Surviving the Hurricane

I grew up in a sleepy little TEENY TINY coastal town in Northern California. I convinced myself that all there was to do there was “drink, do drugs, fuck, or fight” because it was such a small, boring town with nothing else to do.

I used to say that all the time. Isn’t it funny how self-absorbed we can be? We have beliefs that have been created by our own version of reality. We live by these belief systems and begin to believe our own BULLSHIT, while trying to convince others.

Whatever you believe comes true. Where you focus, energy flows. If you believe that all there is to do, is party, then you’ll never try to seek out any other options because you’ve convinced yourself that there isn’t any alternative.

In 2001, I moved to Texas. I moved to a town that was nearly 4 times the size of my hometown. Guess what everyone in this area believe? Most of the residents in our county will tell you that all there is to do is drink…….. because it’s a small boring town. Some will tell you it’s “just how things are done around here”. Talk to anyone who drinks frequently or has an unhealthy relationship with alcohol and they’ll tell you the same. I’ve met people who live in large cities who’ll tell you that all there is to do is drink.

When I moved to Texas, guess what? I gravitated towards the drinkers. That’s where I felt most at home. I was drunk at my first Texas wedding within the first week of my arrival & hit up my first club within the first month.

I was a partier, but after being a resident of Washington County, Texas for about a year, I have to say I was shocked at how much alcohol was consumed. There was alcohol served at every function and I mean EVERY function. Baby showers, baby’s baptisms, first communions, baby’s 1st birthday parties, you name it. It was “normal”.

Their “normal” became MY “normal”. You know how the saying goes, “If you can’t beat them, join them!”

This weekend we’re being held hostage in our house due to Hurricane Harvey. It’s predicted that our area is going to get about 20″ of rain. Houston and coastal towns like Rockport and Corpus Christi are getting hit HARD, by the heavy rain and high winds. [Keep Texas in your thoughts.].

I saw this on Facebook & I couldn’t help but think about the only 2 “Hurricane weekends” I’ve been through.

Growing up in California, there wasn’t any risk of tornadoes or hurricanes. In 2005 and 2008 I remember tropical storms that potentially threatened our area. My old employer was TERRIFIED of bad weather, so I always got time off whenever the weather seemed the least bit threatening. I remember those two “Hurricane Weekends”. All we did was PARTY for 3-4 days straight at friends. I remember in 2005 sitting outside getting wasted with a bunch of people, then hoping in a friends Winnebago and continuing drinking as we toured the county, with our kids. I remember in 2008, drinking all morning, afternoon and into the night for 3 days and playing wii at a friends house. I can’t remember any conversation that took place over those 2 weekends and don’t even hang out with any of those people anymore.

Hurricanes were just another reason to get wasted. I didn’t think about how thankful I was to be alive. I didn’t ever feel grateful for the fact that my boss paid me during those times he let me off because he wanted to make sure I was with my family and stayed safe. I didn’t think about how the Hurricanes could have came through our town and how unprepared we’d have been and unable to make the best decisions while intoxicated.

But now 671 days sober, I can sit back and reflect on how incredibly lucky I was to have never been harmed, or arrested during my irresponsible moments, that were all fueled by alcohol.

The one thing that sobriety has brought into my life is a greater sense of GRATITUDE & a higher level of self-awareness.

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There is nothing sexy about a drunk girl!

When did you start drinking??
I grew up with parents & grandparents who had a liquor cabinet. I grew up in the “wine country”. My grandpa brewed his own beer. My family had wine or a “high-ball” often at dinner. Both of my grandmothers drank heavily. My Papa didn’t drink, he’d quit when my mother was still a young child.

Looking back, there was always alcohol present, but honestly, I don’t feel like it negatively impacted me or influenced my decision to start drinking at an extremely young age. I remember taking sips of my dad and grandpas beer. I always liked beer.

I started drinking recreationally at age 15 when I left home. I drank to be cool. I drank because I thought it impressed guys. Looking at the pictures I can truly say, there is nothing sexy about a sloppy drunk. I learned to drink because it gave me fake-confidence and it helped keep my mind off the things that ate at my soul. I quit drinking with all 3 pregnancies, but before each pregnancy was partying pretty hard, so by the time I found out I was pregnant each time (around 5-7 weeks), there had already been several weekends that I knew I had been drunk before I even knew I was pregnant. I remember not being able to wait to drink again. As the years went by, my drinking became heavier and more frequent.

Going clockwise, these pictures are:

• 1998 (17 years old)
• 2006 (26 years old)
• 2013 & 2014 (33 years old; passed out in the truck next to Rebel, something I once saw another mother do when I first moved to Texas and thought was absolutely horrific. And passed out mid-day on a vacation, tubing with old friends and family)
• 2015 the last day I drank Grey Goose from 5 pm until 2 am that day & only remember the first couple hours
• July 14, 2017 – 628 days sober 

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…. you may have followed my story on Instagram or Facebook & read my posts and think that you don’t have a problem, which not everyone does. Everyone has a different relationship with alcohol… BUT I know for me, what started off rather innocently, “for fun”, over time ended up being a big problem.

Have you ever stepped back and re-evaluated the things in your life that “you’ve always done” or done for years??

My transformation began with fitness, then a desire to be physically healthy, which together made me start to want to be stronger and healthier mentally, which is what led to my decision to get sober. Isn’t it funny how a single decision can start a domino effect in your life, either negatively or positively??

At any point in time, you can change the course of your life, with one single decision.

Sending all my love to all my sober family. I was so shocked and am now so appreciative of just how big and supportive the community is. And I’m so thankful for the fitness community that has helped me through all of this the past 18+ months. Support is everything when you’re trying to make a change. I have a private support group open to anyone who is looking for guidance, support, and help along the way. Click on this link to request to join. 

Who would you be without your story?

I was contacted by @queensofsobrietyclub on Instagram and asked if she could feature my story on her page. Of course, I said yes.

It is funny how most of us hide our struggles with addiction and even deny that a problem exists. Then when we find the courage to make the changes necessary and share our truth, the shame starts to subside when we realize the power of our story.

I am always honored when someone wants to hear my story or gains inspiration from it.
Thank you to everyone who has supported me now or in the future.  I hope that sharing my story, my pain, my struggles, my truth will help at least one person.

To read my story, click on this link.

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