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How Instagram became an outlet for a mother struggling with addiction

After struggling for years with being able to stay sober, Gentry Jones turned to Instagram to try and help curb her addiction to alcohol and get her on the road to recovery.

Gentry, now a mother of four kids, began to experiment with alcohol throughout her teenage years. Her substance abuse began to escalate as soon as she started attending college. So much so that she experienced her first bout with alcohol poisoning during her first year of college.

“We started drinking on a Monday night … I ended up passed out in the men’s bathroom and somebody had found me,” Gentry recalled. “They called 9-1-1 and [paramedics] came in with a stretcher.”

Despite experiencing such trauma as a young adult, her abuse only continued to escalate through her adult years.

Anxiety leads to drinking

As Gentry progressed in college, her partying ways never affected her grades. Her all-in mentality that helped fuel her addiction also help fuel her goals of becoming a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). But even when she became a CPA, her addiction that stemmed from anxiety and depression only began to eat at her more each day. At the time, her family and friends knew she was struggling, but she was able to hide it from her employers. Until she reached her breaking point one day at work.

“I had gotten drunk at a work lunch, had anxiety, and left work without telling anyone and freaked a lot of people out at work,” she described.

Her employer sat her down when she came back and Gentry realized that she had to make a change.

“Once people at work knew … the accountability got bigger. I was already trying for the last year to try and quit but once that accountability hit, it was like, I’m going to lose my job. Then I can’t do anything for these kids,” she said.

Turning to Instagram for recovery

In an effort to get sober, Gentry started attending Alcohol Annonymous meetings. She also began to blog about some of the struggles she experience during her alcohol abuse. During this time, she also found her passion for spreading awareness using Instagram.

“I started blogging and then I started posting on Instagram. Instagram kind of became my recovery,” Gentry says. “That’s where I share, that’s where I connect with people, that’s my outlet.”

This was also the first time that she was able to openly speak up about her addiction.

“When I hit 90 days sober, which was the longest I had gone for years, I started writing and had put a blog out talking about how I hadn’t been drinking for 90 days,” she recalled. “It was the first time I had spoken publically about my alcohol problem.”

After she opened up about her own problems, she began to receive a lot of support about her struggles with alcohol. Some of her followers even shared their own struggles with addiction.

“It was another layer of accountability. My Instagram, I feel like, is a huge accountability partner for me,” Gentry said. “Every time I share, every time somebody else knows, it’s just another reason to not [drink] again.”

She began to receive a lot of positive support for her openness. As she began to shine a light on addiction, many of her followers even opened up to her about their own struggles with addiction.

Gentry now focuses on her newfound passion as a Certified Recovery and Life Coach where she can help raise awareness surrounding addiction and living a better life.

Find Gentry on Instagram or download the podcast below

You can find Gentry on Instagram @LifewithGentry. For more information on ways to avoid becoming physically dependent on opioids, you can visit Project Recovery on Facebook, KSL TV, or Know Your Script. To hear more from Casey Scott and Dr. Matt Woolley, you can subscribe to the ‘Project Recovery’ podcast on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get major podcasts.

 

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