Sobriety Year One
The tough and profound process of self-discovery and healing
One year ago I decided to take my life back.
The solution to a problem isn’t an issue until the solution becomes a problem. I spent a decade of my adult life running away from the shadows that swirled inside of me, drowning them in alcohol and numbing them with drugs. Everyone knew I loved to party, but most people didn’t know the depth of it.
See, for so long I wore a smile on my face; talking a talk that I was most definitely not walking. I wanted to die, feeling every day as a struggle to keep going. Time and time again I found myself gripping the sheets on my bed, begging for the pain to stop. For it all to end. I felt such a hatred toward myself, only seeing an embodiment of failure every time I looked in the mirror. Someone who had continuously let herself down, with no real worth. I found myself surrounded by toxic situations and toxic people, openly giving my power away to any and everyone.
Addiction led me to become a person I didn’t recognize, only furthering the confusion of how to show up for myself from a place of hope. But once I became aware that the numbing and addiction had become a problem, I knew it was up to nobody but me to begin solving it.
I’d attempted to get sober multiple times over the last four years, each time failing once I was a few months in. It was through the scare of an overdose and a severe hit to my moral compass that I knew a stronger dedication to change was a must.
Thankfully, as I became increasingly ready to help myself heal, someone crossed my path and planted some priceless seeds in my head. I had reached a fork in my metaphorical road where I needed to make a choice:
I could go down the gray, dull road - the one I’d been traveling - and continue the same shit I’d been doing. Or...
I could go down the dark, mysterious path - the path that had almost no light from where I could then see; the path I knew would be hard.
As much as I knew the dark path would hurt; would leave me crying and holding myself as I released the demons I’d been suppressing...I knew that path was the only chance for me to one day see light. And I knew this meant that, in a totally new way, I was about to give everything up again. So I put on my big girl pants and went running into the darkness.
The next step into that darkness, for me, meant joining a 12 step program. Something I’d never truly considered before the rock bottom that addiction had guided me to. And letting my pride and ego take a hit, I begged for help from strangers. I knew I couldn't get sober without support because I’d tried it a million times before. And with those humbling steps, I found the courage to admit to myself and others that I couldn’t partake in partying anymore.
I’ve overcome so many things in my life! And overcoming myself and such powerfully ingrained self-limiting beliefs has most definitely been the hardest. Thankfully I found that light; the light inside of me that wants to live; to thrive. The light inside of me that loves herself unconditionally. When I look in the mirror now, I smile and thank my higher power that I get to explore another day.
Today I am celebrating one year clean and sober. One year of having my life back! One year of understanding that the demons inside of us do not define us. Because without the honoring of that darkness, there is no way for us to recognize and celebrate our light.
Without being sober I wouldn’t have all of the amazing things I have now. It allows me to show up for myself and for others. It allows me to find joy and happiness in almost anything. It lets me be kind, compassionate, and honest. I’ve learned that addiction doesn’t make me less than. In fact, it’s helped make me who I am. And I am proud to be me.
"Our shadows hold the essence of who we are. They hold our most treasured gifts. By facing these aspects of ourselves, we become free to experience our glorious totality: the good and the bad, the dark and the light." -Debbie Ford
There is so much power in someone’s story. So much strength in vulnerability. Now, I choose to be open about who I am and everything I’ve conquered, in hopes of my story and my strength helping someone else on their path of (soul) recovery.
If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, reach out. The gifts received through dedication to recovery are worth every sacrifice.
You are not alone. You are worthy. You are loved.