Addiction

My Everyday Struggle

"Life itself is tough. There's days I just want to give up but than my higher power reminds me that I am a fighter."

- Alexa Stringer

 

The Everyday Struggles in life can lead you to a place of vulnerability. I myself have plenty of demons that in reality its hard to face. I grew up in an average family in a small town called Danville, also known as "The Bubble". I was blessed with a wonderful family and and two older siblings. Unfortunately, I was the last was born, Never a dull moment of humility. Life growing up seemed to always be normal, we lived a lavish lifestyle in a quiet area 45 minutes from San Francisco. All things were awesome until I hit the age of 19. Things started to take a turn. I found myself obsessing over the effects from alcohol. At first, I had the worst experience ever waking up in my own vomit with my shower still running. (You think I would never drink after that) That unfortunately was not the caseI always hung out with bad boys because I never had a good relationship with girls nor did I have any close friends growing up. I gravitated towards people or weekend buddies that were always going out or always going to parties. I didn't want to miss out. While I was always out and drinking, enjoying my early ages my alcohol intake started to change. I found my tolerance to be excruciatingly high, for a girl my size. That didn't stop me until my drinking started getting me in trouble with the law. I got an internship with a radio station in San Francisco, California that was known for the Bay Area's party station. That was a excuse for me to go out and have a reason to party. One night after a club night I had a bit to much to drink and ended up driving home. Long story short, I woke up out of my blackout in a jail cell in Alameda County. I was so lost and confused how I got there but in a way, glad I was only to find out I had been arrested for a DUI. I somehow got out of jail, got my items returned to me only to realize I no longer had a cell phone. I had no idea who to call to come pick me up from Oakland but

stumbled across a friends number in my head. I called him and he came and got me. That day I got home everything in my life just seemed to change. From that point on, I am pretty sure I drank all day everyday weather it was by myself or with someone. I felt like I lost everything. My family and friends stopped talking to me because I could never stay sober. That's when a light went off in my head that I had a serious problem only I didn't want to admit to it. (I still as to this day have a hard time) It didn't keep me from going out, I found new friends and new people willing to support my drinking habits. I needed a weekend getaway from life so I decided to go stay at a girlfriends place in Sacramento, California where she introduced me to a bunch of her girlfriends. We all started hanging out on a normal basis and doing what us young girls do best. going out and looking cute. One of the girls had invited me for another weekend boating trip with her roommates at the time. I thought it would be so awesome, us two girls with a bunch of boys. I was currently enrolled in Cosmetology school at this time and told them I had commitments with school and couldn't leave until Friday afternoon. Her roommates came and picked me up, we drove back to they're place and came up with the smart idea to go take the harley's to the county fair and from they're go out afterwards. Well, to say the least that day I almost lost my life. I woke up in a hospital bed with a neck brace and a cast up to my upper thigh. The last thing I remember was being on a motorcycle with some guy I had just met, and hearing a screech coming from the opposite direction that I was facing. We got hit by another motorcycle rider and I flew off, landing underneath a car with a snapped Tibia/Fibula. Thank gosh I went into shock so as someone jumping out of they're car behind us to help me get my helmet off. I looked down and back up at the nice individual and said " I think my leg is broken" only I didn't feel it. (First piece of advice to Woman, never get on a motorcycle with someone you just met. Two, Don't ever wear a dress and high heels either) That next morning at UC Davis Medical Center I underwent surgery

