Well that was rough.

I’m sitting in bed, coffee in my hand enjoying the quiet of early morning, I slept last night, and I’ll never take that for granted again. Looking back on the past few months I keep thinking “I can’t believe that happened,” and even more importantly “I can’t believe I got through it without drinking.”

I’m naive, always have been, I like to see the best in people and that karma has a way of working things out…but damn these past few months have tested that. To have months of people continuously and loudly lie about you (and for the record if it came out of someone’s mouth I work with it’s most certainly a lie,) has been hard, I kept thinking if I waited it out eventually the truth would come out, but here we are months later and I’ve given up on that happening. I’m left with two choices, defend myself , Hi my name is Braunwyn, I really am an alcoholic, never paid for a photographer or investigator (its called Google) and have learned that my drinking was used against me in an effort to create a terrible narrative that wasn’t at all what actually happened, or do what I have been doing, ignoring it, keep doing what I do and believe eventually people will see this for what it really is.

When I started this I thought it would be fun (see what I mean about being naive,) and I really think it could be given a different environment, but for now…this is not fun. I’m a very sensitive, empathetic person , I feel all the feelings and without the numbing of alcohol it’s overwhelming at times, three weeks ago was one of those times. I was down, literally and figuratively, I was on the floor, unable to move having a hard time seeing out of “The Dark.” I call it “The Dark,” I can’t totally explain it but it’s a feeling that comes over me at times, where everything gets low and hard and the ability to function seems overwhelming, I can’t power through them or focus on the positive, I just have to wait it out (luckily for me it usually doesn’t last more then a few days.)

I’ve learned to ask for help. I used to try and put on a happy face and pretend everything was okay, but experience has taught me this only makes “The Dark” worse and last longer, now I know to talk about it, to let those closest to me know what’s going on and then trust their opinions on what I should do. This time it meant being carried on a plane and flown to the other side of the country where they logged me off social media and turned my phone off. It was just what I needed.

I’m lucky, I know that, I have amazing friends, support and resources, being able to take a mental health break is something I’m very grateful for, being able to come home to my family healthy and whole is something I won’t take for granted, but it’s something we probably all need at times, we all need people we can say “I’m not okay,” to and have them understand, we all need a safe place to be ourselves without judgement.

Living life on a public platform isn’t what I thought it would be, the lows are low, but there is such a beautiful upside too. I love reaching out to people that are trying to get sober, I love hearing stories from people who said they had the courage to come out because I was able too. Being able to share stories on Amplified Voices and connect with people on my monthly Mental Health Zooms has been beyond words, meeting people I wouldn’t of before, beautiful people whose stories change lives has been worth all the vile parts to this, and I wouldn’t change that for anything.

If you’re reading this remember that it’s okay not to be okay, just keep going, reach out, and remember the wise words of Grandma….”this to shall pass.”