In high school, I was an accomplished competitive swimmer, a pompom girl, and a good student. From the outside it appeared I had it all: success and popularity, and I seemed comfortable in my own skin. But nothing was further from the truth. I felt insecure and unsure of myself, as though I didn’t belong.
Throughout my childhood I had attended a Christian Science Sunday School. I loved reading Bible stories and learning about how much God loved me. But over time I felt singled out by my classmates in school because of my religious beliefs, such as relying on prayer for healing instead of traditional Western medicine. It seemed as if I never quite fit in. Not wanting to feel so different, I decided to follow the crowd and start drinking. I wanted to be liked.
My decision to drink seemed like part of a natural progression into adulthood as I went off to college. I stopped going to Sunday School. College life for me consisted of studying, working, and partying. During my time in college, I was a good employee and a good student, but my social life was fueled by alcohol and drugs. I put myself in dangerous situations while drunk, and it was not uncommon for me to black out.
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