I remained on crutches for the next 3 weeks. I remember during this time I had a few bottles of vodka hiding under my bed so I was pre occupied for the next few days. After I recovered, my family thought it would be a good idea for me to check into a rehab facility. I agreed to it but I wasn't willing to give up just yet I was only 19. One thing I've noticed about sobriety is that no one can force you to get sober. You have to want it on your own and be willing to change. I got out of rehab and instantly started drinking again. Nothing changed. Although I ended up getting kicked out of my parents house and moved in with a friend from rehab in Sacramento. (Thats a chapter in itself) My family and I worked on an agreement to have me move back home and work on myself. I ended up getting a settlement from my accident while living back at my parents and boom. Next thing you know was on cloud nine. I moved out of my parents house, bought a car (one you will hear a lot of because its my favorite) bought endless amounts of alcohol for me and other people and lived up my early 20's. I was out every night, partying, meeting new people, trying new things and of course, getting in trouble along the way. One night I was out and about in downtown Walnut Creek only to wake up once again in a jail cell only this time it was in Martinez, CA. I had gotten a drunk in public, put in a drunk tank to sober up and released. I remember getting home and going to the grocery store with a friend I had picked up along the way. As I was making my way down my street I noticed red white and blue lights behind me. I got pulled over. A week prior to this incident, a local cop pulled me over for hitting a curb driving while on my cell phone. He said he could smell alcohol on me and told me what he was going to do. He left my car where it was at, paid for me to take a cab home and said "I don't want to see you again tonight". Well obviously he had kept an eye out for me as well as my car. My car is a complete cop magnate to begin with considering it's all blacked out. When I got pulled over down my street a cop walked up to my window. He looked at me and said "Alexandra. I can't let you go this time" I thought to myself, what are you talking about I haven't had anything to drink today. Come to find out a day earlier when I was in jail for a drunk in public I still had not yet sobered up enough for the alcohol to completely get out of my system. I came up positive for alcohol and had to encounter the same nightmare all over again. Luckily my friend in the passenger seat was sober and drove my car home, stayed the night and picked me up from Martinez Jail. I was charged with Due for the second time with an alcohol level of .31. I got out the next day, returned home and quickly dialed my lawyer. Within the time my second dui was pending, I received yet another dui only this time it was in Danville and I was walking up to my parents front door with groceries in my hand. (This was about 5 months after my second) The cop approached me and said do you know how fast you were going down that street? I said no and he replied 72mph in a 25mph. I said back well than why couldn't you catch me? I am on private property now and out of my car. He grinned and made me drop my things and come back to my car where he performed alcohol tests. I was not able to decline since I was already on probation for my second and had to agree to the terms and conditions. I declined the physical breathalyzer test and said I would rather draw blood. ( Gives you more time to sober up but not really) Being that I was in Danville, of course pretty much the whole town of Danville police had to show up to arrest me. I went back to the police station and got my blood drawn an hour later. I failed miserably and therefor once again I was transported back to Martinez Jail. I returned home the next day, called my lawyer again and explained the situation. I went and knocked on my neighbors door and said where do I start? She took me to several AA and recovery meetings around the area for the next two weeks. I couldn't stay sober for the life of me. Now, to how I got sober. I became good friends with a neighbor here in Walnut Creek, Ca where I am still currently living. She had quite a few stories to tell as well and expressed to me how she had been sober. I wanted what she had only I didn't believe I had what it took to stay sober. I called her a couple weeks after she had been helping me go to meetings and try to remain sober. I called at 3:00am and asked if she could drive me to the hospital. I had been throwing up blood for the previous two hours. Turned out I had alcohol poisoning. This was two days before Christmas. I looked in the mirror and said to myself "Alexa, I am going to die if I don't change. I can't do this anymore." I have not taken a drink since that day which was December 24th 2014. I am forever grateful to finally be able to give up and be true to myself. Today and everyday I remind myself of the consequences if I were to ever take another drink. I have an addiction to alcohol that I cannot escape. I am telling you this story because life is too short. I got lucky one to many times and I probably would have continued on my path to destruction If I did not change. If you struggle from addiction don't let it remain a secret. It can ruin your life and make you into someone you never thought you would be. I am so thankful to be where I am today and if you don't speak up, no one will ever know what you are really going through. I suggest getting into a treatment center or calling a 911 hotline. Addiction is real and life changing for most and it can even lead to depression and often suicide. (I too have many stories on both of those topics as well but I will save that was another time.) I focused the year 2014 on writing and album based on my previous struggles with alcohol. I am so happy I was able to write down and record my actual experiences from the past. For now I can only focus on my future and believe in myself to do the right thing. We all struggle one way or another with something but the worst you can do is not speak up. You can change and be that person you once thought you were. Show the world your talent and speak your mind. Stay true to yourself. I am forever blessed. 

Alexa Stringer