Milestone – 3 years 

Just writing that seems outrageous. 3 years? 3 years since I finally decided enough was enough? 

I never expected that on December 1, 2013. I just knew I neede a change and that all my other attempts to fix myself -extreme diets, excessive exercise plans, rules and lists and criticism and repercussions-had stoped working. I was so lost and lonely and sad…and very very scared of myself as my behaviour around alcohol had become sneaky and compulsive.

Deciding to give myself a year of sobriety for my birthday (which is December 8) seemed like a last ditch plan. Could I make a promise to myself and keep it? It seemed unlikely, as I had been lying to myself for a while. And that lying was crushing my soul.

But I did. I heard the inner voice that begged me to take care of myself. And so, unlike all the other times I proclaimed I would cut back and drink less, I asked for help.

I called a therapist. I cleaned out all the booze from the house. I told people, out loud, of my plan for zero drinking for a year. Not andrink here and there. Not drinks on my birthday the next week. Zero. Many laughed. Others thought I was just being extreme. Maybe that helped make it real for me. 

I have a journal from that month. I wavered between elation, seeing the freedom of sobriety almost immediately, and hysteria. My anxiety peaked. My depression, that I had never acknowledged, crept in deeeper and deeper.

But the promise to myself became a touch point. I didn’t think I could survive breaking it. And so I did whatever it took.

Yoga saved me. I found a way to make peace with my body and my mind. I began to understand myself more.this is a daily practice for me. A life. 

And my family. My awesome husband who also decided to quit drinking. My children who loved me.

The past 3 years have been the best of my life. Not the easiest…there have been deaths and losses and massive evacuations that have shaken me to my roots, but some of the most beautiful. I have found my husband to be my best friend…I never expected that. And I love him more every day. Even better, I like him more every day.

I have found faith and love and trust in myself. I have stillness and peace.

Tommy Rosen has a prayer that ends with thank you for the joys and challenges for my life.

I am truly thankful. For myself, my family, for all of you who walk this path of freedom with me. 

Stillness and peace,

Anne

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61 thoughts on “Milestone – 3 years 

  1. So fabulous!
    and the thing happened that happens a lot with me with people who have such beautiful sobrieties, who share so much of themselves…
    ONLY 3 years?

    it seems like so much longer, altho I know that it probably doesn’t feel like that to you. But your commitment and change is clear, and that makes you seem like a very old soul.

    Congratulations!
    So happy to be trudging this road with you

  2. Wow! You have packed a lifetime of learning and wisdom and appreciation and love and gratitude into those 3 years. You are strong, courageous and SO inspiring. Congratulations.

  3. WOW! You are AWESOME! I live in hope I can translate my 3 weeks into 3 years. (Perhaps 3 months is the first milestone?!) Having a supportive partner makes such a difference. My hubbie is reading Jason Vale in bed at present (and chuckling frequently!) having him on board is invaluable. Here’s to the next 3 years, may all your dreams and aspirations come true. xx

  4. “And so I did whatever it took.” Hats off for that. 🙂 Whatever it takes is what it takes. Glad you did that. I am FINALLY starting the day with meditation, 20 minutes max. Not a lot of being into it yet, a lot of patting the cat who thinks I sit there especially for her but it works to ease my mind and I’ll just continue. 🙂
    Lovely to read “And I love him more every day. Even better, I like him more every day.” Beautiful :-). I am happy for you. 🙂 ❤ And of course big congratulations on your 3 years. 🙂
    xx, Feeling

  5. Hi Anne, that is a huge milestone!

    I wonder if the ‘drinking years’ now seem like another lifetime to you?

    Yoga and mindfulness are my next stops; ice cream can only take you so far:) Thank you so much for dutifully commenting on our newbie blogs.
    It’s has helped me through a couple of really rough patches. Knowing that there is someone out there who ‘gets it’.

    Hope you are out celebrating. x

    1. It does seem like another lifetime…although Craig and I can laugh about it, I know I made the change needed just in time.

      I often think of what life could have become. It’s not pretty.

      I’m cheering you on!

