low point as a parent helped inspire Ebony to pursue counseling and get the help she needed. For years, she had used alcohol to numb the pain and unworthiness she felt. Sobriety unlocked new creative expressions and ownership of her story. In the process, Ebony built the courage and foundations from which to pursue new adventures and take a stand against challenges that have affected her family for generations. Finding wellness and confidence in sobriety has fueled her journey as a mother, author, and encourager to those around her. Today, she and her son get to pursue their dreams together.
Finding Confidence in Sobriety
Recovery taught me that I can do anything. The self confidence I now have is one of the greatest gifts of this journey. When I go through a hard time, I remember that I’ve already done something that I never thought I could do — give up alcohol after over a decade of dependence. This reminder gives me the courage to take on new things and get through challenges that I never thought I could. Today, I’m a good mom to my son, I’ve published a book, and I’ve started a serious weight loss journey. And I’ve found wellness, growth, and confidence in sobriety that I didn’t expect.
Searching for Value and Self-Confidence
I grew up in a fatherless household in Columbia, South Carolina. For decades, I believed a lie about myself: “If I wasn’t good enough for my daddy to stay around, how could I be good enough for anyone else?” Throughout my youth, I always tried to answer this question, but the seeds of insecurity and shame were deeply embedded.
I could never do enough to have value. I tried to medicate the insecurity and shame I felt. First, I looked for affirmation from guys in high school, and then I discovered alcohol. I struggled with a dependency for over a decade, drinking multiple bottles of wine a night even after having my son at age 23. But now, I know my value, and my worth, and these negative belief systems have been unwound in the process of getting sober.
It’s Stopping with Me
Nearly four years ago, I reached a place where I became aware of the problem and ready to change. One morning, I woke up to a floor covered in my own vomit. My then seven-year-old son asked me if I had been sick the night before. Something inside of me began to shift. I did not grow up around church or religion, but I had recently come across an encouraging message from a pastor on an app.
So, I called out: “God, I don’t know how, but this has to change. I refuse to let my mess be passed on to my soon; this doesn’t get to ruin his childhood.” And from that moment, I began to experience change. I started to see a therapist and actually get to the roots underneath the alcohol dependency.
It was not easy. At first, I would find myself at grocery stores running my hands on the wine bottles, even though I wasn’t drinking. But the change happened, bit by bit. About two months in, I had my birthday. Being able to resist alcohol around my birthday, even around friends I used to drink with, showed me that I could actually live in sobriety. And I haven’t looked back.
Building a Better Life… for Me and Future Generations
I remember not really knowing what to do with my life. For decades I lacked vision, because I didn’t think I had much worth. I struggled in high school — I finished with a 1.9 GPA — and I spent years finding my value in the persona of a party girl. Now, I have goals and vision and the confidence to pursue my dreams and build a better life. At my workplaces, people would ask me why I’m so happy, because they didn’t know the lows I have experienced. I’m blessed to be able to share the joy I’ve found.
In my own process, I had to work through the pain from my childhood, and actually forgive those who had hurt me or who hadn’t known how to love me. I’ve chosen to not let the struggles of previous generations keep happening in my life or in those who will come after me. No matter whose fault or mess it was originally, I can be the one to stand up and stop it.
Discovering Presence and New Adventures
When I reached one year sober, I made a t-shirt to celebrate my journey that said “Straight Outta Alcoholism.” I posted about it on social media. The positive response shocked me. That started a whole new adventure of sharing my story, supporting others in their journeys, and writing a book. It’s an honor to be a part of inspiring people to grow and find hope no matter where they are in the journey.
I love that get to enjoy being present now. Being able to be at my son’s baseball games is such a gift. There’s nothing like being able to have my son look up and say, “I’m proud of you, Mom.” Those are the words I had been looking for all of my life — and I found them through this wonderful journey. He continues to encourage me to keep pursuing the dreams that bring life to my heart, and I’m grateful I can set a new example for him.
When I was young, I always wanted to be faster than the boys. I never really ran much, because I didn’t think of myself as a runner and didn’t take care of myself. Now, running is one of my favorite hobbies. It brings me peace and comfort, and it has been a gift to rediscover something that brings me to a place of being childlike.
The Journey of Growth
Growth is a lifelong journey that happens when we’re authentic with ourselves and others. It’s an honor to share my story. Helping others, especially women, come out of the darkness and discover their true identity is such a privilege and joy.
I’ve committed myself to authenticity and vulnerability. Shame grows in the darkness, but it can’t survive in the light. Life is a journey, and in this process additional roots and challenges come up. But each one can unlock new adventures.