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HomePersonalHello. I'm Mercedes and I'm an Alcoholic.

Hello. I’m Mercedes and I’m an Alcoholic.

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Hi, I’m Mercedes.

I am a lover of elephants, a sister to 6 siblings, a violinist, a music teacher, an auntie to 13 beautiful nieces and nephews, an avid reader, a Volvo driver, an aspiring pianist/guitarist, a DIY-er, a roommate, and I am an Alcoholic.

Before you read any further, I want you to know that what you find here is a story about Love, Truth, and how I came to know these things through my Higher Power whom I call God. It is the beginning of my journey of patience, endurance, and learning that I am a Divine Being. I encourage you to take a few minutes to explore what I have to offer.

Seven months ago, I was under the impression that I had things figured out. I had recently started an online boutique, and felt more inspired than I had in years. I took off to Seattle after finishing a great semester of music courses. The plan was to have a little vacation in my favorite state before moving to Alaska to chase my fairy tale ending. After that I was to finish my last two semesters of school in Virginia and continue on with my “happy” life. How could The Universe lead me astray?!? Here’s a hint, if someone is telling you how happy they are all the time, READ BETWEEN THE LINES. I was putting off a great facade of happiness (or so I thought), but inside I was empty. All of these things were worthwhile and meaningful but the one factor that was off was me.

On May 12 , three hours after I should have boarded a plane from Seattle to Alaska, I slowly regained consciousness in a hospital bed with no recollection of how I got there. I had only intended to be slightly intoxicated so as to pass the time in the airport. I somehow managed to drink almost an entire bottle of whiskey within three to four hours. They say alcoholics are defined by “the craving” which for me looks like “Once you start you can’t stop.” I was just sitting in a park, making bracelets, walking down the street with my suitcase, and having a perfectly normal conversation on the phone with my mom right before I blacked out. Not even two hours later she received a phone call from the same cell phone, but this time it was a different voice.

Paramedics called to notify her that I was unconscious. They had transported me from the airport and my blood alcohol content was .30 (threateningly high, .34 is potentially fatal). I finally came around at 11:00 p.m. and my soul was tormented. How could I ever take back the pain I had caused my family, the damage I had done to myself, and the untraceable steps I had taken away from the future I so desired?

Two days after the hospital incidence on May 14th I checked myself into a treatment center for drug and alcohol rehabilitation. Hands down one of the scariest yet bravest things I’ve ever done.

Even though I love Seattle, my heart was in Alaska and staying here instead of heading north was a tremendously difficult decision for me. I was barely willing, but an ounce of willingness is all that is needed to drastically change the trajectory of your life.

The night before I went into treatment I sat quietly in the Larsen’s Home. Mrs. “L”, as I will call her is the mother of one of my dearest friends, and has become like a second mother to me.

She pulled out her scriptures and began to read what she said was “one of her favorite verses.” At this time, I wasn’t exactly the most God loving person. In fact, I was very far from it. But as she read these words I listened…

“And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.” –Ether 12:27

Overcoming what I have in the last six months I can see why she loved these words. As Mrs. L read, something awoke inside me that had been dormant for a long time: HOPE.

For pretty much my entire life I have felt like I don’t fit in. The thoughts “I don’t belong here” or “I don’t want to be here” were ever present in my mind. Even now, I hear them and can be more self critical than I should. Drugs and alcohol didn’t get rid of the voice that said I wasn’t good enough, or skinny enough, or pretty enough. What they did for me was turn down the volume enough so I could feel comfortable in my own skin for once. After the substances wore off my next thought was “When can I get back to that place where I don’t have to feel?” This doesn’t mean that I drank everyday, because actually I didn’t. Which is why I was in denial for so long about being an alcoholic. In this circumstance though, the WHY behind the WHAT is of greatest importance.

Within the first few days of being in rehab, I discovered my substance abuse came from an attempt to fill a God-sized hole.

My recovery has taught me so much. Through finding a group of individuals that understand the way I think, I have been able to overcome a sickness of the body and mind which was holding me back from my true potential. As I have fought to climb out of the pit I was in, I have learned a great deal about humanity and our purpose on earth:

The First 4 Lessons

1. We are all connected because we were all created by One Being who is the most unconditionally loving and creative power in the Universe. By understanding that one power, God, is our Father of everything means that we are all brothers and sisters.

2. EVERY individual who has ever lived has very real, very personal challenges and concerns. The answer to my struggles has been finding refuge through studying and applying the teachings of the Son of God, Jesus Christ. I have come to believe without a doubt that no matter what the issue or circumstance, this message will help give comfort and assistance to ALL.

3. We WILL make mistakes in life, and these mistakes create feelings of guilt and shame which cannot be fully healed without repentance and forgiveness. The most important person we can
forgive is ourselves. My sponsor’s favorite saying is “I am enough”

4. The ultimate message of TRUTH and LOVE cannot be learned all at once. Understanding comes over time through prayer, study, experience and following what you know to be right. Every decision I make now comes down to a question of LOVE. All you need is Love! If my choices are not motivated by love, then they are motivated by fear and that’s the opposite of what I am seeking. I have and will continue to share my heartfelt stories and experiences because I hope that in doing so I will be able to help just one person in accepting this beautiful message into their life. If you have made it to the end of this, I encourage you now to do two things: Ask me ANYTHING. And share a truth that you have with just one other person because you never know how the light you bring to someone else will affect them.

Learn more about Mercedes and her journey at her blog, Vi-Va-Ce. 

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Aleah Ingram
Aleah Ingram
Aleah is a graduate of Southern Virginia University, where she studied English, Creative Writing, and Dance. She now works full time as a marketing and product manager, writer, and editor. Aleah served a mission in California and loves baking, Lang Leav poetry, Gaynor Minden pointe shoes, and Bollywood movies.

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