Emily grew up with a loving family, but her home life was turbulent. She dealt with domestic abuse in her home from a young age, and when she was in kindergarten, someone she knew and trusted sexually assaulted her. Her mother struggled with an addiction to pills and was in and out of psychiatric hospitals, often leaving home for months at a time. Through it all, Emily quickly learned that she needed to make everyone happy by being good and doing what others wanted her to do.
Emily was a responsible kid and teen. Although she occasionally drank with her peers, things never got out of hand. However, after she had weight loss surgery in 2010, her body started processing alcohol differently, and her social drinking evolved into a coping mechanism and a way to escape. By 2012, she was drinking heavily regularly.
As an adult, Emily settled into a successful career as a swim instructor and private coach. Her work was very demanding, and by the time she got home to her family, she felt completely drained. To cope, Emily would grab a few bottles of wine and down them as fast as she could. All she wanted was to shut off and go to sleep. In the morning, she’d always wake up wanting to stop, but her body was so addicted that she’d have the shakes. No matter how much she tried to stop, Emily always ended up drinking again.
In 2016, Emily’s dad passed away. Amid the loss, she was trying to stay sober. She had achieved 90 days alcohol-free at one point, but conflict with her husband sent her over the edge, and she started drinking again. By this point, she was drinking three bottles of wine a night, sometimes within a single hour. Then, she’d be at the grocery store the following morning at 7 a.m., waiting for it to open so she could buy more alcohol.
One night, a family member called the police to place Emily on suicide watch. She resisted and ended up hogtied in her front yard in front of all her neighbors and family. That was the breaking point for her.
“My alcoholism was the hardest experience of my life. I got divorced, damaged my relationships with my kids…I never thought I’d be happy again,” she says. “I knew if I didn’t get it taken care of, I was going to die or commit suicide.”
Emily entered treatment at Nova Recovery Center in December of 2018. While she was there, things weren’t easy. Working through her recovery program was challenging, but several staff changes during her time at Nova made it more difficult. At one point, she almost left, but a Nova staff member came after her and convinced her to keep fighting for her recovery. Emily wasn’t sure she’d make it through the program, but she was hopeful, so she gave it a shot anyway.
At Nova’s facility in Wimberley, Emily continued to work closely with the treatment staff and her counselor, who helped her understand her struggle with codependency. In working with treatment professionals, she discovered that her addiction was more complex than she had imagined. For years, she had been trying to use alcohol to deal with clinical issues instead of addressing the root causes of those issues.
“I learned that I needed to do the work for me, not to get someone else’s approval,” she says. “I also really developed self-awareness even though it was really hard. I still use those tools today, and I don’t even have a desire to drink now. Everyone’s experience is different, and not everybody has that desire taken away from them, but I really believe, had I not gone to Nova, I would still be struggling.”
As of today, Emily has been sober for three years. She has worked hard to rebuild the trust of her children and loved ones again, which has given her the gift of relationships she never thought were possible. She owns and operates a successful swim school and also makes time to care for her mental health with hobbies like raising chickens. She enjoys spending that time in nature while nurturing and caring for the animals.
“I’m glad I finished my time at Nova in spite of all the challenges because I don’t think I would be sober or alive right now if I hadn’t done the work,” she says. “Learning self-awareness and being honest about what’s going on in my mind were the biggest things that helped me. The only person that can fix it is us and if we’re not successful, then we’re more likely to use again. We must really understand ourselves.”
If you’re struggling with addiction like Emily was, there’s hope for you too. Help is available now. Please call (888) 427-4932 or contact Nova Recovery Center online to learn more about our drug and alcohol rehab program.
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One of our understanding, dedicated advisors will contact you about your options. Begin healing today.
Nova Recovery Center is dedicated to helping you or your loved one get help. Please call or fill out this form for a confidential consultation. One of our understanding, dedicated advisors will contact you about your options. Begin healing today.