I will take a moment and tell you a few things about myself…
- My name is Deb Silver
- I am 47 years old.
- Mother of 3 beautiful children, 2 adults and 1 teenager.
- Celebrating 21 years of marriage to my second husband, my happily-ever-after.
- I have been a stay-at-home mom for the last 13 years.
- Currently, studying the field of holistic nutrition & weight loss, fitness & wellness.
- and training daily, building muscle to compete the Naturals Pro-Qualifier National Bikini competition, Grand Masters division in 2020.
- Along with my sister, I care for my 80+ year old mom who is entering the world of dementia, that is a whole other post!
- I am adopted and have an on and off relationship with my birth family. That is also another post!
- I have spent the best part of 3 decades using external vices to cope with life. and have recently changed those vices from bad, which hurt a lot of people that I love; (including me) to healthy ones making life a whole bunch better for myself and everyone around me.
My life is full. Crazy full but now full with good things.
Most important reason for starting this blog is I am an addict and I recently (15+ months ago) got tired and fed up with my lifestyle and decided to change it. Now I am ready to share that experience.
I went from being in a hungover state almost everyday, overweight, hot flashes, ruddy skin, cranky and unpleasant to be around; to being happy, having a zest for life, smiling more and meaning it! Not only changing my inside to be strong and healthy; but changing my outside to mirror that.
At 47, I turned 20 lbs of body fat to lean muscle mass and I entered my first bikini fitness competition!!! How crazy awesome is that???
I welcome you to share in my journey, the ups and the downs. My intent is that my story will inspire or help someone else to take that first scary-as-hell-step to becoming the best version of themselves, falling in love with the person looking back at them in the mirror. To help you rise up when you have fallen down.
This is the shortened version of how it all transpired….
At the ripe age of 12, I discovered homemade choke cherry wine. If I close my eyes and think about it, I can smell it and feel the settlements going down my throat. It was so awful so very very awful but I loved that buzz, that escape from my life.
That is about the time when my need for external vices slowly started to kick in. In 3 decades of addiction, this vice switched back and forth from several things: cigarettes, weed, pills, shopping, sex, food, booze. Booze being my favorite go to and the hardest to kick. I spent years convincing myself that I didn’t have a hope in hell of stopping, believing that I didn’t want or need to stop. That I didn’t have a “problem”.
I wasn’t your hard core, trying-to-score-my-next-fix addict, or waiting early in the morning for the liquor store to open. No, I was more of a “functioning addict” I thought I had “class”, after all; I drank my wine from a crystal wine glass that had to make me classy!
I made sure I could continue to live an ordinary life and take care of my family. Most days I just “got by” or “pushed through” and went through the motions of life.
I felt like hell, waking up in a brain fog, wondering what that horrible taste in my dry mouth at 4 am was and then not able to go back to sleep. Some mornings I would wake up definitely over the legal blood alcohol limit for driving, sometimes trying to piece my night together before I made that walk of shame to the kitchen where my husband would say “wow, you really went to town last night”. He had no idea how serious and out of control it was. No one did. I hid things well and my life looked amazing from the outside.
A glass of wine in the afternoon with a couple shots of vodka or tequila whatever it took to reach that glorious high. Not every night was a black out, some nights I could stay pretty level and just keep a nice buzz going all day and “fall asleep” watching tv early in the evening. Pretty sad way to exist, it definitely was not living.
You can’t make that change until you are ready….
Christmas 2017, we went to Cabo to stay with my niece for the holidays. Something happened that caused such a “shift” in my very being. I had a night of drinking that made me truly think of more than myself for once.
I haven’t shared this with many people and it’s scary.
Long story shortish… My husband wanted to go out on the town and have a tequila shot at Cabo Wabo, Sammy Hagar’s bar. Of course I was game. Our kiddo would stay with my niece for the evening while we went out. After drinking margaritas all day and eating very little food, I dressed up pretty. put on my heels and hit the town. Hubby had a few beer and a couple shots. I felt anxious being out in public, I didn’t do that often, so I had many shots and many drinks.
So many drinks that I, for some nonexistent reason, got angry at my husband and walked out of the bar and proceeded to stagger around town alone in my tiny dress and heels at 1 am in the morning. Had no clue where the hell I was going or where I was.
My husband was frantic, he spent all our pesos trying to find me. Somehow, with the aid of a higher power, I walked quite a little distance to the safety of the gated community where we staying but from inside those gates, I couldn’t form a sentence to tell the security guards where I needed to go. Eventually, I started staggering up the huge mountain looking for our home.
Along came my husband in a taxi to rescue me. He was so overjoyed to see me, he cried.
He had given up trying to find me on his own and was going back home to ask my niece for help. He was sure I had been kidnapped and was being raped and murdered. The next morning when I looked in the mirror, at my husband and my family it was with a shame I had never felt before. Anything could have happened to me that night. I had put myself in such a dangerous situation.
I had risked them losing their wife, mother and aunt over booze.
I was 46 at the time, I needed to change things. I knew something had to happen. However, my attempt to quit after that was short-lived as always. I started again as soon as I arrived home in Canada. Totally failure again but of course always justifying my reasons to pour that sweet nectar of the gods down my throat. I could justify the hell out of that!
It takes one click, just one light bulb moment and you’re like, I can’t do this anymore…
It was then that I decided to stop and turn my life around.
It was then that I started to grow and I have never ever looked back.
What finally “clicked for me” was after a day of drinking with family and a night of drinking with our dear friends… I woke up January 14, 2018 and realized at last I was absolutely done. I couldn’t go on living like this.
Just like that, my world changed.
It wasn’t an easy journey in any way, shape or form. It was the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. It got pretty messy. Not having something external to help numb me or to push those feelings/traumas/past emotions down inside when they showed up, ripped me to the core.
I had to deal with them, had to face them and heal them. Some of them shattered me and left me sobbing on the floor, wondering if it would just be easier not to be on this earth. Some of them weren’t that bad and I rode them out easily. All of them helped me grow into the strong warrior I am becoming. I am a warrior because I didn’t just survive this, I rose up, I fought and I won.
Now I realize that, just like the phoenix, I am strong enough to always rise up…
If you are reading this and you feel something – you know the feeling I am talking about. That feeling, that voice deep down inside. It gets louder and louder until you can’t ignore it any longer. It’s time. You can do this.
Those of you who have never had a problem with addictions, don’t realize how absolutely wonderful it is waking up every morning with gratitude for the simple feeling of not having a hangover, nor are you jumping on the scale after a night of binge eating hoping to see a lower number. No, you will never understand the how much stronger I feel every night when I lay my head on my pillow and know that I’ve been strong and disciplined that day.
I don’t feel deprived
I don’t feel like I am missing out.
I feel empowered, strong and proud.
I have self-worth and self-love.
For the first time in my life and I walk with confidence, pride and my head held high. Whatever your vice is right now: food, booze, drugs, shopping, bad relationships, etc, you can stop. It will get easier. With time, patience, self-care and dedication; your body and soul will heal. There is a glorious, deeper, more joyful life waiting for you on the other side of whatever your addiction is. If you just take it one day at a time, you will eventually become stronger.
You will reinvent yourself.
The process is a struggle, I am not going to lie, but the outcome is definitely worth it. Life is AMAZING on the other side.
If you know someone who could use these words today, please share this with them…