Today marks three years... Three years of tears. Three years of smiles. Three years of growth. Three years of falling to pieces. Three years of losing my identity. Three years of finding myself. Three years of lost friendships. Three years of amazing relationships. Three years of heartbreak. Three years of love. Three years of confusion. Three years of clarity. Three years waking up to live another day. Three years of sobriety. Three years of LIFE.
Three years ago today, I CHOSE. Three years ago today, I made the choice to live. Three years ago today, I chose to take walking out of the emergency room alive as my wake up call. Three years ago today, I cried into my mother's chest. Three years ago today, I sent out apologies to all of my friends and family. Three years ago today, I sat in the doorway of a one-bedroom apartment crying on the floor. Three years ago today, I realized that my mother could have been going through my things to decide what to keep to remember me by. Three years ago today, I could have been GONE. But three years ago today, I CHOSE sobriety.
When I think back on these past three years, I see life. I often like to refer to my sobriety date as the day my life truly started, because for the first time in a long time I was living again. I was feeling things again. I was not trapped by my thoughts, my emotions, or the thought of drowning them all away with another shot. For the first time in my life I chose to stand up and face the demons that I had housed inside of me for twenty-six years. The addiction. The pain. The hurt. The trauma. The emotions. All of it. I had no idea what I was going up against, and I had no idea how hard it was going to be to make it out alive.
The past three years have been the biggest fight of my life. I knew it wouldn't be easy, but I had no idea just how hard it would be. It would push me to the rockiest of rock bottoms. It would slam me into episodes of depression. It would drown me in tears on some nights. There would be a lot of loneliness, a lot of struggle, and a whole lot of loss. Loss of friendships. Loss of relationships. Loss of my old life. Loss of my entire identity. I got to a point where I had no idea who I was or what I was doing anymore. But then something shifted...
I had a dream about a book that I found on the floor. It was a white book with the words of my story on the pages. There were pictures of myself blacked-out drunk all over the pages. I quickly realized that this was my story. This was my book. This was my gift. I gave myself no choice but to embrace this symbolic dream and to write that book. To put everything and anything onto the pages. To pour myself into every word. To let out every deep, dark part of my struggle and my journey. And that book changed EVERYTHING.
When I wrote and self-published Sober as F***, I had no idea how it would change my life. I released the book one year ago TODAY. I released it on the anniversary of two years of living sober. What has happened since then has been truly life changing. Three more self-published pieces followed, as I became absolutely addicted to the therapeutic act of writing. I started to receive messages and support from complete strangers. People out there just like me found hope in those pages. People out there just like me saw a light at the end of the tunnel in those pages. I quickly realized that I was not alone in this, like I had felt I was all along. I realized that I had a gift to share, and that was exactly what I was going to do from that day on.
Sharing my story with the world and being able to help others has been truly unbelievable. It has changed everything for me. It has filled me with gratitude, light, and love. It has given me a new type of determination and hunger inside. It has given me a gift, a calling, and a purpose in life. Now I can see and understand that that gift was the reason it all had to happen. All of the pain. All of the struggle. The fight to survive. It was years in the making. I had to fall. I had to break to pieces. I had to claw my way back to the top. I had to rebuild everything in my life. I had to do it. Because it was all for THIS.
So I sit here today, typing out this post on the morning of the anniversary of my third year sober. It's 7am, I've got my cup of coffee, and it's another day I get to share my gift and help whoever I can in the world. It's another day I'm grateful to have woken up. It's another day that I'm thankful that I made it. It's another day that I'm HERE.
Three years ago could have been it. It could have been the end. But it wasn't. I wasn't done yet, and I'm nowhere near done today.
Three years stronger. Three years happier. Three years of light. Three years of love. Three years of sobriety. Three years of LIFE.
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