One Year Sober
Updated: Jan 10
A year ago today, I woke up early in the morning around 5AM and laid awake in my bed with an awful hangover. Grey light filtered into the room, casting a gloomy glow across the floor. I fought off nausea as my head throbbed, and I tossed and turned, cycling through the familiar shame and self-loathing I often felt by the end of my drinking days.
We didn't do much the night before. We had been home with the kids, but I drank a lot. We ordered pizza, but I didn't eat much. Physically I sat beside my family, watching a movie, but I was not really there. I had been gone for a long time.
I was lost, deep within the darkness.
But that morning, exactly one year ago, I had a moment of clarity. A flash of light through the murky grey. As I lay there, I felt something. Slowly, a brightness began to pull me from the shadows, and a feeling overcame me. I realized that it was time, and I could not keep doing this to myself anymore. I could not keep waking up everyday feeling this way. It had to stop.
Without second guessing the feeling, I followed my impulse and woke my husband, Evan, who had endured so much for so long. With a rush of adrenaline, I whispered to him, “If I told you that I need to stop drinking, would you help me?”
I immediately broke into pieces, sobbing in my husband's arms.
And as I cried, a feeling of relief overcame me and a weight began to lift. A deep, dark heaviness that had settled over me after years and years of avoiding and numbing myself. A pressure was slowly released. I felt lighter. And in that moment, I began the frightening ascent from the profoundly dark chasm that had become my life. This was the beginning of my journey towards rediscovering myself. This set me on the path to peace and freedom.
I have been sober now for one year. 365 days of no alcohol. This is after decades of consuming a substance that brought me to my knees, over and over again. It knocked me down countless times, and yet for so long I never wanted to walk away. Even though I never had what they called “a rock bottom,” my love affair with drinking was long and complicated. Causing me to lie to myself, keep secrets from my husband and almost completely destroy my self-respect, by the end of my relationship with alcohol, I was nearly shattered.
I have grown more than I thought possible in sobriety. I have worked hard this past year to love myself again, and I have discovered a joy I never imagined. I am grateful every day for taking that first courageous step last November and finally allowing myself the chance to be free.
Today, I am happier.
Today, I am a better mother and wife.
Today, I have more compassion for myself and others, and now I have discovered how to be grateful for this life around me.
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