The history of my addiction & recovery

I am a Korean Adoptee, that was adopted by a childless American couple at 9 1/2 months old. I never formed a bond with them, and even though they’d probably never openly admit it, I believe they also struggled with forming a true parent-child bond with me.

Baby-Mindy-Hord-Korean-Adoptee-infant-international-adoption

As an adult who is now a parent, looking back, I will say that they had unrealistic expectations and were overly critical of me. They were “religious” to the highest extreme and used their religious beliefs to control my every thought & move. Both parents were egocentric and narcissistic.

international-adoption-korean-adoptee-adoptee-story

Around age 4, I started displaying signs of mental illness. I was a highly stressed, worry-prone and anxious child. I would break out in hives often and my O.C.D. started to disrupt my life while I was in Kindergarten.

mindy-hord-sober-sobriety-sober-is-the-new-black

I was sexually abused by age 5, by a non-family member, but didn’t feel safe to tell anyone. The physical and emotional/mental abuse began at home around the same time. I suffered silently. I always felt different. I always felt alone. I always felt like something was missing. I desperately sought out a connection with others but did not know how to create & maintain a healthy relationship, since I had never experienced love or connection with anyone. I so badly wanted to fit in, but as an adoptee, my life was one big identity crisis.

mindy-hord-fort-bragg-california-sober-is-sexy

I’m an 80’s kid who grew up when the “Just Say No” ad campaign & the U.S. “War on Drugs” was most prevalent.  What I learned at school, was reinforced at home. I was told to say no to drugs and not to fall to peer pressure, but there was never any real education as to what drugs I would come in contact with and why I should say no, other than you would “fry your brain” as taught via the popular video that showed an egg frying in a frying pan. I have always been a curious person. I always searched for certainty and facts. To be honest, it just made me more curious.

I smoked my first cigarette at age 12. I was scared & it really wasn’t a pleasant experience, but I remember feeling this rush of excitement as I did something on my own free will. I remember feeling cool. I remember feeling in control for once in my life.

At age 13, I was offered Marijuana for the first time. I didn’t feel pressured and since I had never been given any substantial reason to say no, other than I would get in trouble. I said decided to try it and see what it was really about. The first time I got high, I felt like I was floating. I was numb to the pain & stress I had felt my entire life. It was a great feeling. It was like a mental vacation for me. I couldn’t understand why they said drugs were so bad because I felt relief for the first time.

After that, I got addicted to the feeling – the thrill of doing something I wasn’t supposed to, feeling like I belonged to the “in-crowd” and having an escape. Pot led to experimenting with alcohol. I got braver and started drinking during lunch while I was in high school. I thought that I was cool and that my friends & boys would like me better.

I could no longer endure the abuse & the terms in which I was living in so left home at age 15. It felt good to be free and be free, but being on my own at that young age came with so many more challenges and A LOT of guilt from my parents.

mindy-hord-teenage-drinking-teen-drinking-sober-up

I started drinking every night. I had a milk crate full of hard liquor. I would spend my weekends drinking a 12-pack of Budweiser along with a fifth of Jose Cuervo. This led to so many poor choices revolving around men, getting involved with the wrong crowds and heavier use.

pregnant-at-18-teen-pregnancy

My drug and alcohol use came to a screeching halt when I found out I was pregnant with my first child at age 18, but it didn’t take long to return to using alcohol to numb the pain. I struggled with an off-and-on relationship with drugs and became more dependent on alcohol as the years flew by. Drugs and alcohol only provided a temporary fix to my mental anguish and false happiness but left me with a history of bad decisions, failures and a lot of shame. Recreational drug use became habitual drug use. The problem was that I was a functioning drug addict. No one knew. I still went to work. I still took care of my responsibilities. I was a “highly functional druggie”. I could hold conversations, perform my job duties higher than a kite and no one could ever tell. I felt even more in control of my life, knowing that I could find relief to my pain, overcome my social anxiety, and hide what a mess I truly was.

In 2012, I found myself completely lost once again, back at rock bottom and that is when I stumbled across someone and something that would change my life. I found Becky Brossett who introduced me to fitness. I found a new crowd, which consisted of people who were positive, high achievers and pushed me to be a much better version of myself. I started taking care of myself and stopped smoking and stopped drinking. I started overcoming my past. I started to become a better person and forgive myself for the mistakes I had made in the past. I realized I did the best that I could with what I had. I started helping others, which helped me heal myself. The downside to that was that I started to lose myself in others problems. I started to become more of a people pleaser and found myself neglecting my needs to try to fix others. I also had found a new sense of confidence and started digging into my adoption. Searching for my birth family, connecting with other Korean Adoptees and taking a DNA test unlocked some doors that had never been opened and I found myself in a deep dark depression. I tried to ignore it and my drinking became heavier and heavier. Feeling numb to my pain became the thing I searched out the most.

mindy-hord-23-and-me-23andme-DNA-test
To order your DNA kit, click on this link.

