My name is Arielle Dyment, and THIS IS MY STORY. It's 2014, I am "living the dream" as an event planner in corporate America. I rent a beautiful 1200 sq ft apartment on the outskirts of Washington D.C. I have a ton of friends, attend happy hour 3 nights a week, and I am active. My social calendar is always full and I exude confidence. On paper I appear quite successful; however, underneath the facade, my life is completely out of control.
Internally I am rotting away from alcohol addiction, a battle I have been fighting for ten years. Panic attacks have become my daily norm and my anxiety levels are near crippling. Depression consumes me and I don’t know where to turn. I had tried to stop drinking many times but continually failed. Now my problem is getting worse by the day. It’s 2015, I hit rock bottom. I am thirty pounds underweight and drinking 4 bottles of wine per day. In fact, I am drinking anything and everything I can. I am scared because I am completely dependent on alcohol. My outward appearance begins to reflect my inner insanity. I can't keep up appearances. One night, I black out. In the morning, I look down at my phone to see I had typed a eulogy to myself while drunk. Even my subconscious has given up.
Then, something amazing happens; I reach out for help instead of giving up. My family rushes me to different doctors and I am quickly labeled "alcoholic". I find a treatment center in beautiful British Columbia, jump on a plane, and muster up tiny amounts of courage to begin fighting for my life. I stay in treatment for 90 days. Treatment exposes me to a holistic approach to sobriety and my brain is hungry for more information. The sober life is intriguing. I dig deep and power through many different emotions.
I decide at the end of my 90-day treatment program to move to British Columbia and focus entirely on my well-being. I accept that I am an alcoholic and that addiction is a permanent fixture in my life. I create a program that helps me through the ups and downs of early sobriety. I listen to others who have been sober for years and apply their wisdom to my life. Over time, I get involved with the sober community, shed light on my habits (good or bad), unearth passions from my childhood, and fill my day-to-day with fun activities. I find true love and become a dog-mom. So many things change for me that I want to share a message of hope. I want to help others to achieve a meaningful, sober life so I enroll in school to become a life and recovery coach.
Every day is a new opportunity to learn, grow, change, and simply “just be”. For me, life is not just about the absence of a substance. It’s about learning how to love myself, find compassion in tough situations, embrace my life-long-learning, and give back to others. It’s about finding balance and owning my mistakes, and creating my own “sober compass”.