It takes nine months for a child to be born.
It also takes nine months for an insecure, anxiety-ridden, clinically depressed party animal to be RE-born.
Today I am a that child. Only much wiser.
It’s been nine months since I used alcohol, drugs or men as a Band-Aid. I got off the birth control I’d been getting shot in my booty every three months since I was 14. I quit my anxiety meds. The only kisses I get now are from the wet muzzles of my fur-kids.
Everything about me and the way I feel is NATURAL. It’s REAL. Every emotion is MY OWN. And being sober has allowed me to learn how to embrace it all. The highs, the lows, the anxiety, the doubt, the pride, the fear.
I am finally present in this life.
Nine months ago I’d let those emotions get the best of me. Sitting alone in my small apartment wasn’t something I was capable of doing. It was too quiet. I thought too much. There were too many chores to get done. So I’d go to the bar. I’d drink those emotions away. I’d be nervous at first about those around me. Did they want me there? Did I look okay? So I’d drink more until that liquid courage roared in my belly. Then I was fun. I was happy. I was beautiful. I’d stay out until the wee hours of the morning raising another glass to the sunrise. I’d fall asleep happy. I loved my life. My party friends… And then I’d wake up to the guilt. What did I say? What did I do? Why do I feel so shitty? Oh my god you look like HELL! Days upon days wasted in recovery from being hungover, then getting sick, then the exhaustion. Then the depression would come. The grumpiness.
And the cycle would start again.
Today I embrace the quiet of my small apartment. The sound of my puppy chewing her bones and my kitty purring on the couch above me. I light candles and incense and meditate. I paint. I draw. I write. I do my dishes (sometimes). I allow myself to think. And when the bad thoughts make their way to the forefront, I sort them out. Why am I feeling this way? What is worrying me? How can I ease that concern? I take deep breaths. I look in the mirror and tell myself that I AM ENOUGH. I treat myself as I would treat the five-year-old me. Gently, lovingly, patiently. And if that doesn’t work I don’t run to the bar. I just run. Or go to a yoga class. Or take a walk or hike with the puppy. Then I come home and take a long bath – complete with bubbles and lavender Epsom salts and candles and a warm mug of my favorite tea. I read a book. I call my Mom. I message one of my best friends on the other side of the country. And I fall asleep happy. I love my life. My real friends. The ones who stuck around for the transition and don’t let it make them uncomfortable. The ones who support my success and new set of eyes rather than finding animosity in my new path. And then I wake up to the sunrise. And a full heart. I make sure to tell the people that matter most I love them. I'm productive. I feel awake, alive and ready to conquer the day. I’m glowing. Bright eyed-and bushy tailed. I have my days scheduled out with fun activities and adventures. I’m healthy. I’m happy.
And the cycle starts again.
I look back at the person I was nine months ago and while she’s familiar to me, I don’t really know her anymore. I’m living proof that a person can change. And while the path that got me to this point isn’t a pretty one or one that most people would be proud of – I’m finally not ashamed of it. I’m human. I made bad decisions and those decisions sometimes had bad consequences. But ultimately, they led me here. They made me the resilient, strong, confident, HAPPY woman that I am today. I see the world with a new set of eyes. And I can’t help but think…if THIS MUCH has changed in nine months and THIS MUCH has been accomplished….what will I be capable of in the months to come? I have dreams again. And you damn well believe I’m going to conquer each one. Without a single Band-Aid.
You want to feel a buzz? Let me tell you something....The best one I’ve ever felt is being sober.
Take my word for it.