GRATITUDE + reflection: one year sober

A little over a year ago, I pulled out my journal on an especially hung-over and disappointing morning. I wrote at the top of the page:

“I had my last drink(s) on August 30, 2017.

August 31, 2017 is the day I got sober.” 

It was August 31, 2017 and I had just written what I desperately wanted to be true.

I had tried to quit countless times before. I could make it about 4 or 5 days without a drink but then the weekend would come or something difficult would happen, and I’d be back to it. Rinse and repeat. Rinse and repeat.

Year after year throughout my 20’s and early 30’s, I would write new year’s goals for my health, yoga practice, creative projects, finances, and relationships. It wouldn’t take long for many of those healthy habits to dissolve or, worse, not even see the light of day as a result of my drinking.

And year after year I felt defeated and like a failure. Sometimes not even worthy of a healthy life.

The longest I had gone without a drink prior to 2017 was in 2016 for 3 weeks during yoga teacher training. Those 3 weeks felt amazing, for so many reasons – especially waking up with a clear mind, calm stomach, and no regrets about what I might have done or said the night before. The awareness and clarity I felt was remarkable!

That was a good taste of what a sober life could feel like, and it was incredible and felt so promising – but I guess I wasn’t ready yet.

Honestly, early on I acknowledged that I had a dependency on alcohol.

But it took longer to realize that it actually SCARED me to quit. How will I cope? I will be so boring! What if my pain gets really painful….?! Drinking was the best way that I knew to numb out and cut-ties from all the things that I didn’t want to face. Especially the emotions and the feelings.

I knew the cycle I was in was not sustainable. I hated it. But I also loved it. It wasn’t authentic love, just blissful dis-connection. (Although, the bliss never actually lasted so I guess it was just dis-connection 😔.)

I was miserable, but too scared to face and work through my suffering. My addiction was a gorilla standing in the way of so much growth, good health, service, and SELF-LOVE. Not to mention the pain, worry, and frustration that it caused my partner and friends.

Then the first time I saw this statement, it rang so clear and true:

 “You can give up everything for one thing or give up one thing for everything.

 

 So, uneventfully (which I’m so grateful for), on the morning of August 31, 2017, I had finally had enough. And most importantly I faithfully believed that I had Divine love supporting me.

 I had just enough clarity in my foggy mind that morning to open up and surrender to a vision of sobriety. I wrote the life that I wanted to manifest and had faith it would be true at least for today. I also wrote,

 “I had my last drink(s) on August 30, 2017.

August 31, 2017 is the day I got sober 

I want this to be true tomorrow. And the next day. And Saturday. And next week. And next month. And on New Year’s Eve. And on my next birthday. And one year from now. 

It is so. It is so. It is so!

Thank you Universe!”

 

Today it’s September 15, 2018 – and IT 👏🏼 IS 👏🏼 SO.

I’m so happy. I’m incredibly grateful. And I’m still showing up to do the work every day.

I also acknowledge that not everyone’s experience with addiction and recovery is like mine. Your experience is uniquely yours, and I respect and honor that. My hope is that everyone who reads this can take what they need and leave behind the rest. I’ll end with a note from Tommy Rosen, awesome yogi and founder of Recovery 2.0:

“Remember, stay on your recovery path, ask for help when you need it, and never despair – there is a way through every block.”