I never imagined hitting this milestone. It feels strange to say out loud. 500 DAYS alcohol free.
I remember when I was first trying to quit drinking I started attending AA. I met a girl with a month sober and I looked at her with tears in my eyes. At that point I couldn't get more than two days without drinking. I wondered how I'd ever get there.
During the last 500 days I've changed, grown, and healed. I've tried to take a deep dive into what caused my addiction in the first place. How it got so bad. I'm almost finished with Annie Grace's book, This Naked Mind, it's helped me put some of the pieces together. She says, "Why is alcohol the only drug on earth you have to justify not taking? We're fighting against the cultural, societal, and industry factors that get us stuck and keep us there."
Until now I've blamed myself for struggling with alcohol. I believed there was something inherently wrong with me. At least that's what I was told in AA. That I was different than others, that I had a defect an allergy to alcohol. I was missing part of the picture.
Alcohol is an ADDICTIVE substance it's a drug. A drug that kills 95,000 people a year. The fact that I became dependent on alcohol is not completely my fault. Our culture is saturated with drinking, and messages telling us that alcohol will improve our lives.
I can't lie this summer has been hard. Harder than my first few months of sobriety, which sounds strange I know. But, I got sober during the pandemic and when I got out of treatment all of the bars where shut down, so I had not temptation to go out and drink.
Now I'm surrounded by friends who haven't seen each other in over a year and everyone wants to get together and of course there's copious amounts of alcohol. I've found myself tempted to drink, angry that I can't have just one, or be a normal drinker.
I'm in the middle of shifting this attitude. In the middle of taking a hard look at the role alcohol plays in society. The lie that is sold to us through genius marketing campaigns.
If I have to sum up the last 500 days in a word, I'd have to say it's enough. I've learned to forgive myself for my past, embrace the messy unknown that is my life, accept that sobriety is an ongoing journey that requires work. But, through it all I am more than enough.
500 days is a HUGE accomplishment and for that I am proud. If you're reading this and you are trying to quit or even questioning your relationship with alcohol please know that recovery is always possible.
Adorable dress in picture is from a boutique in VA Beach, Babetique.