Mid-2015, everything came crashing down around me. 2 days after my sons 5th birthday, on June 9th, I found myself facing my 3rd divorce as my husband of 6 years and I were separated and my 2 oldest children moved in with their Dad. I was homeless, living in someone else’s home on an air mattress with my son. I had hit rock bottom once again and couldn’t find any reason to pick myself back up again. I didn’t have the strength.

After a life-changing event, my husband started an intense out-patient treatment program to treat his PTSD. He started to find peace and answers to his problems. He kept encouraging me to do the same as he learned more about mental illness, realizing he had missed all the signs I had displayed for the 8+ years we had been together.

Finally, at the end of August 2015, I checked myself into the same mental health facility, as an inpatient. The day I  voluntarily checked myself in, I was suicidal and completely hopeless & lost.

mental-illness-mental-health-end-the-stigma

7 days later, I was discharged with a new mindset, new lease on life and a new set of coping skills. I continued treatment as an inpatient for several weeks. While in therapy, it became apparent to the therapists that I had formed a very unhealthy relationship with alcohol and was still abusing it as a coping mechanism. I was encouraged to take a look at my behavior and make a decision to change it. It was also pointed out that my anxiety and depression medications became less effective with alcohol consumption.

I wasn’t ready to admit that I had a problem, but by the end of September, I stopped ignoring how much control alcohol had over my life and how it was negatively affecting my life. I set the goal to only drink 5 times in the month of October. I reserved my “partying time” for the end of October because I had plans to visit Miami for a few days.

Miami-drunk-sober
When we arrived in Miami, it was customary to party with our Floridian friends and we were there to celebrate a friends achievement and it just happened to be my husbands 39th birthday. On October 24, 2015, we started drinking early, pre-gaming before the event that began at 5 p.m. We started with beer and red-bull and vodka since we knew we had to stay awake because we had planned to have an after-party at Scarlett’s, our favorite Club in Miami. We continued to drink bottle after bottle of Grey Goose from 5 until we arrived at the Club. (I can’t even remember when we arrived at the Club because I was already so wasted.) I have very limited memory of the time spent at the Club. We left around 2 a.m., but I don’t remember even leaving, although there was a picture of me awake as we waited for the car from the Valet. The next morning I woke up feeling disoriented and not fully aware of my actions from the night before. I felt so much shame and regret. I could not think coherently. I felt brain dead. I declared once and for all on my friends couch that I didn’t ever want to feel this way again. I shared on Facebook that I made the decision to get sober.

decision-to-get-sober

I have not had a sip of alcohol since around 2 a.m the morning of October 25, 2015. It hasn’t been easy, but I believe getting sober was the best birthday present I could ever give my husband and the best gift I could give my children and myself.

Getting sober has been challenging in ways I never imagined. It has been humbling & extremely eye-opening on so many levels. I have had to learn who the real me is for the first time in my life. I have had to create new habits and routines. I have had to re-evaluate relationships I had. I have had to 100% feel all the feelings that I had ignored and avoided my whole life. I have had to rediscover how to do everything sober. I have had to remind myself nearly every day why I can never go back to drinking..because that one drink today would easily become a case of beer, maybe not in a month, but most definitely within 6 months.

I have held myself publicly accountable and shared my journey openly since day 1, which at first, much to my surprise inspired and influenced others to take a look at their relationship with alcohol and decide to start their sobriety journey too. If it weren’t for the sober community, which turns out to be bigger and more supportive than I ever imagined, I could not have made it as far as I have. I am thankful for everyone who has supported me and kept me inspired along my journey to staying 100% sober. I now can say I am truly living life to its fullest and all my fears that I felt regarding sobriety were completely invalid.

Because of this, I have decided to pursue a Life Coach and Recovery Coach Certification so I can continue to pay it forward.

If you are reading this story and any of it resonates with you, let’s connect. You are not alone. We are not alone. If I can get sober, anyone can. I promise it’s worth it.

Mindy-Hord-Sober-is-the-new-black.jpg

Advertisements

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.

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 

sobriety is sexy.jpg

…. 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.