“Getting sober was absolutely the hardest thing I’ve ever done.”
“You don’t have to be afraid to be yourself. You don’t have to go down the path that I chose because it wasn’t worth it. I really thought that it was just experimentation. I didn’t see the harm that it would cause me, my family, and others.”
No one plans on becoming addicted.
“So my first drink was at about 12 or 13 years old with my older brother. We had stolen some of my parents’ alcohol. I remember hating the taste but loving the warm feeling and loving how relaxed thereafter I was.”
The decision to drink is YOUR choice. Choose your friends wisely. Remember, if your friends drink, you are more likely to drink.
“I found a group of girlfriends that were doing the same things and on weekends we would be drinking; however, in high school, I’d say a sophomore year right before I turned 16 we started drinking at school. We’d bring some vodka in that we had stolen from the store and secretly be drinking in class and in the bathroom at lunch.”
Do you worry about disappointing your parents?
“Because I was so out of control I definitely think that my mother received the worst of it. She was probably the closest thing to me growing up; however, once my drinking picked up that relationship starting waning in my priorities.
“She wanted to stop me from going down this path time and time again. She would cry and cry and cry and beg and plead for me to stop. And no matter what, what she did, no matter what she said, I couldn’t stop and I didn’t believe her. I just continued to rebel against her and wanted to prove her wrong.
“I didn’t think that I was going to be like the rest of my family in the form that I didn’t think I was going to have any form of an addiction. I thought this was going to be something that I could stop on my own and something that wouldn’t ever get out of control like it did.
“The harm that I did my family is something that is really, really tough to repair even now in sobriety. There was so much trust lost and so much faith in me really lost. It was awful.
If you drink alcohol, you are more likely to be sexually assaulted.
“I thought that I had enough friends around me and people around me to protect me from predators that could potentially rape me or harm me or sexually assault me. However there were times during that period where I was sexually assaulted and raped. The trauma that I experienced was so degrading that my drug addiction picked up excessively.
“They had told me in DARE that alcohol was a gateway drug and in hindsight now I know that that is true; however, at the time I just thought alcohol was getting out of hand for me, so I started to try other things.
“First was cocaine, then was pills, OxyContin, Xanax, Adderall – you name it. I was trying thing after thing after thing to take me out of myself and to cure myself of this uncomfortable feeling. I hated who I had become. I was loaded from then on, non-stop.
“My hopes to get married young, my hopes to have children young, my hopes to be a true adult young totally dissipated. All the losses that I experienced and the sexual assault and just the dark path that I went down doesn’t have to be your story,” Lindsey said.
You have a choice.
Talk to your teen today about the dangers of underage drinking. Remind them they have a choice.