8 Years Sober!

infinity

As of today, I’ve been sober for 8 years. That’s 2,922 days!

These yearly milestones have become increasingly exciting and significant to me, but number 8 is extra special. The symbolism and theme I’m going with here is my limitless potential and commitment to continuous personal growth. Yeah, that’s right. I’m motivated and it’s awesome. So, “what’s new this year?” you ask…

I’ve been practicing an attitude of gratitude. This frame of mind hasn’t come naturally to me, but it has begun to pay off. It IS possible to change our thoughts! It’s also exhausting. I’m not insinuating that I was a negative Nancy and an ungrateful Ursula, but it has taken an obscene amount of conscious effort to get this process kicked off and into a rhythm. gratitudeThis attitude of gratitude makes me more awake. It also slows me down and puts me into the moment more often. “One day at a time” no longer seems like a coping strategy – it’s a result of being grounded. Every day I am thankful for the love in my life and goals that I’ve reached. I’m making even more goals and feeling optimistic about them. That’s huge for me. I am so grateful for my life and for the people I hold dear. I’m aware of this abundance daily.

These great strides I’m making would all be squashed like road kill if I weren’t also focused on shutting up this bully that lives in my head. bullyThis is where my internal bullshit gets scary. I call it bullshit because it is self-inflicted and ridiculous. It’s embarrassing to admit that I pick myself apart all day long. I’m never good enough and these thoughts feel real. If some bitch walked up to me and told me that I was a loser, ugly, fat, hairy, a shitty dresser, a shitty mom, a shitty wife, a lame daughter, terrible at my job, or a worthless steaming pile of cow dung, I’d beat the shit out of her. I’d even throw in my signature drunk move and pull her hair while poking her eyes. I was proud of that move. Constantly judging me like this hurts. It hurts a lot. Realistically, I know how special and unique I am and that I’m a good person. So, why do I need to remind myself of it? Whatever the reasons, I’m locking it down. It feels so unnatural to be confident, but I’m practicing. And during these fleeting moments of confidence, I almost feel guilty. It’s weird and I don’t totally get it, but I will. This is the biggest and most important challenge of my life and I have no choice but to go for it. My kids WILL have self-esteem and they’ll learn how to nurture their own souls with my example. I don’t feel like a good person when I judge anyone else either, and I do it all the time, so that is changing. When I judge them, I judge me. Let’s stay real though; I’m not going to turn into a hippy, sport some rose-colored glasses, and try to love everyone. There are a lot of idiots out there. But I can appreciate how different we all are and learn from others’ stupidity.

So, the gist of it is, I’m feeling pretty raw. But I am happier, healthier, and empowered because of it. With 8 years of sobriety, I can confidently rely on my unclouded intuition and proudly declare that my relationships are whole. I have a lot more work to do and I’m going to be amazing. Today I make another choice to live sober and some days that’s all I need. Life is incredible.

For all of you out there who need a shoulder, an ear, a virtual hug, or a heart to tell you you’re worth it, here I am. If I’m worth it, you’re worth it. And we can do this together.

the wound is where light enters

Thanks for reading,
SoberChrystal

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7 Responses to 8 Years Sober!

  1. Jim says:

    I wish you wrote more often! I get it…after 8 years you probably don’t need this vehicle like you, perhaps used to. But I wish you wrote more…I like your style and the way you put things. I know I am not alone in that sentiment. Jim

    • Holy crapsickle, Jim! Thank you for your comment! I have been thinking the same thing, that I want to write more often. I started my blog about 3 years ago and pretty much white-knuckled my shit before that. For some reason my anxiety has been all up in my grill lately – like pretty bad. I think it’s more important than ever that I write more consistently. Thank you for giving me that extra inspiration. And for making me feel like a badass.

  2. Katey says:

    You are awesome! thanks for writing and sharing your journey! Kick that self doubt out you are amazing and wonderful and people are lucky to know you. Just remember that! XOXO

  3. Wow. I connected with this piece in such a real way, I can’t even begin to describe it.

    As I Tweeted you, I celebrated 8 years on 10/30. It’s just such an amazing coincidence to run into someone who has that in common. It’s kind of cool . And it’s also empowering beyond belief to hear someone struggling with the same struggles I am.

    The way you are talking about putting yourself out there and KNOWING that you’re good enough, but somehow having to fight like crazy just to hold on to a sense of self. Something decent.

    And your writing is so fucking awesome, by the way. I seriously don’t say that to many people either. In fact, I think most people can’t write to save their life. But you obviously have the ear that hears the human story going on around us.

    You ever write fiction?? If not, you totally should.

    I literally released a book today that I’ve been working on for the past six months. I’m scared out of my fucking mind. Self-doubt and insane amounts of fear about putting myself out there is more-or-less the central tenant of my life right now. lol

    Anyway, I’d love to read more of your stuff. You definitely have a story to tell.

    This piece was awesome. Really needed to read it. 🙂

    Peace,
    Jake

    • Holy shit, Jake, I just read this! Clearly, I’ve been way too busy working, cleaning, tweeting, and keeping children alive. I must make time for my blog! Thank you, thank you for reading and I am so glad we have so much in common!

      Thanks for the mad props – gave me like 5 seconds of full-on self-esteem! So cool! 😉

      I have your book and I’m going to read it soon. What an accomplishment. Can’t wait.

      Congrats to YOU on your 8 years! Doesn’t it seem surreal? Don’t you feel like a badass?!

      Stay sober, stay real,
      SoberChrystal

  4. Stacey says:

    I don’t remember if I sent you a congrats this year on 8 years, if not I sincerely apologize for the oversight! I am so proud of you, and though I know the internal fight has been a hard one, I’m grateful that you continue to win those battles and keep on moving forward. Self is the hardest thing we face, no matter what each of our struggles are. You are very good at holding a mirror up to your “self” and looking that self in the eye. While sobriety has been a curse for you, I think it may also be your greatest blessing. How many of us have to “look” at our “self” daily and duke it out? I’m positive that more SHOULD. You do it every day and you are still winning! I love you Spifferoo. Keep fighting. You’ve always been a great brawler. *hug*

    • Stacey. Seriously. Your support is beyond incredible. I never thought of it that way, that I’m “duking it out” with myself daily – no wonder I don’t have any energy! Thanks for your words. You just made my damn day. I love you too!

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