Name: Krista Lennerton
Location: Winchendon, Massachusetts
Recovery Date: November 9, 2014
Recovering From: alcohol and drugs
About Krista: I am a 30 year old mother of two girls, a 4 year old and a 1 month old. I have an Associates degree in human services but I am finishing up my Bachelors in sociology currently. I want to become a therapist and complete a Masters in social work but one thing at a time.
Q. Before you entered recovery, what did you think the “thing” you were addicted to gave you, did for you, etc.?
A. I always thought that alcohol and drugs gave me a social life. I was so socially awkward and I really didn’t think that I could do anything sober. I remember going to the bar later on in the night sober and thinking I had to pound drinks to get drunk just to talk to people. I thought alcohol made me cool and funny and social and that was all a bunch of lies.
Q. Now that you are in recovery, what have you learned about that “thing?”
A. I am cool and social and funny all on my own. Who I am today is someone I always wanted to be and I am so grateful I have gotten to know her. Alcohol made me a sloppy mess that frankly, no one liked. Today I have the respect of my peers, educators, my family, my friends, and my community I could not say that before.
Q. How are you recovering (e.g., 12-step program, rehab, counseling, on your own, etc.)?
A. I began this journey with AA but I realized that program wasn’t for me. I work my own program now and do what I need to do to remain sober.
Q. In recovery, how do you give yourself what you thought that “thing” provided?
A. I practice extreme self care, I force myself to do hard things and be uncomfortable consistently. Finding comfort in being uncomfortable was the best gift I could have given myself. Life is uncomfortable and facing the feelings head on shows you how minor those feelings really are once you deal with them.
Q. What was your “rock bottom” or “breaking point” when you realized you needed to change?
A. The last night I drank I went out with a friend and told my boyfriend I was going to get my hair done and be home by 9pm. I got my hair done at my friend’s house and drank about 8 beers during that time. We went out around 8pm and I proceeded to drink until I blacked out at the bar. From that point on the night was a blur, I barely remember anything until I snapped out of my black out at 3 am at my friend’s house and I couldn’t even read a digital clock. I panicked because I didn’t know where I was and realized I had totally blown my boyfriend off without even realizing it. I had walked home from the bar down a really busy main road stumbling the whole way and I lost my wallet which had everything in it. Thank God some nice man found my wallet and somehow got my phone number and called me to return it. The next day my boyfriend told me to get help or never speak to him again and I never drank again. I have no doubt in my mind that he saved my life.
Q. What has been the hardest part of recovery so far?
A. Learning how to live life. I wasn’t living when I was actively drinking I was existing. I was living every moment for the next social event or next drink and I had no idea what really mattered in the world. I wasted so much freaking time worried about what people thought and where I was going that night it makes me sick. I didn’t travel, explore, go on adventures, or do anything other than drink for 10 years. It took me 12 years to get my Associates degree for crying out loud. Drinking gave me an out, it allowed me to not really live and once I got sober I had to live. There was no way I could ignore my life passing before my eyes and the fact that every day was just like the one before it. My daughter deserved better and so did I so I had to get uncomfortable and go achieve some stuff. I had to focus on goals and get to know myself again. It was really hard but I am so glad I was able to do this.
Q. What about recovery has been easier than you had anticipated?
A. Not drinking has literally been the easiest part of this whole process. I haven’t craved a drink or missed drinking at all.
Q. What has helped you the most in recovery?
A. Forcing myself to do the hard things. Resources such as podcasts, Instagram and other tools have been great as well. It is so important to find other people like you even if it’s only to validate yourself.
Q. Who has helped you the most in recovery?
A. My family and friends have been supportive but I have helped myself. No one else had the ability to help me, not really.
Q. What has been the biggest surprise about recovery?
A. How awesome it is! Even the hard things are somehow easier than when I was drinking. Everything seemed so hard before I got sober and yes it has taken time to learn how to do things and how to function as a human but it’s happening slowly and it feels so good.
Q. What role has family played in your recovery?
A. A very small role. My family is made up of people with their own issues. Everyone has their own life to live and that is okay but no one in my family talks about anything real. I don’t think anyone has even shown much of an interest in my recovery except to ask nosy questions lol. It is fine, I don’t tolerate these type of relationships anymore so I don’t find myself close to my family because I can’t stand that no one can talk about anything real. It drives me crazy.
Q. Knowing what you do now, what would you tell your pre-recovery self about recovery?
A. To just do it and ask questions later. Everything is meant to be this way, this is the life I was meant to live and it is life or death that I live it.
Q. What would you say to someone who is thinking about recovery?
A. If you are even thinking about it then you have a problem and should consider help. If you are questioning whether or not you are living the best life for yourself than 9 times out of 10 you’re not and you should make a change.