Day 367: 1 Year Sober. HOLY F***K

Dear Past-Anne, 

It’s the end of summer, 2019. You just flew back from Paris back to your home on the East Coast of the U.S.A. Tomorrow you start your sobriety journey. I know you’ve been drinking almost every day these last few weeks, and that you’re really anxious at the idea of letting the booze go.

Past-Anne, you’ve relied on alcohol to regulate your emotions for most of your teenage and adult life. That’s what you were taught at home. But good for you, you’ve decided to break the family cycle, to take matters into your own hands and wean yourself off of the substance that is keeping you away from life, rather than making you more alive.

You’re sick of the hangovers, the headaches, the nausea. You’re sick of the shame, the guilt, the secrecy. You’re sick and tired of being sick and tired, although you’ve never heard that expression before, nor have you heard any kind of other AA language.

You have no idea what awaits you. 

Well, first of all, you’re going to get smashed tonight. You won’t remember much when you wake up (something about being ubered home by friends while carrying a pull-up bar AND a giant barbell found on the street). But man, will you remember the next day… the bile-puking, head piercing, regret inducing hangover. The “please god, I will never drink again, I promise, make the pain go away” hangover. The one you know so well by now. Except this time, you committed, for real. In a way, it helped. It made Day 1 easy. 

Then, you’re going to get through your first 30 days with the help of One Year No Beer’s daily videos. Ticking the days off, like a prisoner. Reading people’s stories on the Facebook group. Hanging in there, realizing you are not alone. During that time, you’re going to go through a breakup, and the devastation will be a good indicator of how raw your emotions are once the liquid lubricant has been removed. You will unveil patterns of attachment, codependency, abandonment, and you will spend the next couple of months working through grief, sadness and anger, that run much deeper than the recent events in your life. You will go back to therapy, you will relapse on the nicotine front, you will start a visual arts journal called “The American Struggle” (LOL). You will meditate, and have tears streaming down your face almost every morning while you do. You will get back on anti-depressants, “to quick smoking.” You will feel very, very alone. 

And you will keep going. You will stay sober, pick yourself up, gather your strength, or rather, find it inside you. You will take that resilience everywhere you go, and face every situation armed with it. The sober Holidays, sober Christmas with your alcoholic family, your sober birthday, sober sex, sober restaurants, sober New Year’s eve. Gradually, you will start to enjoy sober living. You will reconcile with your partner (for better or for worse), who despite all the turmoil, will always be supportive on the sobriety front, and whose own sobriety will be a huge help in keeping you committed to your own journey. You will begin to taste the joy of life. You have no idea that in a few months, a global pandemic will hit and these simple pleasures be taken away from everybody. Sobriety helped you enjoy them while they were there. 

The months will go by. Sobriety will help you focus and put in the long work hours as you write your PhD and conquer the academia-related anxiety that used to keep you paralyzed a couple of years ago. Your self esteem will increase, slowly but surely. [cue Montage scene of Anne buried in a pile of books, writing at her desk, sipping Kombucha] You will quit smoking, get off your antidepressants, pay off all of your debt, keep meditating every day and practice yoga several times a week. You will fight of the feelings of worthlessness and negative thought patterns. You will have discovered new coping mechanisms. Most of them revolving around self-compassion, breathing, self-forgiveness, and being gentle.

And before you know it, you will reach the 1 year milestone. By then, sobriety will have become the new norm. You will look back, and realize that throughout this last year, a stream runs, connecting every experience. That stream is the WordPress blogging community. Through ups and downs, you will have reached out regularly to a group of incredible people, who were there for you no matter what. Supportive and nonjudgmental, present yet not intrusive, funny yet deeply empathetic.

So when the time comes, and September 4th 2020 has passed, you will emerge from your pile of books and sit at your desk to write them this short note. To say thank you, I couldn’t have done it without you. May your own journey bring you to the place you want to be. Mine has allowed me to completely change my relation to alcohol. To be the first in my family to ever get sober for a whole year and work on myself like this. To realize that drinking is just the surface issue, that the reasons that make us want to drink are what needs to be “fixed”. That drinking keeps those conveniently out of sight, until they explode in your face.

This year has and will have changed my life completely.

I am so grateful that I did it, no matter what the future holds. I feel like a completely different person, and am forever grateful to you, as you read this.  I hope I can do the same for you no matter what your aspirations are.

May we all keep moving on our path, no matter where it takes us.

Lots of Love, 

Anne

Published by nomorebeer

Learning how sobriety helps you ENJOY life.

37 thoughts on “Day 367: 1 Year Sober. HOLY F***K

  1. Congratulations, Anne! I am so, so happy for you. You are a super amazing, lovely person with a huge heart. And I am so grateful for your friendship and solidarity on this journey. Very inspiring post! 😘🤗❤️❤️

    Liked by 2 people

  2. You are so AWESOME 😎
    I really honestly mean that. You are a fabulous person and you have so much to be proud of and so much to look forward to. Huge congratulations on reaching one year sober and also working through everything that has thrown at you. Cutting out the booze is just the very beginning of a better way of living and functioning and your post demonstrates that beautifully. Personally I want to thank you for being such a wonderful friend and for continually supporting me with compassion and humour, both of which are essential to take on this massive challenge. You deserve the very best 💕💕💕

    Liked by 2 people

    1. ❤ Aw, thank you Claire ❤ Your comment (just like all your other comments) is heart warming and means a lot ! Thank you for being so supportive and so inspiring and resilient every time I read your posts ❤ You deserve the very best toooooo xxx Anne

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Well everyone is going to say, well done Anne , you’re wonderful etc but I’m angry with you. Your one year sober post is much more original, heart felt and profound than mine and that’s just not fair. I may go and sulk. Instead I shall reach out to my new found maturity, suppress my envy and say BRILLIANT😀😀💐💐😘👏🧁🥰💪😚💐💐💐

    Liked by 2 people

      1. OOh I like the idea of that. In fact it’s a very good idea for our little community. It would provide a new, shared focus and enable another level of shared experience under the guise of fiction. Let’s do it- knock up some guidelines, set a date and launch it. X

        Like

  4. Woo Hoo!
    So happy we are sober Twins!
    Happy happy dance for you!
    💃🏻💃🏻💃🏻💃🏻💃🏻💃🏻💃🏻💃🏻💃🏻💃🏻💃🏻💃🏻💃🏻💃🏻💃🏻💃🏻💃🏻💃🏻💃🏻💃🏻💃🏻💃🏻💃🏻💃🏻💃🏻💃🏻💃🏻💃🏻💃🏻💃🏻💃🏻💃🏻💃🏻💃🏻💃🏻💃🏻💃🏻💃🏻💃🏻💃🏻💃🏻💃🏻💃🏻💃🏻💃🏻💃🏻💃🏻💃🏻💃🏻💃🏻❤️
    xo
    Wendy

    Like

  5. You had me with HOLY F**K😂. Congrats, my beautiful Anne! Now that’s a hell of a year. Sick and tired of being sick and tired was exactly where I was too. So proud and happy for you😊🤗❤️

    Like

  6. Congratulations, Anne. I really enjoy reading your journey and I appreciate your support of me as well. This community is such a blessing full of so much honesty, insight and inspiration. Wonderful post!! Xo

    Like

  7. Congratulations! 👏👏👏👏Such a lovely post Anne – brought a tear to my eye! You are one amazing woman and have come so far in just a year – I am so glad you are here and we are on this journey together – huge love and hugs to you 💞💞💞😘😘😘

    Liked by 1 person

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