Meet the Blogger: Audrey Longway

Updated: Dec 11, 2019

“Here’s a captivating quote to keep you interested and show I’m worth a read.”
-Audrey Longway

Now, hi! I was born and raised in “The Biggest Little City in the World”: in the wild desert and flashy casinos of Reno, Nevada. As a very tall, gangly, mulatto girl with giant hair, I grew up feeling out of place and any sort of confidence in myself eluded me like... well, like a good metaphor is eluding me right now. After I graduated high school, my family and I moved to Pebble Beach, California to be by the side of my Papa Loran through the end of his life. It was beautiful to be present and I sang in his ear as he slipped in to the afterlife. He was a world renowned artist, crowned “The Dutch Renaissance Master” so art is in my veins. It’s expressed through music, singing, writing, and poetry. I’ve competed and won several poetry slam competitions.

I’ve struggled with mental illness since forever. I cracked my eyes open from a dead sleep one morning and I remember being amazed that my eyes could see, my ears could hear; I was alive. My first thought was, “Oh, shit.” I felt trapped. I was only maybe 5 years old realizing I was Keanu Reaves, but I was gonna be stuck in this matrix. I started experiencing depression, anxiety, and all that goes with it. I hopped around from school to school all throughout my elementary years and grew further disconnected from the kids around me and felt painfully awkward and alone. Although you’d never know it from just looking at me, because I seemed like a fairly happy kid. By the time I got to high school I was pretty solidified with the fact that I would be miserable and alone forever, with maybe a few cats, and no one could or would ever love me. I felt like I was walking around with a gun wound through my heart and I needed something to ease the pain.

My life exploded as an alcoholic in my early adult years. I always thought the phrase “Drugs, Sex, and Rock and Roll” was a cheesy thing to say the rebellious degenerates of society were in to, but add some EDM music festivals and rap to that and you’ve got the recipe for how I began living my life. As they say, drugs and alcohol started out as being fun, then it was fun with problems, then it was just all problems. I didn’t even realize it, but I was trying to use these things to make myself feel just good enough to make life worth living, but I only grew emptier and emptier. I know people who can go out, saying “I’m only going to have a few drinks.” and ACTUALLY have a few drinks, but I’m not one of them. It took a lot of consequences (black outs, regretful decisions, a totaled car just to name a few) for me to accept that partying wasn’t working anymore. Most people touch a hot stove once and don’t need to touch it again to know that it’s hot and it’s gonna hurt like hell. I would continually go back to that hot stove and press my freakin’ hand down and wonder why I was hurting so badly. The short answer is: I’m an alcoholic. It’s what we do. It’s what we do after that realization that matters, though.

I’ve now spent years studying the disease and have a deeply personal inside look at what a disturbed mind can manifest. I have been living my life as a sober woman since November 2, 2015 and I’ll be the first to admit that it’s not always easy. Putting the plug in the jug was just the beginning. I was now a raw version of myself with nothing to take the edge off. It’s been trial and error- failure, failure, failure...Oh look, success! Failure, failure, failure. They say success is not a straight line, though. It’s more of a crazy, squiggly mess of ink splattered on the page with pieces torn off the map. If that’s true, then I’m right on course.

I think we all have our “hot stoves”. You breakup with a toxic partner, but go back. Why? You go in to a job that crushes your soul, but stay. Why? You can’t seem to stop eating sugar, or can’t stop yourself from shopping, whatever it is. There’s endless battles we all have and countless ways we grow and get past them. So, let’s talk about how to do that! Let’s explore how to become more whole and more ourselves. I truly believe that human connection is the mirror we need in order to see ourselves fully. We wake up and walk through whatever challenges, joys, losses, sorrows, or pleasures life has to offer and share that with one another. One day at a time, we’re all trying to live our best lives. Our strength is in our story, now welcome in to mine.

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