I can have a story and a past without labels. After almost 2 years of sobriety I decided I am finally in control. And that was the whole point of this “getting sober” thing. I needed to know that I was not defined by the label.

I don’t want the short period of time where alcohol masked trauma to define me for the rest of my life. I want the story of my sobriety to inspire, and give others the strength to take control of their decisions and make smart ones. Not everyone has the same story, or the same relationship with alcohol. Some of us fall down the rabbit hole without really noticing. Society allows over drinking to label itself as “stress” or “celebration” or “life of the party” and make the problem part of the solution. How many times has someone said to you in a difficult situation “let’s go get a drink” like it would make everything all better?

When I started this journey I didn’t know where it would take me. I just knew I needed change. I couldn’t control myself when it came to alcohol. I wanted that reality-altering numbness that comes along with “drunk”. I over drank EVERY day. Some people don’t realize the amount of alcohol I consumed because it was in private, those same people didn’t understand why I decided to live sober. It’s ok, I didn’t do it for those people. I didn’t do it for the people who supported me every step of the way either, although those people helped me more than they could imagine. I didn’t do it for my husband, who probably would have left me if I continued to drink the way I used to. I know he wishes he was “enough” of a reason for me to get sober, but it wouldn’t have worked if I did it for him.

I did this for me.

When faced with the question “What is holding you back from being the best version of yourself?” It was all too clear. So many times in my past I had said “I’m gonna stop doing this, I’m gonna have a couple glasses of wine like a normal person” and every single time I woke up with a massive hangover and that gross, regretful feeling when you know you did something stupid and you just can’t remember…those are the days I never want to revisit.

Those labels no longer define me. That’s what I did, it’s not who I am. I can have a healthy relationship with alcohol. I can have a story and a past without labels.

Labels are dangerous, they lead people to believe that I AM a problem, not a person.

Quit shaming people that recover differently than you.

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