On October 23, 2019, I awoke for the 1000th time SOBER!
For whatever reason, this milestone is sparking all the feels and more gratitude than I know what to do with. (Hence, why I've found myself tapping into my overdue creative outlet of a blog post).
To think and really reflect on how different my life looked 1000+ days ago blows me away!
I knew I was struggling with alcohol and had known for some time, but I didn't realize just how deep-seeded the attachment was for me.
It took going through 100 days sober and then falling HARD (i.e. my marriage was on the line). Then going another eight months sober, only to fall even HARDER (i.e. my children, my life, and my sanity were on the line) for me to accept this attachment. Or rather, this heavy chain!
Even when I was sober, I was preoccupied with doubts, with fantasies, with resentment. "Why can't I be normal?" would pop in my head more times than I'd like to admit.
I was fighting and avoiding this idea of giving up alcohol "forever," (and even less than), because...
I truly thought I needed it for liquid "courage."
I truly thought I needed it to "survive" motherhood.
I wholeheartedly thought my marriage would crumble if I took away one of our primary bonding elements.
Going to concerts, events, or even celebrating a holiday without it seemed like the most boring situation ever!
How would I dance when given the opportunity?
What would I do when everyone else around me was drinking?
How would I handle good times, bad times, or any time (aka any excuse) in-between?
What would I do when feelings became too much?
But looking back now, I see that a lot of these thoughts came from a place within me that was scared, that felt hopeless. The shame and guilt of drunken actions done over the course of years was slowly but surely eating away at any confidence or self-love that I had.
I also was spinning my wheels trying to balance three very young kids and working full-time, as well as dealing with my husband's coming-and-going, sporadic flying schedule.
I did not feel stable. The weight of it all was crushing me. Mom guilt, wife guilt, work guilt, life guilt was heavier than I could bear...alone.
So I used alcohol to self-medicate, to numb, to keep me "grounded." Shoot, even my year-long therapist gave me some empathy on the how's and why's of my drinking. Many people would also show empathy with the all too common, "Gosh! How do you do it all?" "You have A LOT on your plate!" "Makes sense why you feel that way and want a (wine) break!"
The truth is, I didn't know how I did it. But I knew that however it was done, it would be concluded with wine, beer, or a weekend bender.
Flash forward to today, though, and it's clear I've almost done a complete 180!
Sure, I still spin my wheels trying to balance it ALL (especially with now two very strong-willed kiddos, and one very sensitive soul).
I still have plenty of self-doubt and moments/days where I just get terribly lost in my own head.
I still have to keep my sanity and cool trying to mom, wife, and run my own business.
I have struggles and vices, because I am human after-all.
But gosh do I handle things so differently now!
I speak up.
I ask for help.
I can sit quietly (like with no music, which is a REALLY big deal for me).
I pray so often.
I seek out folks for support.
I give myself GRACE!
There are very few days that go by that I don't thank God for this gift- the gift that is a sober life! I've never meant it more than I do now, but I am just so dang grateful to be a living, breathing, walking example of someone who has been freed from the chains of alcohol.
The sober life truly is the BEST life! Glad to share it with so many of you, and I'm ALWAYS here to help if you find yourself struggling or simply sober curious!
We do and we can recover!