Road Signs on My Sober Journey

Today is day 100 of sobriety for me! One hundred days of consecutive sobriety after countless Day 1s over 6 years of trying. I want to say to everyone who reads this, everyone who might be struggling to stay sober: you might lose count, but NEVER lose hope. Never quit quitting!

Yesterday, I was thinking about those signs on the road that say “Scenic Viewpoint Ahead” and how much I love the quick stretch-stop to appreciate a deep breath and the beautiful view. My 100th day of sobriety is much like that—a quick stop to acknowledge the journey and take in the view before getting right back on the road.

“But first, I need to remember the road signs I just passed so that I don’t lose my way.”

A Hidden Letter and the Bottle of Tequila

I was doing some reorganizing in my closet yesterday, and I found two lost things: two road signs on my sober journey. Tucked and hidden in the back of my closet was an empty bottle of tequila. Underneath my bras and underwear, I discovered a hidden letter.

The letter was tucked far in the back of my hardest to reach drawer. The envelope was blank, giving no indication of what was inside. It was with a mix of curiosity and trepidation that I pulled out the paper inside. It was dated 12/07/17 and addressed to “Dear Self”. I skimmed the first few lines, but my eyes started to blur, so I quickly wiped away the tears and slipped it back into its envelope. My past self had sent me a message.

Later on, when the family was busy and I thought I would have some privacy, I slipped back into my closet. I sat on the floor and pulled out the letter, and this time, I read every word.

My younger self had indicated that she was writing this letter from day 2 of sobriety. She was embarrassed and hated what alcohol was doing to her life. She was scared of the health consequences, regretful of the money wasted, despised the unproductivity that came with hangovers, but most of all, she hated the double life she lived, the memories she sacrificed, and the secret shame she kept hidden away.

She warned that soon she would start feeling better and think once again that she could handle a few drinks. She laid it out clearly that while she might be able to handle it for a few nights without regret, she would soon spiral back to the misery at the top of the letter.

While she minced no words about the terrible things alcohol was doing in her life the tone changed half way through to the beautiful possibilities of life without it.

She wrote with love about the beautiful, creative, uplifting, adventurous woman she was and all the wonderful things she wanted to contribute to the people around her and the greater world beyond. It was thoughtfully written with such precise clarity about alcohol and immense encouragement to the girl that was continuing the battle it. I cry even now at 100 days of sobriety as I share it here.

I don’t remember writing that letter and I can only imagine how it was easily forgotten by the countless day 1s that have come since. It was hard to believe that letter has sat unnoticed in the back of my drawer for almost 6 years.

It is difficult to process the struggles, pain and agony that have gone on between that past version of myself that wrote the letter and the current version of myself that found and read it. It’s been a long time I’ve been battling this and progressing to even worse places than my past self could have ever imagined.

Toward the end of my last quit date my hangovers were getting pretty horrific. My fitness watch would indicate values so bad I’d wonder if it thought I died . I would sob the next morning to my Mr that I wasn’t sure why but God keeps sending me back here so I must still have a purpose.

I guess this is my story of never quit quitting

In the letter my past self beautifully wrote all the things she wanted to do in this life, her dreams, and who she knew she could become if she could win the fight with alcohol. She inspired me to continue working hard to become that version of myself she dreamed I could be.

So, while that empty tequila bottle I found went into the recycling bin, the words from the letter went straight into my heart. I tucked it back into my drawer for safe keeping.

And this is my third road sign on my sober journey at 100 days.

Tonight, I told a close friend that I was celebrating 100 days of sobriety. She said, “Wow,” and asked me why.

My “why” is so big, so deep, and so hard-fought, with so many unseen day 1’s, hidden misery and shame, that it was hard for me to put into words. I ended up sharing with her my last night drunk and how my normally happy, horny drunk self had a horrible fight with my Mr that I could only remember part of but felt totally ashamed of. The intensity of my hangover the next day made me wonder if I would die and leave my family, so I just decided I was done. I also told her that I love the sober person I am becoming and how much I appreciate being present in every moment, even the hard ones.

By telling her about my sobriety, it made it extra real for me. Just like I kept hidden a lot of my drinking, I have kept to myself this new sober start. I have quietly and inwardly been protecting this new emerging sober version of myself, keeping it safe and secure by keeping it just for me.

Quietly I have been untying the knots and untangling my chains while reclaiming my power from my monsters. Inside me is a scared girl that is learning she is brave and bold and can stand up. She is busy and needs the space to work on things. The work can be ugly, hard and painful but no matter how tired she gets she has to keep going.

Today I realized that scared girl was strong enough to tell a close friend, and no matter how they reacted, to continue her jorney. By sharing with my friend my excitement of celebrating 100 days sober I validated that scared girl and her hard work and she felt it deep inside. There is much work to do but it’s nice to realize how far I’ve come.

I didn’t get a clear read on what my friend thought but I am separate enough to see that is totally ok. I have accepted that it is better for me to stand alone sober than fall together drunk.

In all the time since writing that letter I have had so many day 1’s I lost count long ago. I lost count but I didn’t lose hope. Never quit quitting! 🌻

Read more sober Milestone posts:

100 days sober

Read more on this theme :

The Trick To Quit Drinking is to Never Quit Quitting

Read this author’s archive:

My Sobriety is a Threat to My Addiction

Keep Going You Got This – Perspective from the Dune

No More Deadly Drinking Games – Enjoying My First Sober Halloween

Climbing Mount Sobriety One Step at a Time

If you’re “sober curious” …If you are drinking too much too often and want to stop or take a break… Talk to Us

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