Your Health Seth Stratton | one year ago

#ThisisSober: Lauren’s Story

Over the years, Lauren had tried many things to stop drinking.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZKcEldvS81c&w=560&h=315] She cut out “hard” liquor, opting for other sorts of alcohol. She’d tried drinking only on the weekends. She even attended an occasional AA meeting. But none of that worked for her. Finally, on the day she was escorted out of her job for drinking at her desk, she knew she’d reached her breaking point. Like so many others in her shoes, Lauren had hoped she could stop drinking on her own. It was October 2010 when she realized she couldn’t conquer alcoholism alone and decided to check herself into treatment. “I was crying and shaking while laying on my bed as I desperately prayed to God to send me a sign,” she says. “In that moment the answer was clear. I needed to stop resisting treatment, and so I called for help the next day.” After completing her treatment at Carolinas HealthCare System’s First Step, Lauren began to rebuild her life – her confidence, her faith, her professional career, and her relationships with family and friends. “Once I got over the initial shame and guilt of the situation, my family was open to talking through what addiction is, how it affected me and what kind of support I needed from them,” says Lauren, now 37. “Our relationship is very honest, open and loving now. My mom says all the time how proud she is of me, and that she doesn’t have to ever worry about me anymore.” Once sober, Lauren was able to rejoin the workforce, where she now excels as a professional recruiter and is on track to earn her master’s degree. Her ultimate goal: to work in the field of addiction and help people who are struggling with substance use disorders, just as she did. “I’m passionate about continuing to grow as a person,” says Lauren. “And the more I can talk about addiction, the more it helps not just me but so many others.” A big part of Lauren’s conversations with others includes explaining what alcoholism is and how recovery, while it can transform a person’s life, is not without challenges. “It’s not something that you just ‘fix’ and bam, you’re cured! I’ve been sober for nearly six years and I have to work at it every single day.”

All year long, we’re putting sobriety in the spotlight to help shatter the stigma around addiction and inspire people to change their lives. Read and share our stories – and join the conversation – using #ThisIsSober.