The first substance I used was alcohol and it’s the only one I use pretty much the whole time. I actually started when I was 16. I would quit for years at a time. Five-six years at a time, I may drink once or twice a year. But over the last year and a half, it’s really gotten to where I would drink every day.
The alcohol helped me to fit in socially in certain environments with other people and just different groups. It helped me blend in with everybody, not just the athletes that I was around a lot of the times.
The drinking became a problem. Usually, I let things in my life outside of my work take over my life. The personal life, the things that just came out of hand is just where I had to drink every day.
I felt like I had to drink: “I can’t wait to be down with work so I could go and do that.” That’s where it became a problem in the last year and a half extremely. It made me hit bottom I guess pretty much with (the DUI). This was my third one in a year and I knew, “OK, Laurie, there is something wrong. You’ve got a problem and you need to take care of it.”
I’d been that entitled person that we all get to be to a certain extent. Until you realize I made (my mother) leave me in jail overnight so that I could be ready when I walked out of there to say, “Hey, I need to do something about this.”
And that’s what I did to seek treatment because I knew for myself, I needed it. I needed a break from my life. I needed a break from what was going on in my life like socially. But the other things like I went through a relationship break up over a certain time and that kind of led to a little bit of the drinking that didn’t quite increase it to what it was. It just kept on going and going and going. It was like I’d never stopped and never took a break, never skipped the beat, never acted like anything was wrong with me. And finally, when I hit that wall and I stay in jail it’s like, “All right.” There’s more to the reasons why I drink.
Being at Wavelength, I got a lot of tools to work with as far as handling different situations. The way you feel is not ever going to go away. I mean you’re always gonna have that antsy feeling but of course, it fades away. But you’re always going to have that in your mind, “Am I doing the right thing? If I’m doing the right thing, is this what I should be doing? Will this lead to me wanting to drink again?” I mean those are the things that I try to focus on as far as when I live my life every day on a day-to-day basis is all right. Can I do this and not frustrate me enough to where I think, “Oh gosh, I need to have a drink.” Those are the kinds of tools that I got from here and the different groups that I worked with.
Working with my therapist and counselor was very beneficial. I couldn’t have had a better one just for the fact that he was very upfront and honest with me because he knew I was a hard head too. He got that from the first time he met me. So he and I worked with that and we were just very honest with each other. So it’s very helpful to me as far as being honest with him. I’m always honest but you know it’s helpful for him to actually see through stuff and him bring some things to attention just pass on things that I had said to him in our conversations just to try to. Help me through things.
I’ll tell you one of the reasons I did choose to come here is because of the location of being near the beach because that has always been my dream. My family knew it. My sister, when I came here, said, “You’re not gonna come home.” And I said, “Yes I am.” And so being in this location — the houses, the facilities — and the people that work in the houses are very helpful. I lived in a house for just a short period of time that was really nice and close to the beach. But I also lived in what we have is the Manor and that’s the part of transitional supportive living. So you get a little more freedom to have things and to cook your own food. So that’s the setting we asked.
They also have other houses where you live in a house … with five or six different people. Which is if that’s where you would want to do. And they’re very nice. Everything is furnished very well. I mean you don’t really have to want for anything. You’re just to worry about yourself. You don’t have to worry about other things. Everything else is outside in the real world, is taken care of while you’re here trying to work on you.
The staff at Wavelengths is very helpful if they don’t know, they try to go and find someone that will or they try to help you with the situation that you’re dealing with. It’s always really easy to talk to any of them. You can always find somebody to talk to about any situation to try to help out. I would say the process scripts for Wavelengths are very beneficial, especially if you use them. If you don’t use the tools that the counselors and the people that are leading the groups try to give you, of course, it’s not going to be beneficial to anybody. And you have a counselor to talk to also, but they always try to make you think about exactly what’s bothering you at that point in time.
I’ve made substantial progress in my recovery, of course. I feel a hundred times better. I wake up in the morning and I don’t have the hangover that you never really realize you have. The color of my skin, the yellow is gone. You could go through many things that you know have changes that you went through. Mentally, I’m in a much better place. Physically, I’m in a much better place as far as things go. And I enjoy living here at the beach. It’s my happy place. If I feel like that I’ve had a rough day that’s something that I can just go to.
My mother is very excited about me being sober. She tells me she can go to sleep at night because she knows that she doesn’t have to worry about the fact that I’m going to go out and drive. Or I’m going to end up somewhere that I shouldn’t be, which I never did but my biggest problem was I drove and that one I drank too much. You know the health or having to have that phone call to come and get me out of jail. So those are things that really helped her be able to go to bed at night.