I’m one year and four days sober today.
That’s the longest I’ve gone without drinking since I was 19 years old.
Anyone reading this probably remembers my “year of sobriety” back in 2015. I decided not to drink for a year, thinking it was a cute little New Years’ resolution when in actuality, it was a subconscious cry because even back then, at 27 years old, I knew I needed help.
It took four years for me to finally get that help. From 2016 until the end of 2020, I struggled. If you knew me during those years, maybe you saw it, maybe you didn’t. I was very good at hiding it and even better at lying about it. I was a good liar, just, in general back then.
To say I was in a rut might be the biggest understatement I’ve ever made, but I guess that’s what it was. It was a muddy, sticky, dark, and incredibly sad rut and I had no idea how to get out of it. So I lived in it, waiting for someone or something to come save me.
I thought if I just got my “big break” or met “the one”, then I could be happy. But, auditions were sparse and the men I attracted never really wanted to be there. So, that game plan quickly crumbled and it became very clear, my knight in shining armor wasn’t coming.
I thought about giving up. I thought about leaving LA and settling down in a normal town to have a normal life. In my head, I composed the email I would send to my reps to tell them I was done. I called my mom to cry it out while secretly hoping she would tell me to keep going because I didn’t actually want to quit. I just wanted to feel better.
I considered giving up altogether. I had suicidal thoughts and ideations on multiple occasions. I look back on those moments now and I’m overwhelmed by how strong my mom and my sister are and I’m overwhelmed by how grateful I am to have them. They kept me alive.
It still took me a few more rock bottoms and about a year of hypnotherapy and talk therapy before I finally realized that the person I was waiting on to come and save me had been there the whole time. It was me.
I quit drinking on September 13th 2020. It took me a few more weeks to be able to say “I’m an alcoholic” and if I’m being completely honest, it’s still a hard thing to say sometimes. There are a lot of preconceived notions and common misconceptions associated with the word. I think the general population has an idea of what an alcoholic should look like, talk like, be like because of the way addiction plays out on TV or the way it’s discussed behind close doors. It can be made to feel very shameful and I think that’s why I put off owning this part of me for so long. I was carrying enough shame around, I didn’t need to add to my load.
I work every day to continue owning this part of myself and all the other parts I once thought were “unlovable”. I’ve learned through doing the work to get sober that every piece of being human is lovable . We all came into this world whole and that’s how we’re supposed to live in it. Of course, that’s easier said that done, but the more it’s done, the easier it gets.
It’s been 370 days of sobriety and healing and learning and growing. It’s been painful, joyful, every-emotion-on-the-spectrum-ful. I don’t know what the next 370 days will bring, but I’m already grateful that I get to experience each and every one of them.