While going through my photos on my phone this morning, I came across a picture, that my daughter had sent to me; it was a photo a girl I used to bartend with sent to her. That photo brought back so many memories.
Looking back, I have come such a long way from the girl I was in that picture. I spent many years bartending. It paid the bills, and it fed my need for significance. When you're a bartender, you get hit on every single day, and, I'm not going to lie, I loved it. As long as there was a man that found me hot, sexy, gorgeous, beautiful, I was good to go. I determined myself worth based on my appearance and how much money I made.
Being a bartender, people like to buy you shots. There would be nights, and I would slam 10-15 shots! I'd be drunk as hell, but still manage to close the bar down, and have my drawer balance out! If I wasn't drinking work wasn't fun.
Not only was this behavior and lifestyle terrible for my physical health, but it also wreaked havoc on my mental health. At that the time, however, I wasn't aware of that. Not to mention, I was a mother. Not that the lifestyle was good for anyone, but it damn sure wasn't one a mother should be living!
My lifestyle, poor mental health, and financial struggles drove me to send my oldest two children to live with their dad. It was the hardest decision I have ever made in my life, but I knew it was what was best for them. My youngest son stayed with me but went to his dad's every Wednesday and every other weekend. I beat myself up daily for sending my older kids to live with their dad. I would often cry in the shower. I, however, continued to live that unhealthy lifestyle and sought out men to provide my happiness. Long story short I was a hot mess!
Many nights I would drink with the staff after work, doing shot after shot, to the point where I knew I shouldn't drive. So, I'd call an ex or some new victim that I knew liked me. Someone would always come to my rescue, and they would end up sleeping at my place, or I would end up sleeping at theirs.
If I ended up with a guy, I didn't really like; I would wake up super early in the morning, completely weirded out! I would crawl out of bed, still feeling a little drunk, and sneak out. I'd call a taxi to take me back to my car. On my way home I would tell myself I am not drinking like that anymore and feel like an idiot for making the decisions I made the night before. I would feel so sick to my stomach and my cure every time was to go to Mcdonalds drive through, order shit food and a large coke. I'd get home, shove the food in my face and go to bed.
I used men, and I broke hearts. Most importantly I was hurting myself and my kids, by not being the best other I could be.
In 2012, that all slowly started to change, because I had an " aha" moment. I realized I didn't love myself; I lacked self-worth and self-confidence. I realized something needed to change, and I slowly began a self-love journey. That journey was full of hurdles and many challenges, but it completely changed my life!
You're probably wondering what it is, I did. I learned to love and respect myself, is what I did. I dove into the world of self-help, I read, I listened to podcasts, I removed myself from toxic relationships, I quit drinking as often as I did. I surrounded myself with inspirational people, I went to therapy, and I hired a coach.
I am blessed that I am no longer that girl, I used to know.