My Imposter Syndrome in Silicon Valley took control of me. I remember filing for my Articles of Incorporation half drunk. My anxiety and self-doubt were out of control. On the outside, I was thriving and growing at lightning speed but on the inside, I felt like I had no idea what I was doing. I felt so inferior to the network I was a part of and could not understand my strengths. I only focused on my weaknesses. Six months into starting my first company, I hit rock bottom emotionally. My years of using alcohol to manage my stress, anxiety, and imposter syndrome had become a full-blown addiction. I remember pouring a whiskey neat at 9 am after my family had left for school and work just to find the courage to create our new website. I didn’t think I was worthy enough to be a Founder & CEO. I knew that I could do it but I didn’t think I was good enough to do it.
I was at rock bottom with my marriage, my job, my family, my health, my self worth, and every friendship I had. The only thing I truly cared about was when I would get my next drink and how I could do it alone so no one would judge me for the amount of alcohol I was about to consume. I was hiding every fear I had in a bottle of whiskey and wine.
You see, when you have been drinking heavily since you were a young teenager, you really don’t know how to function without it as an adult. You don’t even realize how far gone you truly are until you stop.
My first 30 days of sobriety were the most uncomfortable I had ever been in my life. I experienced severe depression, suicidal thoughts, anxiety, and panic attacks for the first time in my life. I learned that I was indeed addicted to alcohol but also that I was addicted to food, work, dysfunction, negative self-talk, perfectionism, and the adrenaline rush of fight or flight mode.
Addiction does not discriminate... it does not care how old you are, what race you are, how much money you have, or where you grew up. Addiction feeds off of your insecurities and fear. Until you make a commitment to no longer feed it, addiction will ruin your life.
You shared your history of alcoholism and your journey to sobriety with the military spouse community at InDependent in a bold but educational way. You paired your personal story with the stages of alcoholism with facts, resources, and the personal invitation to connect. You addressed the problem that many people are turning to alcohol as a stress reliever and a coping mechanism. You addressed the stigma that surrounds asking for help with alcoholism. Now, there's a living resource to both direct people to help and inform community members about what this journey is like. You've shown that high-functioning, successful, young military spouses do struggle with alcoholism and that it is not only okay but critical to get help.
Director of Operations at InDependent