When I was in 4th or 5th grade, I had a best friend that I spent all of my time with. I’d go over her house after school and we’d have sleepovers almost every weekend. Like most kids our age she loved Kraft Mac N Cheese. She’d make it for lunch on a regular basis. However, this was a major problem because I am lactose intolerant. I would never say anything. She'd cook the Mac N' Cheese and I would eat it and get super sick.
I was so afraid to tell her that I couldn’t eat the Mac N Cheese that I would let myself get ill. My friend was the sweetest person, (still is! we’ve been friends the whole time) I wasn’t afraid of her. I just didn’t want to inconvenience her with my problem.
This is only one example of the many ways I betrayed myself.
In fact many years later, I was getting a pedicure and the nail technician was on the phone and not paying attention. She was working on the callouses on my feet and applying too much pressure. My feet started to bleed, I saw it happening, and was in a lot of pain, but I sat there and did NOTHING. I didn’t want to interrupt her phone call. I sat there and let her cut my feet up because of my fear of being a nuisance. Eventually, she realized how badly she’d cut me and felt horrible.
I’m sharing all of this because I recently hit two years of sobriety and I’ve been reflecting on the time that’s passed and what it means to me. Year two feels like a sort of coming home to myself. I’ve stopped betraying myself. I’ve started to truly listen to what I want and need and then ask for it.
Why a person drinks is personal and unique to each individual. I’m still unpacking why I fell into an addiction to alcohol.
I know some of it had to do with my struggle to speak up for myself. I spent years in relationships I didn’t want to be in, and doing things I didn’t like. I stayed silent, so many times. I bit my tongue when I wanted to speak up. It’s a really exhausting way to live. When I drank, I became uninhibited. I said the things that were on my mind.
Year two of sobriety has been about doing deep soul work, healing and asking myself a lot of questions. I’d say the older I get the more questions I have.
But, one thing I know for sure: I love who I am today, and I’m damn proud of myself for hitting two years sober. If you’re reading this and wanting to get sober, please remember that recovery is always possible.