6 Years

As douchey as it may come off, I love documenting my life online. I have both a great and an awful memory, so being able to write about different stages of my life is super helpful to me. In fact, I have that exact post topic saved in my drafts for the future (so don’t steal it). 🙂

This post is coming a day early since May 20th falls on a Friday this year and I can’t miss my weekly Five Things Friday post. I also figured that today would be a good day for reflection since I do my best work in these thinking out loud posts.

OK folks, let’s get real. Tomorrow I will have 6 years clean.

6.

Years.

6 Years Recovery

Where does the time go?? Six years of no drinking, no drugs, and almost no cigarettes (last to go). I’m still that weirdo who doesn’t actually want to smoke again but talks about how good they smell when they’re first lit and sometimes creeps behind a smoker to second-hand some smoke. But ANYWAY, I digress.

Last year’s 5 Years post was much more structured and heavy, but I wanted this year’s to be slightly opposite.

In reflection, my fifth year of sobriety was probably the hardest one so far. Well not probably, definitely.

I almost lost my marriage, went through some serious self-discovery and put in HARD work in the therapeutic space, found out that wanting to erase myself from existence was also considered a suicidal thought (whoops), and was finally diagnosed with anxiety and depression. I started medication which made a TREMENDOUS difference and it was such a relief to know that there was actually a reason for such intense low periods in my life.

Since coming into my own and slowly solidifying who I am as a person, the urge to escape life with drinking and drugs has significantly subsided. I’m still able to successfully play out what would happen if I went out drinking with friends or start recreationally doing drugs again (I don’t even understand what that means), which quickly dissuades any fantasies I may have about having “one casual drink.”

onedrink8

(source)

My battles with exercise and food haven’t resurfaced since I first went through them, which is mainly because I try and stay vigilant as to the motivations behind my behaviors and continually examine my feelings and emotions.

Addiction is an insidious disease and for anyone who hasn’t gone through it, the drugs, alcohol, food, exercise, shopping, etc. are really just symptoms of an underlying issue.

Addiction for me is using and abusing anything I can to change the way that I feel. To control. To fill some kind of bottomless hole that I can’t ever seem to stuff enough outside crap into. Once I start, it’s extremely difficult to stop and life can spiral out at an alarming rate.

I’ve been lucky. True, I’ve also put in a lot of work, but there were many, many situations where I could have overdosed or significantly injured myself and because I was living alone, no one would have been there to help or revive me. Because of that, I try to be grateful for everything I have and every chance I’m given.

I want to thank you all so much for being here and for coming back to read my ramblings and drool over food pictures.

This blog has gotten me through some of the toughest times in my recovery and writing these posts has allowed me to process certain thoughts and events, all with the intention of helping others see that there’s always hope and there’s always a way through even though sometimes it gets hard. Real hard.

Basically, you guys rock. 6 years rocks. Life rocks.

Since I’m uncomfortable without structure in my posts, I’m going to wrap it up with six things that I want you to do today:

  • Write down three things you are grateful for today.
  • Tell someone you love them, even if it’s your pet. They can understand you (probably).
  • Do one thing for yourself. (Mine will prob involve food) 🙂
  • The next time you look in the mirror today, tell yourself you are enough.
  • Tell someone the truth about how you’re feeling instead of saying “I’m fine” if you’re not.
  • Smile
  • BONUS: Follow me on Instagram (if you don’t already) because there may be a surprise for you tomorrow on my actual clean date.

[Tweet “A reflection on 6 years of recovery. #addiction #recovery #mentalhealth”]

Question:

  • How has your year been??

45 comments on “6 Years

  1. Congrats Erin this is a big deal and no easy task. I have a lot of addicts in my life and they struggle daily and I am always praying. So proud of you! Here’s to 6 more years!!!

  2. Erin, I love this, and I love you. I love your honesty and total transparency. Healing is SO possible, and I am really thankful that God preserved your life in such a beautiful way, and you are growing in so many amazing ways. You are so beautiful, and it SHINES through your words. Realness is always better than fakeness. For 7 years, I struggled with being addicted to the idea of a perfect body and being addicted to wanting to eat food but not eating it, and being FREE is AMAZING! Freedom. Wow! So thankful we can all share the things we’ve left behind, so that we can grow!
    Emily recently posted…WIAW: Why I Love the WIAW Link-upMy Profile

  3. Thank you for sharing your story. A very close friend is currently struggling with alcoholism. He’s making a lot of progress, so it’s very promising, but I know it’s hard for him and not always something I understand, although I try my best to be supportive and patient.
    Maggie recently posted…Dancy McDancePantsMy Profile

    1. That’s really all you can do unfortunately. Thanks for reading Maggie. Best of luck to your friend 🙂

  4. I was on my honeymoon last week and am now catching up on posts which is why I’m late to this, but I just wanted to wish you a huge congratulations! You have accomplished something that is no easy feat and should be very proud of how far you have come.

  5. Excellent dedication! It takes tremendous inner strength and courage to break an addiction. It takes even more to write about it. Thanks for sharing!

  6. Erin,

    Great read. To be 6 years clean at such a (relatively) young age is just…wow. Hat’s off to your efforts.

    This was my favorite when you said: “I’m still able to successfully play out what would happen if I went out drinking with friends or start recreationally doing drugs again (I don’t even understand what that means), which quickly dissuades any fantasies I may have about having “one casual drink.”

    Everyone experiences this moment, whether conscious or unconscious as they get older and move into the early 30’s. You point out something that is really important: that we can lessen our temptation’s to re-engage with unhealthy decisions by simply re-watching the replays of our past.

    It’s awesome see that you’re making strides forward to a cleaner, more addiction-less life. You’re an inspiration! Thank you for your hard work! And for the Tweet like too.

    All the best to you,

    TrueCurate.com
    Twitter @truecurate

    1. Thank you so much for taking the time to visit and comment! It’s my goal to offer hope to others and hopefully show that there is life beyond addiction 🙂

  7. Congrats to you Erin. You remind me so much of my youngest daughter because she is also an atypical example of a drug user. She went thru a period of time using drugs to numb her pain about abandonment issues with her dad – went from over-achieving student to being expelled for a year. Spent a few years fighting everything and everyone, and then finally got herself back on track. She worked hard and graduated college, has a very successful career in CA and is now 24, a perfectionist who is OCD about scheduling her life, which I understand is how she stays straight. I tell everyone she is a force to be reckoned with and that looks can be deceiving since she is only 5’2″ and about 110 lbs. I am very proud of her and I applaud you for your courage and for sharing your story to help others. Keep up the good journey.

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