The reason I share my sobriety story so openly is because I am passionate about ending the stigma associated with addictions.
Today, I very loudly celebrate 1000 days sober.
What does sobriety mean to me?
In mid January 2018 I woke up with my last hangover.
Not every night was a black out night, but I can honestly say towards the end of my addiction pretty much every night I was under the influence to the point that I couldn’t drive. I was not a reliable mom, wife, daughter, or friend.
I started things but never finished them.
Things such as workout programs and healthy eating.
Because cardio/running is a wonderful thing to do to your body when it is dehydrated and hungover.
(insert eye roll)
Yup I did fasting, and often broke the fast with a shot of tequila or vodka. Very healthy, right? …
I started courses, books, meditating, crafting, a side business, etc. Nothing ever lasted. I quit everything…
Except my drinking. Until now.
Not a day goes by that I don’t have a memory of before recovery.
It brings back horrible, shameful memories of being drunk and trying to look sober. The red patches on my face, trying to cover them up. The alcohol on my breath, brushing my teeth over and over trying to hide the smell.
It fills me with the shame of secretly drinking and then that awful task of hiding my drunkenness. The pathetic attempt to talk, trying to sit up, walk, do LIFE normally. I spent so much time covering my tracks, hiding my secret, my ugly habit that made me sick, physically, mentally, emotionally, and especially spiritually.... I was slowing killing the spirit inside of me.
ONE GLASS OR MODERATION!?
For me, it was the 1 or 2 bottles and the thirst for more alcohol once that first sip had passed my lips that wild horses could not have been able to stop. Sneaking shots to get to the buzz, the numbness, the zoning out quicker. Then the broken sleep, nausea and crippling impact on mental health.
It’s one thing to have spent evenings of my life drinking wine and zoning out through an entire episode of Downton Abbey but I realize that I have been zoned out for some of the best bits of life. So many incredibly special occasions, (including my own wedding) that will never happen again.
It took a long time and many, many days of telling myself I wasn't going to drink to only turn around and fail by 5pm (wine o’clock).
In the end though I was sick and tired of being sick and tired.
I had finally had enough.
You do it until your done, and then you stop.
I love knowing that I will remember everything I did today.
I love knowing that I will not wake up full of anxiety because of things I may have said or done, but don't clearly remember ("never tell me anything important after 8pm" I would say).
I love knowing that there will be no apology texts, no awkward pretending my outrageous behavior was totally normal!
I love knowing that I'll be waking up to a beautiful morning tomorrow, hangover free…”
When I say my sober date means absolutely everything to me, it is not an exaggeration.
I take care of myself.
I am able to be a better mom, better wife, better human.
I am present for life.
I have accomplished more with my life in 1000 days then I have in the 30+ years of addiction before.
I have been so fortunate/blessed that during my early recovery days, I found a passion that fires me from the center of my being and I was able to take that passion and turn it into a business that allows me to help others make positive change their lives.
Every single day of my life I live in gratitude for my sobriety.
For those who are newly sober, don't get frustrated with yourself and give up. This is a process and it takes time, and I can promise you that your life will immediately get better when you stop drinking. It won't be perfect because it's still life, but it is so much better.
I LOVE being sober, its like I am the person I always wanted to be.
My sober date is my birth date.
The day I stopped drinking was the day I truly started living, and I am only getting started.
No, people who are vain, have a lot of self-hatred covered over by a layer of "I'm better then you".
But this is different. It isn't wrong to put yourself on the top of that list, ahead of family and friends, your pets or shrimp.
If you don't, who the hell is going to love them and take care of them in the fierce, amazing way that only you can, when you're empty, depleted and have nothing left to give.
We say, "oh I take care of myself, I have self care Sunday" (I said that in a stereotypical high pitched women voice.)
Wow!! One day (which is probably really a couple hours of that day) out of 7 days, if you really even do commit to doing self care once a week.
Regardless, that isn't quite what I mean, I am digging beyond "self care".
What I am asking you to do, is really love yourself.
A love like-look in the mirror at your body, hair, into your own eyes and tell yourself how amazing you really are-kind of love.
How beautiful your hair shines, how wonderful and amazing your body is for carrying your soul around everyday even though you treat that body like shit sometimes. How gorgeous your eyes really are and how much love you see in them.
Why do you treat yourself like this? What would you say if you heard your best friend or your kid talking to themselves like that?
How is that kind of talk actually serving you?
It is serving you by making you feel sad and if you think that sadness doesn't come out in your daily life, then you are mistaken.
That moment you snap at the ones you love the most. When you start pushing the people around you away. You may even start coping or soothing yourself in negative ways such as drinking, self harm, eating disorders, sex, mindless shopping...whatever it takes to make you feel good for a short period.
I know, I have done it for many years.
All the love in our lives begins with us. (read that again)
When you really love yourself, you cannot hurt yourself, and you cannot hurt another person.
Trust me when I say, if you don't start loving yourself first, you can't really love the ones that matter to you.
So please look in that mirror and realize you are worthy, except and love yourself exactly as you are, right here and now.
I love myself, and because of that I can love my kids/husband/friends (you know, people), the animals in my life, home, and my career.
Deb Silver is an online Fitness trainer and nutrition coach. She empowers women to find their strengths, live their truths and find ways to make their lives happier and healthier.