This statement has taken me a lifetime to grapple with. I've struggled with my own sobriety since my youth, with long periods free of use, and long periods of the opposite. I attended a sober high school where I thrived under constant accountability and supervision, quickly falling back in to use when I graduated, and have been on and off with sobriety since.
A year ago today my daughter Gwen was born. I stayed completely sober through my entire pregnancy and months afterward, until some how I found out that alcohol didn't transmit through beast milk. I began to have the occasional glass of wine, and slowly over the following months, my disease progressed. I am now no longer breast feeding, drinking almost every day, and my attempts to stop outside of an inpatient treatment program are proving futile.
Now, let me get to the root of the issue for me. My drinking stems from a need to supress pain, as it does for so many others. I suffered a great deal of trauma when I was a little girl. Now that I have one of my own, she is a constant reminder to me of a time before my innocence was lost, and I am gripped with panic when I think about not being able to protect her from what I went through. This panic, the constant reminder of my trauma, and trying to stay sober without intensive treatment is a recipe that doesn't equate success. I know I need to be better for this innocent little being that depends on me, and I am now ready to throw myself at the mercy of professionals to achieve that end.
I have tried several outpatient programs and none of them have managed to be enough for me. Once I am confronted with the panic that I described before, I turn to my own old devices, which results in drinking or worse. My arms and legs are littered with scars from self harm, which is the last bastian of relief for my inner pain when all else fails. Trying to describe why a person self harms is difficult, but put simply, the physical pain somehow numbs the inner pain, like a valve opening, letting out the immense pressure built up inside. This is something that terrifies me, and that as of today, I have abstained from for 40 days.
So, the reason for the fund is this. I need inpatient treatment, which I am able to obtain through Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation. The money I am able to raise here will allow my loving, committed husband Dan to take Family Medical Leave of Absence to stay home to take care of Gwen while I am there. This money should be enough to cover bills and bare necessities so that I can stay 28 days and then transition to an outpatient program and resume care of our daughter.
It took me months to grapple with being apart from her for that length of time, but I know now that unless I commit myself fully to getting better, I could potentially be apart from her for longer, or worse, not be able to respond when she needs me most. That is simply not a risk I am willing to take.
The time is now to stop this and get help. The time is now to tuck my tail between my legs and lay bare my struggles to the world and ask for the help my family needs in our darkest hour.
Donations will go to food, bills, and necessities for our daughter.
Thank you for reading this.
- Cindie Tashima
- Gretchen Mann
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