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"Growing up, I always rebelled."

As I sit here reflecting on my story, a calendar on my desk indicates that I have been sober 2,105 days. Time in sobriety has gone by so fast. What makes my recovery even more amazing is that I can live without having the need or the craving to have alcohol.

I was lying on my living room floor, unable to get up after a long fun night of spending time with family just before Eid Al Adha in 2004. That is where my amazing journey in sobriety began.

Growing up, I always rebelled. All an adult had to do was tell me NO, and I was up for the challenge! I heard that drugs, alcohol, and partying were “bad” for you. I saw videos of drunk drivers getting locked up or hurt while under the influence. I drove by Skid Row many times to see these addicts live in desperate need of life. You’d think this would be enough for me to never go near a drink, right? Well, that was not the case for me. As soon as I found it in myself to take a sip of a beer, I started my journey to an alcohol addiction. 

I experienced a lot throughout my life. Not only did I lose my friends, family, job, money, and car, but I also lost my dignity. Interestingly enough, I was well aware of my doings and the effects it had on me and the people that actually cared about me. Despite this, I clearly did not care about myself. It did not matter to me if I looked clean, well put together, or healthy. I just did what felt good at the moment, and that was getting wasted!

Woman looking to the ocean with arms wide open

When I found out my mom had cancer, I decided to do the right thing and pay her a visit. After seeing her, it all changed. We had a long talk, and an even longer hug. She insisted I join the family for dinner so I can reignite the relationship that once lived amongst us. It was around the holiday, and I knew to expect many family members. As much as I wanted to avoid seeing the cousins, I was kind of happy that I would be included in this family event. 

As we approached the time of Eid Al Adha 2004, and I got together with my amazing family, it hit me. Reality finally sunk in. I have so many people to look up to and a good family that I can proudly lean on as my spinal cord. After a long night full of laughs and mama’s delicious food, I pledged to never have a drink again.