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SANYO DIGITAL CAMERAChristina Mannarano

Current City: Harrisonburg, Va

Topics: Substance Abuse, Anxiety and Depression, Bi-Polar Disorder, Self-Harming

Growing up, I lived with an abusive, and controlling alcoholic father. It was hard seeing someone you love be so difficult on themselves and their family. I firmly believed and even told myself when I was younger that I would never abuse alcohol. But things change. When I was in highschool I began drinking and partying with my friends because it was “the cool thing to do” at that age. As I grew older and got out of highschool I began looking for parties; even if it consisted of people I didn’t know just to get drunk. I hated the idea of anyone trying to control me. So when I began partying heavily and someone stated I had drank too much or should probably stop, I did just the opposite. The same thing occurred when people told me I shouldn’t drive. I was a drunk driver for many years. When I met my fiancé Joseph, I slowed down with partying and generally drank only with him and his friends. Casually enjoying a glass or wine or playing a few games and while getting drunk still occurred, it wasn’t a 3-4 times a week experience. Throughout our relationship, as we became more comfortable, I began drinking heavier again. During this time I would consider myself a bing drinker. In 2009, I had a night of heavy drinking and driving that changed my life. I went into a couple years worth of deep depression and experienced numerous anxiety attacks that changed who I was. I still get upset to this day when I think about that night, but I trust God knowing that he had a purpose behind it all. Over the next couple of years, I still drank, going in and out of jobs and happiness, and even becoming abusive to others while intoxicated. I also began harming myself physically as a failed attempt to ease my pain; I still have scars that remind me of my struggle. Thankfully at some point dying that misery I chose to actively purse sobriety. I still can’t believe that the man I caused so much turmoil with my drinking is standing beside me and marrying me this June! God is good. He is merciful and never ending! Sobriety is beautiful, and each day I thank the Lord for getting me through 24 more hours of clear-headedness. “One day at a time”

Why Where I Stand? When I first found out what Where I stand represented, I immediately felt comforted. I have faced many things throughout my years that has made me feel alone. I even had my mother at times say “I don’t know what you’re feeling or what it means?” Although my mom has done everything humanly possible to understand what I have gone through and to understand what I feel or have felt, she still has never experienced these feelings and emotions first hand and that still leaves open ended questions. Where I Stand, helps to reassure me that I’m not alone. That there are many people of different ages, races and of  the opposite sex that show me that I have support, understanding and acceptance. I wanted to be a part of that. I wanted to be one more person that can and will help someone else know that they’re not alone. That they don’t have to hide or feel ashamed. I’ve suffered with substance abuse, depression and anxiety for numerous years… I want others to know they always have someone on their side… I’m Christina, and this is Where I Stand!

Fun Fact: I love learning about the body and the brain. I thoroughly enjoy to see how we, as humans, are wired and I am not bothered by any type of bodily fluids or parts. I am currently pursuing and Medical Coding Certificate, and in 2015 will be starting Nursing School!

Where I Stand is so excited to have Christina with us! Are you interested in blogging for Where I Stand?

Take a look at our bloggers bios and fill out an application if you are interested!

http://thisiswhereistand.com/meet-our-guest-bloggers/