Today, I have 900 continuous days of sobriety.
If you take out the word “continuous,” there’s no telling how many sober days I have. They just weren’t all that continuous.
It’s weird, but Day 900 doesn’t have much meaning for me. The struggle is over, thanks to the woman I used to be. Every day is easy now.
What matters to me more is the hundreds of Day One’s I have. Those beautiful, magical days when I would wake up groggy, throw out the rest of the wine, take out my day planner, and write in my best handwriting, Day One.
Surviving those days was excruciating. I know because I often wrote about the anguish of having to start over, again and again. My mind was so enmeshed in drinking that I couldn’t imagine going without my 5 o’clock anesthesia. I needed that drink, more than I needed food or water or air. At least that’s what I thought at the time. But still, on Day One, I faced the battle head on.
Other days, I was not so brave. As long as my head was still above water, and it looked like I had an OK life from the outside, I ignored the ticking time bomb buried inside every bottle of wine.
But that woman who dragged herself out of bed, shaky and unsure, with just a whisper of hope … she is my hero.
Imagine being completely overtaken by one of the most addictive substances there is — one that is legal and ingrained in the culture and available at every grocery store — and to still rise up, even after falling over and over again. That is such an act of blind faith that I’m in total awe of her.
After years of blaming and shaming her, I am so grateful for every day that she found the strength to hope for a better tomorrow.
That woman I used to be — the one who paved the way for me with her sweat and tears and love — that is who I’m proud of today.