17 Things About 17 Years of Sobriety


1. While I no longer look for a 40, a bottle, a box or a hit to change the way I feel, I do still look for a potato chip, a doughnut, an espresso and a really good book.

2. I'm working on my people pleasing/boundary-less/perfectionism but I don't know if you like the way I'm doing it or if I'm doing it exactly right.

3. When I can't quite do it myself, I now have a network of people that will hold me up, support me, love me, help me, tell me the hard truth when I need it and I will do the same for them.

4. I am able to turn some of my daydreams into actions with feet and hands instead of stardust and navel gazing and maybe-one-day.

5. I know how to make amends, say I was wrong, please forgive me, without crumpling at your feet and begging you to stomp.

6. I now value my family and friends and quality time with people I love more than meeting strangers in foreign countries. Most of the time.

7. Music, books, theatre, movies, dates, concerts and conversations are even more memorable when you can remember them the next day.

8. I no longer romanticize throwing up out of car windows, behind bushes or down the front of my shirt.

9. I no longer think a Greyhound bus is a great place to meet my life partner.

10. I have learned to do what the quiet voice inside says rather than its polar opposite.

11. Learning how to love myself and practice self-care actually make me less selfish and more able to help others.

12. No amount of whiskey or vodka or bourbon was ever going to make those boys love me.

13. The things I wrote while drunk, high or tripping were always somehow less profound in the morning.

14. It turns out my terror that God's will would be for me to become a Catholic nun was unfounded.

15. It's possible to inhabit my own body, my own skin, my actual life if I keep practicing, praying and asking for help along the way.

16. Not everyone makes it through addiction and recovery intact and I never want to take for granted the fact that I have so far or the hope that I will. 

17. I wouldn't trade any of it-- not one humiliation, face plant, misadventure, heartbreak or all time low--- because it took every single one to get me where I am today. 

Valley HaggardComment