I want to tell you a bit about who I was before the alcoholism, and who I am now. The stuff in the middle is dark and blurry, but I want you to know I wasn’t always an alcoholic mess.

I have always been what others might (and do) call a perfectionist and a control freak. I was a straight-A student and valedictorian at my high school, and the lead in every school play.

I was also the captain of the lacrosse team, and always had a handsome, athletic boyfriend and a popular group of friends. I put so much pressure on myself to be the best at everything.

Even though I stressed myself out by pushing myself so hard I was mostly happy. My parents thought I was the greatest kid ever and were very proud and supportive.

They, along with my little sister, attended almost every home game and every school play. My parents displayed my report cards and schoolwork on the refrigerator and bragged about me to all their friends.

Now, I have learned to love myself without everything being perfect. It’s impossible to maintain everything I used to do, and my prosthetics limit me even more, especially athletically. But I am proud of who I am now and what I have been through.

I currently work as an author. I have a series of children’s books about a girl with prosthetic limbs. I want everyone, especially children, to know it’s okay to have something different about you. Everybody is different, and prosthetics are just another beautiful thing that makes some people unique. We are lucky to have the technology even to have prosthetics.

Keep reading to learn more about how alcoholism changed my life.