1 Year

A few days back I celebrated 1 year of sobriety and posted this on my Facebook:

I woke up one year ago today knowing that it was over. It had to be. My life had become unmanageable, and I was going down fast. I left work just minutes after I had arrived, took the train home, told my boyfriend I had a serious problem, and climbed into bed to smother my catastrophic hangover with McDonalds. I spent the whole day making a plan as the immensity of the task at hand began to sit heavily on my shoulders. I surrendered on April 14th, 2014.

What a difference a year makes. I’ve spent the 365 days re-calibrating, trying things out, pulling back when necessary, and generally just doing whatever it is I need to do for myself. It required a lot of declined invitations, hiding in bed, reading books, drinking seltzer and tea, delaying projects, and eating tubs of ice cream. At times it felt as if I were being left behind professionally, socially, and artistically, but it was worth the extended pause.

Grateful for so much now: my life, my boyfriend, my dog, my friends and family. Thank you for helping me along, and thank you for your patience and care.

I remember how scary it was initially to come out publicly and discuss my disease, but now it just comes naturally. Before I said anything to family and friends, I worried that they would think badly of me, or that they wouldn’t understand the significance of what I was doing, that they would think that I was looking for attention.

Since then, I have stopped caring about how I’m perceived when I talk about my recovery (for the most part). What others think of me is none of my business. I continue to be transparent about the whole thing because I think it’s important for other people in trouble to see that others have been in trouble, too. I also think it’s important for those who might not understand addiction to have an opportunity to see recovery in action.

People have been amazing. Certainly there are some who don’t quite “get it” and wonder what I’m going on about, but that little Facebook post received 227 LIKES and 40 COMMENTS expressing love and support. Like these:

What an inspiration you are. A great day to celebrate.

Proud of you bud! You are an inspiration indeed.

I’m so unbelievably proud of you my friend

Congrats cuz! You got this. Love you and know if you ever need anything, I’m there.

CONGRATULATIONS FOR EVERY ONE OF THESE 365 DAYS!!!

There is nothing you will do in your life of which you should be more proud. Mazel Tov.

Year two is pretty amazing I have to say, so keep going buddy.

This is the kind of day that makes my day(s) seem so much brighter!

And from my boyfriend:

I don’t have to tell you what a huge accomplishment this is, but as someone who has witnessed it every day…it’s pretty remarkable. How you’ve turned, and continue to turn, everything around us into the epitome of strength. I not only love you, but admire you. You continue to challenge and better yourself toward a brighter tomorrow. We must celebrate with dinner and books, laughter and song…and all the good fortunes life has to offer. You’re amazing.

It is absolutely mind-boggling how my world has opened up, and how people open up their own world to me as I approach our relationship with care, honesty, integrity, and love. Their love and support is all I need, and those that I’ve lost–those who choose to maintain the distance despite my best efforts–those are the people that need to do what is best for them.

This is possible, you guys. We can do this. We can recover.

I think that’s all. Excuse my brevity, but sometimes the moment just wants to speak for itself.

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44 comments

  1. Happy Belated sober birthday! Your blog was one of the very first ones I came across when I was deciding whether or not to get sober. I read it all in one night and at certain points, laughed so hard I cried.

    Now I’ve got 72 days of sobriety under my belt, and continue to draw inspiration from your posts. You are a truly beautiful soul, and I can’t thank you enough for sharing your story with us :).

  2. Congrats on your year! I’m happy for you. 🙂 That must be scary indeed to share your story. I’m not there yet, not sure if I ever will. Currently I think secrecy is the best option to keep me sober. But thank you for going before me, us. Everyone sharing their story makes it easier for the others to follow.
    Hope you have/had a lovely celebration!
    xx, Feeling

  3. Man…that is just so wonderful!!!! I remember the first posts here and now to read this!
    Yes,you are amazing and have done an amazing thing…celebrate and then, guess what?
    keep on doing it. keep living this wonderful life, full of love and possibilities that were not there where you were drinking.
    Congratulations!!

  4. I have been reading your blog from the beginning. Our day ones were only 14 days apart. Until I relapsed at a Wedding five months in. I have just passed the 90 day mark after FINALLY waking up to the fact I can not drink..ever. I have been a blackout drinker where there is never enough since I picked up my first drink as a youth. Your vivid recollection of the cravings, the pre-drinking, the constant thinking about the next drink mirrored my own experience almost identically. When I went back to that first drink at the Wedding last October I drank myself into blackout state that night. I have no recollection of my husband taking me or my five year old back to our hotel. Waking up severely hung over to discover a bump on my childs head and having no idea how it got there was terrifying. I was told I carried my daughter out of the reception as she had taken off her shoes and my husband knowing how drunk I had become ordered us home in an instant. How I managed it in high heels I do not know. You are an inspiration in that your blog is like no other. Brutally honest and you find the humor in lifes tragic experiences too. . I have set a goal of my new one year date..and forever after that. My biggest congratulations to you!!

  5. Congratulations on your year of sobriety! Thank you so much for your honesty and humor… you are truly an inspiration! Love from Austin, Texas!

  6. My BFB friend…..you just made my day with your amazing post. Thank You for inspiring me. Keep it up. I am so happy you have your love of your life supporting you too. Sobriety rocks.

  7. Great news and it’s only going to get better. I have found that I must change a lot of my negatives into positives because it would be so easy to start taking all my hard work and flushing it. Firstly I am now into my seventh year and last year I hit the big 60. Obviously I’m no longer the fit fella I was in my 40 but that’s by the by. 18 months after stopping I was diagnosed with osteoporosis and it’s we’ll established with no cure. I have had lower back and joint pain for a couple of years but no one, including me, took much notice. To be honest I didn’t press things to much because of the drink. Now that could easily be a negative but looking on the positive side I am now getting the proper treatment to slow the progress. If I wasn’t I dread to think what state I would be in now. 3 years ago I was asked by my doctor how long had had a scab on my forehead. I wasn’t sure but it had been a while. So off I’m packed to the local hospital for a check and a short while later I learn I have skin cancer and a very aggressive one at that, negative. Positive spot on forehead three years earlier would never of been mentioned so brilliant positive result. I am not pushing up the daisies and I have a check up every three months now. I could go on but it gets boring all right I know its already got boring. I suppose what I’m trying to say is that real good factor can go on and on but just now and again you’ve got to look for it. All the best

    1. You’re absolutely right. We must find the gratitude we have each and every day. Thanks for the words of wisdom and I wish you nothing but light, love, and advance healing of whatever ails you.

  8. CONGRATULATIONS. Very happy for you and your anniversary, doesn’t it feel GREAT?
    I’ve binge-read your incredible story so far. By turns gut-wrenchingly hilarious/heartbreaking.
    My own 1 year was April 7, and I am a little stunned, and also so happy with the best decision I ever made. Wish I knew life could be like this years ago, but it’s ALL GOOD, everything is unfolding as it should.
    More donkeyfarts please, and CONGRATULATIONS again!

  9. Many, many congratulations! You’re a constant source of inspiration and laughter. Hats off and best wishes for a big, beautiful, bright future! You deserve every happiness.

  10. Congratulations on one year! I knew it was this week for you and felt confident we would be hearing from you soon! What a great FB post and awesome response! Right behind you by less than month and you have been one of my biggest inspirations! (Viatoday – Day 340)

  11. Congratulations John. I too have a new exciting life. I read your entire blog in a day and you gave me a lot of inspiration. Thanks sober buddy! Loved what boyfriend said on fb.

  12. Thank you for your openness and honesty. You continue to inspire me to do better. Congratulations on a huge milestone.

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