Today marks 7 months of sobriety for me. I woke up to a notification on my phone and my first thought was, “wait, really?”
Yeah, really. It’s really been that long. Huh, I thought to myself, that’s wild. I hadn’t even been thinking about it lately.
Sobriety is now a lifestyle for me. The same can be said for going to the gym 3-4 times a week despite my busy schedule, and eating well even when it’s inconvenient.
Because I got sober 7 months ago, I’ve managed to become more forward-thinking with my finances. I’ve prioritized paying off my low-limit credit card, and applied for a higher-limit card (with cash rewards!) to use in emergencies. In the fall, I made a plan to fast-track paying off my car loan. When I started aggressively paying down my car in September, I owed just over $9k. This month, after I’ve applied my tax return money to my loan, I will have just under $3k left to pay.
Because I got sober 7 months ago, I’ve paid more attention to setting money aside for savings, both in my own Roth IRA, as well as in a student savings account, so that I don’t have to tighten my belt in order to pay for books, or scramble for enough money to buy flights and pay for hotels for my out-of-state program requirements.
Because I got sober 7 months ago, I’ve managed to apply myself to my education with more attention, dedication and passion. I am comprehending and retaining much more of what I read, and my work is more in-depth and thoughtful because of it. I’m getting much more out of my education, which is important, because I’m taking out some sizable loans in order to fund myself.
Because I got sober 7 months ago, and because I’ve been better at saving money, and because I am more applied to my school work, I managed to land a counseling internship after my first interview, at an organization that helps rehabilitate individuals with chronic substance abuse and mental health issues.
Because I got sober 7 months ago, I am finally ready to move out of my dad’s house, into my own apartment again. Last Saturday I reached out to a young woman who posted on Craigslist looking for a replacement for her roommate, who is moving in with his boyfriend at the beginning of March. Her apartment is located in my favorite part of town, a mere two blocks from my internship location, and a quick bus ride away from my office downtown. The space is available for $500 a month. Because I’m sober while making this decision, I’ve been able to determine that the financial disadvantages of paying monthly rent are, for me, far outweighed by the personal advantages I will gain by having a sense of independence and autonomy again. I love my dad, and there is nothing wrong with his home, but from the moment I moved in, I’ve had a strange complex about being in my late 20s and living in his basement. So, if things go well during my meeting tomorrow, I may very well have a plan to move into a space of my own again, which will benefit my emotional and mental health greatly.
Because I got sober 7 months ago, and because I decided to start eating well and working out more consistently about 2 months ago, I have dropped some weight and gained some confidence. I’m learning to be OK with my body, and stop hating it or feeling disappointed in it because it doesn’t look the way I think it should look. I go to the gym with the primary goal of boosting my mood and gaining strength, and the secondary goal of losing weight and slimming my waist. It’s a very freeing feeling.
Because I got sober 7 months ago, I’ve managed to slowly but surely release much of the pain, guilt and anger I had wrapped up inside my mind around my ex-boyfriend, the one who stalked me for months after I broke up with him and who tried to publicly cut me down by calling me broken, paranoid and dishonest on social media. I no longer worry about whether he’s creeping around some corner as I’m walking to and from lunch. I’ve made the decision to simply step away from Instagram (where he first found me) and distance myself from the community there because of his tendency to show up at events where he thinks I might be present.
Because I got sober 7 months ago today, I have a deeper understanding of the importance of self-care. I am calmer and less hurried in my day-to-day business. I am learning to find ritual where I can, when I can. I’m learning to trust my emotions more than I ever have before.
Because I got sober 7 months ago today, I am here now to say that this life of mine and all it entails is undoubtedly easier to manage. My experiences are richer, my boring days are less frustrating, and my successes are more rewarding. It just feels…good. And at the same time, it feels so normal. I suppose that’s really the goal, isn’t it?