500 days sober, I did it and so can you
Updated: May 14, 2022
I am 500 days sober today.
I happened to open the app that counts my days and it was on 500. I stopped keeping track a while ago, because I don't feel the need to count every second. Every minute. Every day, week or month anymore. I am not white knuckling my way through my days, just trying to survive without alcohol. That isn't me anymore.
I am finally living my life. I am at peace. I am happy. (We also reached 5k listens on our podcast this week!)
I never thought I would get here. I think I always believed I would be stuck in that pattern of recovering from a hangover, wanting more alcohol, trying to do better for myself and husband - forever trying to prove to everyone that I didn't have a problem.
I also don't think I ever believed that I could do anything more with my life. I didn't think I could write ever again. I never imagined starting a podcast or being able to connect with others. I never thought I could let my guard down or allow myself to be so vulnerable. I thought that I was destined to spend the rest of my life fighting hangovers, day in and day out. I thought that was how I would spend my days, and I had grown comfortable with it.
I am so glad I didn't settle for a life that left me feeling depressed and depleted. I am glad I didn't give into the notion that I had such little self-worth I didn't think I could contribute anything more to this world than a good laugh or two on a Saturday night. I am thriving and experiencing much more joy today, free from the darkness that alcohol brought to my life.
I want to share the first entry that I ever wrote on my blog. I don't often go back to those posts, but I sometimes need to reflect on the person I was then. I was broken and lost. I was scared and desperate for a way out. I am grateful that I made the choice to stop drinking, 500 days ago...
"Out Of Control, November 30, 2020:
I am one day sober today. I am confident but terrified. I am physically and emotionally exhausted. I am not sure why I am writing this blog, but I think it is to help me process a lot of my emotions and keep myself in check. I plan to show it to family and friends, so they get a better understanding of what has been going on with me... these last several months, years even. Decades. I don't know how far back I will go. I may start with the recent stuff for now and describe what brought me here during the Covid-19 pandemic. How things snowballed and how things just got completely out of control.
Yesterday, I woke up in the morning around 5am and told my husband, Evan, that I think it's time I stop drinking for good and I asked for his help in doing so. He was and always has been my rock, and I love him dearly. He has been so unbelievably understanding and kind to me. I don't know if I could do this without him. He has been patient and continues to give me space to process this... And the friends I have been talking to in the last 24 hours keep asking what happened exactly to make me come to this decision, but no major event occurred. There wasn't an accident, no one got hurt. I didn't even fall down the stairs or really black out THAT hard, which is a regular occurrence for me - stairs and black outs. I just woke up with a hangover, which I do everyday, and I honestly just felt TIRED. Tired of it all. I just felt DONE. I just was over the lying (to myself, to Evan, to my kids, to everyone!) And I was so tired of feeling like a terrible mother to my perfect children. And ultimately, I want to be around for them. I want to be there down the road, because honestly, I was worried I was killing myself. Or god forbid, one day I would get behind the wheel and something terrible would happen.
I felt like I was on this runaway train going 100 miles an hour, and I was feeling out of control. Like I couldn't slow it down and I couldn't stop it, ever. And all I knew was that my only option was to just jump off, no matter how much it sucked and hurt to do it. And by hurting - I mean, what I am about to face in the coming weeks, months and probably years is going to be painful and difficult. Admitting to all of the lies and terribles mistakes I have made and owning up to all the dirty little secrets from over the years. That is what I am facing as I am jumping off this runaway train right now. Not to mention, building a new sober life. That is terrifying.
Ultimately, this is not the first time I have tried to get my drinking in check. I have tried to "reign it in" many, many times before. It was usually after falling down at a party in front of strangers, or getting so blacked out that I embarrassed my husband that he begged me to get it together, for the sake of our kids. I have never on my own decided to stop drinking. It was always because someone else's hand was forcing me to put the bottle down figuratively and literally at 1am. I have though, looked myself in the eye more times than I can count, so unbelievably hungover in the morning and yelled at myself until I was a puddle on the floor sobbing, "Get your shit together, Kim!" And I could never figure out how to do it... Until now. Something feels very different. I finally found some strength, and I honestly have no idea why, how or where it came from!"
That morning, I knew something was different.
Please feel free to go back to more posts from November and December 2020, if you are at the start of your journey. But if anything, please keep going. One day at a time, you can do it. It is so worth it.