I wanted to share my story as it will hopefully help those who struggle with addiction and or losing a parent. I started drinking when I was 16 years old although I always swore I wouldn’t end up drinking. Alcoholism runs in my family and I always wanted to stay away from it as I saw how many problems it caused my family and friends.
I ended up trying it when I was 16 and immediately fell in love with the buzz feeling I got! I also was always pretty shy and reserved and I felt that alcohol gave me the courage to do and say things that I always wanted to do but just didn’t have the courage.
I went through a lot in my teenage years, an unplanned pregnancy and a sexual assult happened to me in my sophomore year of high school (1991). These issues were I know, were the cause of my drinking.
At first it was fun and I was the life of the party! As time went on, I used it to escape life, stress, and anything else I didn’t want to deal with. I came from a very happy family and had a wonderful childhood. My family tried to help me when I was 21 and had gotten so depressed and tried to commit suicide. After this, I agreed to go and get help and go to treatment. I only lasted in treatment for 2 days. I wasn’t ready to quit. Then, on February 15, 1999 I literally woke up and got out of bed that morning and I knew that God was tapping me on the shoulder telling me, it’s time to quit. I knew I couldn’t ignore this.
I went through and outpatient treatment program. It was truly the BEST thing I could have ever done! I learned so much about myself and why I drank, and how to stay sober by going to AA meetings and making better choices.
Since then, I have now been sober for 14 years by the grace of God, and the wonderful supportive family and friends I have. I have been through a divorce prior to my current husband now (who is the best husband ever), I have because of my sobriety and positive influence from my Mother started and be the owner and operator of my own daycare and preschool for the past 6 years. My Mother all through my life has inspired me to be the best I can be and that with God, and a positive attitude ALL things are possible. She truly is an angel! My hero! All my life I grew up with both my parents supporting me in everything that I did.
I thought I would always have my parents around at least until they were 80 something or 90 years old. That was always my hope! Unfortunately, that was not true for my Mom. This past September 3, 2013 my Mom passed away unexpectedly from a brain aneurysm. She was 59 years old. She was the healthiest person you would ever meet! She was active, motivated, had a smile on her face each and every day because she was truly happy to be alive and loved God and her family more than anything! This past summer in July, my parents both went with my husband Joe and I to the Bret Michaels concert in Prior Lake, MN. My Mom LOVED it! She danced the whole night away! Also, my Mom was so proud and happy for me and all I have done, and she told me that every day! She would turn a negative thing into a positive all the time. She lived a life well lived. It was just too short. But what brings me great comfort is knowing that she didn’t suffer and that she is with God in a good place and someday I will see her again.
An unexpected event that happened to my husband and I was, this past August my husband Joe and I were chosen as one of the finalists on the Rock My RV show to win the Epic RV that Bret and the team designed. Although we didn’t win, we had the BEST time! We were able to meet Bret Michaels, have him sign our guitar and be a part of the show! It was amazing! We will remember it forever. Bret is such a wonderful person who we are so honored to have gotten to know, and become friends with.
Prior to being on the show my Mom took me shopping to buy some really nice clothes. She was such a fashionable lady who inspired us all to sparkle with rhinestones and glitter. Every outfit she ever wore was always sparkling! Just like her personality. Every person she met was inspired to be a better person and to love people like she did.
So, as I am still sober here today. The moral of my story is this, if you have faith, a positive attitude and an appreciation for the life that you are given, anything is possible!!! And, although my Mom is no longer here and I have had to go through it, I am so thankful today that I am sober. Because you CAN get through these things so much easier if you aren’t self medicating! Trust me!! Life can and will go on and will get better each day if you believe! Thank you so much for letting me share my story. I hope it inspires someone to have hope.
– Tanya Marcella