Every morning when I opened my eyes and realized I was alive, I felt defeated. I felt like I was being punished for being a bad person and most days I didn’t know how I would survive.

For more than a decade, I wanted to die every day. I knew my physical health was dire because I drowned my body in booze every day. I hardly ate, my hands shook non-stop, I was a pathological liar and master manipulator. Sounds charming, right?!?

I always thought one night I would go to sleep and never wake up. I couldn’t figure out how my body could handle the amount of alcohol I drank and I secretly prayed for death just for the relief of it.

What I realize now is each day I suited up and showed up. Each day I went through the motions, went to work, and lived my life to the best of my abilities. I didn’t know there would be a solution, I just didn’t know what else to do. I had to keep moving until I died.

I’d like to tell you I thought living each day was an act of bravery, but I didn’t. I didn’t feel brave or courageous, I felt like a disgusting piece of shit who deserved to be miserable and die. I believed that I was a curse.

What I know today, is going through the motions each day was my way of not giving up. As long as I kept moving forward, I had a chance at figuring out a solution. For me, that solution came in the form of my ‘rock bottom’ or moment of clarity- the moment I realized that drinking was no longer an option for me. And it was that day that I truly began to live.

It took me a long time to feel grateful that I didn’t die. Life is overwhelming and relentless, and for many years I was not equipped to deal with it well. But I continued to move forward, I listened, I let people teach me, and I showed up in my life every day. Even when I felt like shit or was broke or had my electricity turned off or whatever- I continued to show up. That is the best example of bravery and I am grateful I got the opportunity to learn.