in their 50s. When we’re young, we see sometimes see ourselves as indestructible. Nothing can hurt us.

My grades deteriorated and the bags under my eyes became harder to cover up.I pushed it all away until one late night when I was sitting in my room listening to a program on TV. A woman was describing the signs of alcoholism and it was as if she was describing me. The binge drinking, sleepless nights, uncontrollable drinking habits, the cravings. The list went on and on and I can remember feeling sad and confused.

My heart felt like it was physically broken. If you could see it from my perspective you would see a heart cracked completely in half barely being held on by tape and bandages. You would see scars and open wounds even thought it is still barely beating.

I continued to allow myself to fall in love with people who didn’t really care for me but used what my body had to offer. Sex revolved around my relationships and I began to wonder if that was all I would ever be good for.

Each time I fell for another lie, or allowed myself to get mentally abused, I would feel more broken. It was like my soul was slowly being sucked out of me until I was merely a walking shell — present and alive on the outside but nothing on the inside. I remember each time feeling like a piece of trash being kicked around on the side of the road. Worthless. This cycle continued for four years. Abuse after abuse .

It became so bad that I developed crippling anxiety. I couldn’t leave my bed. That alone caused me to fall into a dark hole of depression. I didn’t know how I could live another day. I was so scared that I couldn’t muster the thought of being on the earth another day. That thought alone was so exhausting and seemingly impossible that I would sometimes would sleep more than 16 hours at a time. This caused me to quit my job and basically become a slug.

One day when my mom was at work, I imagined the knives in our kitchen and how easily it would be to end my struggles. I became fascinated with the act of suicide and how quickly my pain could be over. That was until I found a book, “Dare,” by Barry McDonagh, that helped me cope with my anxiety. I began to realize how scared I was to not care to live anymore.I decided to try one last time and give life a shot.

I finally started to see the sun shining through the stormy clouds. I began to hope. It was minimal, but enough to push me to fight my demons and slowly begin to conquer them.

I was never religious, but during these times I prayed to anyone that would listen. I didn’t have many friends and often felt so alone that I would drive myself insane having no one to talk to. I decided to give this God thing a try.

As I was going through my recovery, every time I would have anxiety or feel doubt, I would see butterflies. I had rarely seen them before, but now I was seeing so many a day. One even landed on me and that’s when I began to have faith, which in the end is what saved me.

We all have our bad days, and as corny as it sounds, we are not alone, as never ending as the dark hole may seem. There is always a way out and it doesn’t have to be the easy way out.

I used to see myself as weak and worthless, but now I’m strong. I overcame my demons and I told them to fuck off. Now I feel like I can conquer the world and all the shit shows it throws at me.

When I look back at the girl I once was, I smile at her. The girl who was so broken with no idea of all the life head of her. The girl who didn’t think life could go on another day.

I now choose to smile at my obstacles because they are merely a lesson in time. Without those broken moments, there would be no growth. I could not be who I am today without have fallen deep in the pit and hell of rock bottom. As weird as that may sound, I am forever grateful for the lessons and strength that are now and forever embedded in me. I want to say thank you. Thank you to the girl I once knew.