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How Sobriety Helps Me Better Manage My UC

On July 5, 2020, I woke up incredibly hungover and depressed. I had seen my usual storm of unhealthy coping mechanisms approaching for a while. The root issue that triggered this round was an inability to run anymore. But really, it didn’t matter. It was the same cycle over and over, just with different details surrounding it. I could blame this, that, or the other thing, but on this particular morning, I was exhausted from blaming everything but myself. 

And underneath all of that, I knew my drinking wasn’t good for my gut … yet, I couldn’t stop. I didn’t know how else to cope with life’s obstacles. But something about that morning woke me up, and I quit drinking right then and there. My husband, also has been sober for more than 10 years, had already done his due diligence in helping me find some long-term mental health support, and I promptly called my doctor to ask for antidepressants. 

Now more than two years later, I hardly know who that person was. My drinking had been an on-and-off problem for nearly 10 years, and the only time I truly stopped was if I was training for a big race or if I was flaring. But if you live with inflammatory bowel disease, you can probably guess that quitting the bad stuff when you’re already sick hardly does anything if you’re treating your body like trash the rest of the time.

So that was one driving factor for my choice to quit. By removing my main coping mechanism from my life, I was forced – er, encouraged – to actually do the work to face the things that drove me to barstools. And getting on antidepressants finally helped take the edge off that I honestly needed help with. Between ditching alcohol, focusing on antidepressants, and going to therapy, I slowly started to clear the

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