This past year, well it was a good year. I feel like I spend most of my days in a state of self-reflection, so to think back on the entire 365 days as a whole is no different than what I would do on any other morning.
Overall, I never felt like I was white knuckling my way through sobriety this past year, and I felt a bit more confident on all fronts. Each and every holiday no longer felt like a milestone moment in the sober-sphere because I had been there/done that in 2021. I had experience in navigating parties and attending boozie events, so I knew how to handle those situations.
Not only did I gain more confidence in myself socially, but I obviously achieved one of the greatest accomplishments that I ever imagined for myself professionally. I published my first book, On the Edge of Shattered. This is something that I had been dreaming of doing since my first creative writing class with Jenny Boylan back at Colby College. I never thought I could do it. The doubt I had developed from years of drinking my self-worth away almost destroyed my writing capabilities completely. But here I am. And the audiobook is out now too - and hopefully on audible soon, if Amazon ever green lights it!
It's not to say I didn't make some mistakes though this last year. Even though I told my truth and shined a light on a difficult topic, I was naive to believe there wouldn't be consequences. In the process of writing my book, I believed that everyone of my family and friends supported me in my mission. I blindly went into it thinking, this is going to help so many people and everyone will be so proud of me - simply because alcohol is a poison and everyone should be saved from it.
I learned the hard way though, that it is never safe to just assume things in this life. I realize now after the fact that I should have asked permission to use some of the first names of friends and family in my book, even though I thought I was portraying them in a positive light. In the moment, believing that characters were mentioned in passing or were barely in my story so they wouldn't mind it - that was naive of me. I have learned so much about the nature of others, how people in general see themselves and the types of individuals I want to have in my life going forward. And a word of advice to all writers: just because it won't get you into trouble legally, doesn't mean it won't get you into trouble.
2022 taught me a lot about friendships, relationships and the individuals that care about me in this world. There are people that have stood by me in this journey and are proud of what I have accomplished. So many have come forward, telling me how much my story has changed their lives. There are people that are able to see my journey as an inspiration and a torch guiding the way for them. Others read it and take pieces from it, knowing that even though the crux of the story may not relate to them, they can still understand my suffering.
Thankfully, one thing continues to ring true though, and that is that the majority of people always come back to a place of compassion. There is an overall, collective understanding, that I was lost in a place of darkness. I was drowning. But I am no longer that person... And now - putting this memoir out into the world - it is not about shaming others or stirring up the past - no. That was never my intention. Instead, it is about saving those that are suffering and reaching a greater group of people that struggle with alcohol just like I once did. So many continue to understand what I do and are proud of me. For those supporters, there is no judgement towards me for all the decisions I have made. There is no anger for telling my story or shining a light on a difficult topic. There is only pride and happiness for the progress, the change and the necessary steps I have taken. And to those people that continue to standby me, thank you from the bottom of my heart.
I can't wait to show everyone what 2023 has in store for me. First up: F*cking Sober Podcast - all about mommy wine culture! A new, fictional take on my story: check it out! https://fckingsoberpodcast.com