I was so honored when Lyndsey asked to interview me for her portfolio. She has been through more in the last couple of years than some will go through in a lifetime. Our connection that grew to be as strong as it is through our struggles could never be broken. We get each other.
This angel writes so beautifully, and she has been one of my biggest supporters throughout all of my highs and lows. She believes in me, what I want to do and the vision I have for my life. I am forever grateful for her.
I want to share this interview we did together as a little bit more insight on why I live a life of sobriety and what it took to get here.
"Michelle Carbonneau, twenty-five and sober. The term alcoholic is thrown around extremely casually in our twenties. It is an adjective many individuals use to describe themselves after a heavy night of drinking or to lightly poke fun at their actions during a small bender. The imagery of an alcoholics is ingrained in our minds from television and movies; often associated with a middle-aged man posted up drunk and slurring his words at a dark dingy pub. Michelle however is a young, happy go lucky, vibrant woman, whose underage partying ways excelled at an alarming rate in her early twenties and eventually lead her down a grim path of self hatred and extreme anxiety.
“I started drinking at the age of 15. Steady weekend binge drinking from 17 - 23.” It is no secret that the majority of teenager’s binge drink, however many of these individuals grow to slow down their drinking habits and live highly functioning lives. This is not the case for everyone. Michelle, now a sobriety coach and mental health advocate, truly believes that her life will highly benefit from never touching alcohol again. When asked about the future, Michelle responded “I will never drink again. I don't say that naively. I love my sober life way too much to give it up. I believe I am now strong enough to face everything that comes my way in my right mind.”
Giving up the party lifestyle of your twenties would seem to be very limiting on your friend circles, social life and dating pool. Michelle has made it her goal in life to mentor those who struggle with mental health problems and promote a positive sober lifestyle through her social media and blogging. She recognizes that she had to cut ties. When asked what keeps her going she responded with, “What keeps me going is actually remembering those times spent in a constant state of panic and knowing I NEVER want to feel that way again.”
Michelle was able to link her severe anxiety and feelings of dread with the vast consumption of alcohol she would intake in a week. Binge drinking on weekends spilled into the week and her anxiety became a constant cloud floating over her. Michelle described her breaking point as “after a string of hospital and doctor visits when I was put on such heavy anti-anxiety drugs that I felt like a zombie constantly.”
That is what Michelle’s life has now become focused on, living. Living life to the fullest, she enrolled in a make up Artistry program in the fall and has dedicated the last year to opening herself up as a life line to anyone struggling with poor mental health or [substance abuse issues].
“I would love other 25-year-old's to understand that getting sober is a beautiful thing. You do NOT lose your social life. Some people look at you like you're nuts, and others look at you with respect. Either way it doesn't matter what anyone else thinks. Do it for your own health and happiness. I always think it's funny how I say I got sober, because my body wasn't addicted to alcohol. I didn't have to withdraw from it. I didn't attend AA meetings or find some spiritual path. Choosing to live sober at such a young age with most people around you partying all the time can be scary and I get that but it is freeing, liberating, and ultimately the best form of self-care for those living with or without a mental illness. Your life becomes brighter."