  6. Anne, congratulations on three sober years, and many thanks for the warmth and inspiration that you so generously shared during that time, even during the times when you were struggling yourself. xo

  7. Congratulations on 3 years Anne! You are truly an inspiration. You have been there from the start of my journey and I am so grateful for that. A x

  8. Wow Anne – that is so cool. I am a bit teary today so this really sunk in.
    “I wavered between elation, seeing the freedom of sobriety almost immediately, and hysteria. My anxiety peaked. My depression, that I had never acknowledged, crept in deeeper and deeper”
    It is during this that confusion seeps in and I wonder why I am doing this. It is people’s support like yours Anne that makes me keep going – especially now that it is starting to get rough emotionally.
    Thanks so much
    Michelle xx

    1. Hug
      It is tough emotionally. It is easier to be numb…but I know Now that I was missing so much.
      Keep asking for and accepting help. Make life easier. It will get better.

  9. This is fabulous to read and so inspiring to everyone still in early days of drinking. I love the relationship you have with your husband and the fun you seem to have as a family. It’s nice to know there are fun times ahead when you are first struggling. I said a similar thing to Wendy the other day but please don’t let my comment be diluted because I am also sharing it with you. You are one of the biggest cheerleaders for the newly sober and it is that dedication to helping that I am sure keeps you true to your course. Sometimes you comment a paragraph and sometimes just one word but it always shows you are there and being supportive. You have had a heavy year yet still have managed to support others despite this. Congratulations on 3 years.

  10. 3 years!!!! Congratulations, that is so good and you are living the life you are supposed to have. I too have that inner voice hat tells me to look after myself stop poisoning myself, but you truly have listened to yourself and now look at you. Thank you too for all the support you provide to me and all of us that are still finding our way. Happy birthday for the 8th. X

  11. You are amazing Anne. I always enjoy your comments on blogs and posts because they are so calming and spoken from such a level head. Congratulations on 3 years. You are a role model for many of us it seems.

  12. Yay Anne ! Congrats on 3 years. Your honest voice and personal support have made all the difference for me. Day 155- wouldn’t be here without you.
    Sunflower

  13. Happy birthday and anniversary to you, dear Anne.* You are an inspiration and a light to me and so many others, I just know it to be true. I hope you have a kick-ass celebration and love every minute of it. -HM.

  14. Sending heartfelt congratulations. You share so much wisdom to me, and I am grateful to hear from you always.
    With love xxx

  15. Amazing. I’ve loved following your journey, and you have provided me so much with so much warmth, strength, and inspiration. I’ve worried for you, I’ve stood back in awe at your strength. This community has helped me, in fact, kept me sober, espeically in the early days. You have been a major part of that. It’s been a pleasure to get to know you (on the internet 😉 ) Anne. HAPPY 3rd SOBER BIRTHDAY ❤ xx

  16. How you find the time to read this I don’t know! but…
    I posted this today and wanted to make sure you got it so best to put it here.

    “Today I wish a massive happy birthday to Anne (think you mentioned it is your actual birthday today) and your 3 year sober one too? I can’t find where I read that but happy birthday either way to someone who bothers to help those early day-ers like myself that couldn’t do without this support.”

    Thanks so much again Anne
    Michelle xx

  17. Happy Happy sober birthday! You are a beautiful writer, and I loved reading about your journey. I’m so sorry I haven’t been over to visit sooner – I have been missing out. Thanks for popping over to find me so that I could ultimately come over and see you 🙂

  18. Stillness and peace, Anne! Congratulations, and Happy New Year!!! Your blog was one of the first that I found when I started writing, when I was new to my recovery, when I didn’t know if I could do it and didn’t no if I could survive if I didn’t. Thank you for blazing a trail ahead of me. I loved what you wrote about the last three years being the best of your life but not the easiest. I am coming to appreciate the fullness of the difficulties of my life, all of the potential that the hold for me, and how stagnant I would be without them. As my therapist says when something very negative happens, “Yeah, it SUCKS, and……” We both know what comes after the and. That’s the space for grace. That’s where the growth happens. Wishing you many more beautiful years ahead! Thank you again for all of your vulnerability, fearlessness, and insight.

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