The Journey of 1,000 Days

….. Began with a decision. A decision that was born from a moment of the purest intuition. I just knew – in the very deepest core of my being – that I could no longer continue drinking. It was absolutely going to kill me.

One thousand mornings ago, I woke up – yet again – unable to remember going to bed the night before.  Or the details of the television show I’d watched.  Or much of anything after the big fat martini I’d consumed, come to think of it. (Which was after the drink in the afternoon and the glasses of wine I’d  had with dinner, of course.)

I woke up to my morning ritual – silent self-interrogation:

How much did I drink?

Do I remember going to bed?

Did I say or do anything I need to apologize to my husband for?

Along with the resolve to STOP drinking so often, so recklessly, so unpredictably….

I’ll never forget that moment: when a thought – no, more like a voice – unbidden and unwanted, said, “You need to stop drinking.” I couldn’t un-hear it.  Couldn’t un-know what I knew. I felt my blood turn to ice as I realized what I needed to do.  I had to save my own life. There was no turning back.

And the first year was alternately exhilarating, and terrifying, and sad, and frustrating, and exquisitely strange, and unbelievably wondrous.

Year two was when I could start to take my eye off the ball. Being a non-drinker became much more comfortable and natural. I felt like my old self, only a little more socially subversive and with just a touch of bad-assery.

I thought I’d be done getting used to this new way of life by now.  But I’m still growing and learning how to navigate tricky situations and uncomfortable moments.  Mostly by reminding myself that “I am the sky, and my feelings are just the weather.”

And when I start to feel guilty about treats or self-care, I need to remind myself that:

Sobriety is HARD work.

Taking care of myself benefits not only me – it allows me to be the very best person I can, which in turn creates a positive ripple effect that touches everyone in my life.

There was always money for booze – why not for self-care?

And the thing that I’ve realized that surprises me the most, is that my growth as a sober person will continue for the rest of my life.  At least, I certainly hope so.  Because I’m ready – both hands and my heart are wide open.





14 thoughts on “The Journey of 1,000 Days

  1. I love your first year adjectives: exhilarating, terrifying, sad, frustrating, strange, wondrous. And the line you draw between year 1 and year 2 is useful to me. Everyone is different. But I have an impatience for getting to “take my eye off the ball,” probably because something in me feels like my “problem” wasn’t so bad. (If I only drank three or four drinks per day (even two, toward the end), shouldn’t it be pretty easy to quit?) So hearing comments like X was when I started to relax into it (a friend of mine said she felt deeply awkward for two full years), is so nice to me here at day 174. Even if it’s five years before my awkward feeling goes away, that’s okay if I feel reasonably sure that it will. Congratulations on your 1000 days!! And the beautiful lifetime journey full of openings and deepenings that lies ahead.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Your story and your journey are so similar to mine. Year 1 was learning new habits, Year 2 was healing, and Year 3 was real growth. I’m only a month into Year 4 and can’t wait to see what it brings. Congratulations on 1,000 days, my lovely friend! ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What a great post – I love the “I am the sky, my feelings are just the weather”
    I am going to use that one for ages!
    I really relate to when you knew you had to stop, it is a horrible feeling of dread and “oh shit I really have to do this” I remember it so well as it was only 6 months ago.
    Congratulation on your 1000 days
    Michelle xx


  4. The notion of “silent self-interrogation” really resonates with me. Spending the first minutes of wakefulness piecing together the evening before. The funny thing is, the last time I had a few weeks of sobriety, I remember waking and still going through that ritual, only with the relief that having not had anything to drink, I would have nothing to regret. Do you still question yourself in the morning? What goes into your headspace if it isn’t replaying last night?


    • No, I don’t wake up questioning myself any more. The silence inside my head is sheer bliss. It frees up my mind to think about what lies ahead for me that particular day, or any damn thing I please! I’m not shackled to rumination, regret, and self-loathing any more. It really is glorious – please keep trying! The miracles WILL happen. I promise!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Mary, I have just finished listening to your interview on the bubble hour and I was moved to tears by your story. Thank you for sharing and inspiring this 41 year old sober mother of 2 daughters to stay on track.
    BIg Love xxx


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s