What I Found at 15 Months

Updated: Feb 9, 2020

The leaves have started to turn. If my recovery had seasons, I would be entering into my first fall season. With all the heat and chaos behind me, there is a feeling of chill and loneliness set in. I have spent the past fifteen months trying to live and be sober. I no longer see sobriety as a death sentence, but rather as an opportunity, a fair shot at living a peaceful and happy life.

Not drinking alcohol is not only a great relief, but I am living a better life because of it. I can see this now. So clearly! I can begin thriving along with living. Going back to my old patterns of addiction seems impossible.

I’ve been so damn focused on everything I was losing when I stopped drinking booze that I was not able to see everything I am gaining. However, I am moving away from Joni Mitchell and more towards Patti Smith, from feeling blue to feeling free.

I lost my wine connoisseur identity. But that was a myth. I never knew the difference between a Syrah or Shiraz. They both tasted like wine, and they both made me feel good.

I lost my balls to the wall energy. But I am exhausted from having lived this way for all of my adult life. I am happy to say goodbye to my “go big or go home” attitude.

I lost my quick fix to feeling anything but good. I can no longer change my feelings with a couple of drinks. But towards the end of my drinking, I had lost my ability to do this. I, primarily, drank to feel normal, not to feel good.

I can go on listing all my grievances that came along when I quit drinking alcohol. The list is long. I’ve been so focused on all these losses that it has taken me this long (15 months of trying to live sober) to finally find what I’ve been searching for my entire adult life.

I found myself.

I found a lost girl on her quest to become a woman full of drama. I found her broken, still bleeding from life’s wounds. I found her anger deeply rooted in depression.

I have asked her to forgive me for taking us down a dark path for inflicting so much physical and emotional pain. For destroying her relationships and burning bridges, she will never rebuild again. I have been able to greet her without fear and hold space for her insecurities.

She is far from being whole, but I found her. She is not lost anymore. I caught her. Finally!

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