Sponsored by Alkermes, Inc.
By Shari Hampton, Alcohol-free Since 2015 and Certified Life and Recovery Coach
I can still remember the date. It was February 15, 2015. That was the day I decided I had enough: enough waking up with no recollection of what I did the night before, enough destroyed relationships, enough self-inflicted damage done to my body. February 15, 2015, was the day I decided to commit to a recovery journey from alcohol dependence.
I had an unhealthy relationship with alcohol for 35 years. I thought drinking made all my experiences better, and that I was living my best life … until I wasn’t. The consequences of my drinking started to pile up and included multiple run-ins with the law and being hospitalized due to alcohol-related health problems. But I found it hard to stop. I craved more to drink, which negatively impacted my health and, worst of all, my relationships with loved ones.
In 2015, I was diagnosed with alcohol dependence by a healthcare provider. It took years to find the right treatment plan for me. I tried 12-step recovery programs, three intensive outpatient programs, and other treatment approaches. Everyone’s journey is unique but, for me, a combination of nutritional supplements, dietary changes, psychoanalysis, and holistic modalities really helped.
I also had a lot of support along the way. Despite my struggles with alcohol dependence and the negative impact it had on my family, they kept showering me with unconditional love. Putting all that love right back on them is a gift. Then there’s my love, my partner, my heartbeat — she teaches me daily to believe in love. She is my gift for all the hard work I’ve put into myself, and I cannot thank her enough for encouraging me to stay strong every day.
Today, I’m focused on my role as a certified life and recovery coach, and my work is my passion. I partner with professional women who are ready to commit to a recovery path from substance abuse, emotional trauma, and grief. It feels good to give back. Helping others early in their recovery journey to embrace hope is like no other feeling in the world.
September is National Recovery Month. This month, I want to help others by sharing my story and the many different treatment options available for those living with alcohol dependence. One resource I recommend is MyRelationshipWithAlcohol.com, where anyone can learn more about alcohol dependence, watch personal stories, or fill out a questionnaire to take stock of drinking patterns. There are also resources to learn more about how to talk to a healthcare provider.
I’m grateful to have the opportunity to share my story and encourage others to think about how we can help friends and family who want to reassess their relationship with drinking.
Celebrating life and the people in it is what is important to me.
I’m currently eight years into my recovery journey and looking forward to many more.
This article is sponsored by Alkermes®. Shari Hampton has been compensated. Her story is personal and does not represent all people living with alcohol dependence. This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Always talk to your healthcare provider.
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