“Hi, I’m Adriana Matak and I am an alcoholic.”
Not the most glamourous introduction, I know but I’d prefer to set the scene from the start. You’ll either connect with my message, or you won’t. In a former life, not too long ago I spent 11 years fuelling an addiction to alcohol and carelessly tampering with drugs, while diving deeper into the depths of depression. Basically, I was walking towards rehab, in my designer shoes and you probably never would have known because I was a high-functioning addict. I have survived anyone’s worst nightmares and here I am, I live to tell my tales. My self sabotaging streak was met with self hate, perpetual self hate- a cycle I knew I needed to break. But how?
In March 2016, I sunk the deepest I’d ever sunk in depression before and began to pen down a suicide note. I reflected on the years of the abusive relationship I’d had with myself and every lesson I’d ever allowed inside my life. Sex, drugs and alcohol were my favourite distractions in the past, but in that very moment, my reflective narrative had me thinking. I told myself, “You’ve been this alcohol reliant and addicted freak show for the past 11 years and it got you this far but life doesn’t look the way you expected it would. How about instead of committing suicide, you give sobriety a chance and if that doesn’t work, do what you want with your life?!”
Let me tell you now, nothing scares an addict more than the idea of getting clean and sober. It meant I had to unlearn all my former habits, rewire my brain for self love and most importantly, admit my powerlessness to alcohol. That’s some scary stuff right there. My sober anniversary is 11.9.2016 and while I am new to this new path, I am still proud because it’s the cleanest my blood has been in over a decade.
“It’s ironic because as a travel blogger I always looked for the road less travelled and as an addict, sought the road most had already travelled.”
Why am I telling you this instead of all the other great things I have achieved? Like I said, my message won’t connect with everyone but right now, it is my greatest passion. I am open about my new journey and past struggles because I know what it’s like to contemplate taking your own life and I know what it’s like to look for any reason not to. I know from personal experience when I was seeking sobriety, I looked for people to look up to who had already walked the road before me. It’s ironic because as a travel blogger I always looked for the road less travelled and as an addict, sought the road most had already travelled.
If you’re wondering how to get sober on your own, my journey is yours to learn from. I got sober without any rehab facility, less than five AA meetings and no support from my family. I was basically a leper of shame to them. This didn’t stop me from being open about my struggles and despite many people around me telling me to say less as I’ll never find love, I still managed to meet the man of my dreams not long after my one year sober birthday. I am living proof that you can turn your life around and life the life of your dreams, you just need to give yourself a real chance.
I hope you find your reasons to continue here.