Alcohol and Substance Abuse

“I’m Gill and I’m wearing red to raise awareness for alcohol abuse. I didn’t start drinking until I was 22, but it was immediately a problem. I had no control over my drinking from the start. I quickly became a daily drinker, and by the time I was 24 I began trying to moderate. I tried every strategy I could think of, and was convinced I could learn how to moderate my drinking.

Nothing worked, but I remained dedicated for 5 years. Depression is something I have always struggled with, but when I was 28 I also developed anxiety. After a night of heavy drinking I would be awake for most of the night fighting off anxiety attacks and thinking about how much I hated myself. My depression evolved into suicidal thoughts soon after, but I still believed I could learn how to moderate.

One morning at 5:30 am in November 2019, after being up all night long with anxiety and some really intense suicidal thoughts, I accepted that I am not someone who can drink, ever. The fear of what I could do while drunk was too much.

I’m also a biochemist, so I used my scientific background to educate myself on addiction science. I’ve spent every day for the past 16 months learning about why some people can’t control their drinking. Now I share that information to hopefully help someone else embrace sobriety before their drinking becomes too scary.”

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