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1000 days sober.
In a small town in rural Georgia in the 80s, I learned drinking straight whiskey was a rite of passage, mental health issues were a moral failing or a hoax, and the only way I could be saved was by repeating some words at the end of church.
My takeaways? Being drunk was normal yet I was broken and someone else would save me.
For so long I waited, wanted, needed someone to save me. I waited damn near 30 years.
But my truth is in addiction:
Your parents can’t save you
Your aunts and uncles can’t save you.
Your brother nor your best friends.
Your therapist, yoga practice nor Jesus.
Only you can save you.
The best anyone can do is help you understand you have a problem, give you comfort and maybe guide you.
You may rationalize and deny there’s a problem. You may even think you deserve it.
But until you admit there is a problem and are willing to change, your struggles will remain.
When you finally admit it, people can help you. But they can’t save you.
You have to do the work.
When people see you working to get better, they will show up to support you.
In my mind, I was always screaming for help. I would use more. Drink more. Cry more. Surely someone would notice and do something.
Some noticed – most didn’t – but people are struggling to navigate their own reality.
1000 days ago, I decided to admit I had a problem and deal with my own suffering.
Driving home on Christmas, I learned my grandfather’s death was attributed to his alcoholism even though he had been sober for over a decade. It was time to stop drinking.
Almost three years later, it’s still hard. Friday, just hours after counseling a young person about sobriety, I sat with my head on the steering wheel at a red light, fighting the compulsion to drive to a bar and let that familiar, false comfort wash over me.
After letting Brea and Walker know, I came home, meditated, and cried.
The effort is worth it. So many things I thought impossible have come true. Everything I chased came to me tenfold what I imagined.
My relationships with my parents and friends are better than ever.
I lead and work with teams of brilliant people.
I have love in my life like I’ve never known.
And I am grateful for the entire journey.