It’s been 6 months since I decided to start this blog and start documenting my progress towards positive change. 6 months ago, I felt like I had hit a personal rock bottom. I didn’t feel in control of my life or my self-esteem and I was over it. Toxic people, alcohol, denial, and an enticing urge to indulge in escapism were all the masters of my actions and emotions. I kept falling in a poisonous trap of doing things that I knew were only hurting me in the end while simultaneously wondering why I was so unhappy and so unhealthy. 6 months later, I can gladly say that I’m nowhere near perfect, yet nowhere near where I used to be.
I think it’s hard when you’re in your 20’s and having a ridiculous, self-indulgent lifestyle and a socially acceptable alcohol abuse problem is deemed not only normal but “cool”. We tend to forget why we’re all here. Unfortunately, the real purpose of college is to propel you forward into your adult years with a higher education under your belt. But if you look around, it seems like that’s the last thing on everybody’s mind. For me at least, I spent the first few years of my college career worrying more about friends, meeting guys, partying, and having a social life worthy of showing off rather than graduating in four years with a respectable degree. Now, I’m looking at about six years (sorry, Dad) because I couldn’t ever stay focused long enough to reevaluate my life goals until now. Better late than never.
I still go out with my friends, I still act like a fool from time to time, yet something I don’t do anymore is ignore my priorities in order to drink. I don’t use alcohol as a way to cope with my emotions anymore, either. If I ever feel sad, mad, or lonely, I use that as a reason not to drink rather than an excuse to go out and get so wasted that I forget my middle name. Call me a nerd, but I genuinely find more satisfaction in feeling like I actually have my life together than being “facey” and spending multiple blurry, regrettable nights in a row at the bar. I have good grades and put my schoolwork first before anything and I take a lot of pride in it. I chose to spend my spring break working overtime while most of my friends were getting blacked out using their parents’ money on an island somewhere (no shade). I say “no” to things I normally would’ve said “yes” to and regretted later, which makes me feel great. I also don’t need constant attention from shitty people to feel loved or worthy.
I used to feel like being single meant something was wrong with me, whereas now I realize that it’s a blessing to be in a phase of your life where you’re focusing so intently on yourself and taking care of what you want rather than revolving your life around somebody else and worrying about how they treat you. For the first time in about a year and a half, I’m starting to feel like I genuinely prefer to be independent, which is such a weight off my shoulders. Every day that goes by, I feel stronger and more comfortable in my own skin. I don’t want anyone or anything to affect how I feel about me except me.
You might be reading this and thinking, “Whoop-dee-doo, do you want some kind of award for not being a hot mess?” No, but if you know me at all on a personal level, you know that the past year of my life has been really hard, confusing, and stressful. So if you care, I’m here to tell you that I’m doing much better. I’m also here to tell those people who have reached out to me saying that they can relate to having substance abuse and self-esteem issues, that things will definitely get immensely better if you look yourself in the mirror today and decide that it’s time to make a real effort to change. It doesn’t happen overnight. I’ve had a few slip-ups and still make them today, but I guarantee that any kind of positive changes that you start making now will put you in a better place mentally, emotionally, and physically than you were before. In about a month, I’ll have my license back and life will start feeling normal again after a year of mayhem, self-discovery, and growth. Ever since 2017 started, I’ve felt a positive energy in the air and like things are about to start getting a lot better.
I am still a work in progress. There is always something within yourself that you should want to work on in order to become the best version of you. I’m still working on setting limits and boundaries for myself, staying motivated when it comes to taking care of my body and physical health, and controlling how I express my emotions. It’s a never-ending journey towards improving and growing.