Here are 12 different faces from 12 different days in 12 different months with 12 very different stories and life experiences.
12 months with no alcohol and marijuana has been THE BEST decision of my entire life.
There were some months that included no sex, caffeine, coffee, or sugar.
There were some months of this year that included no travel, no physical contact, and no visiting.
There some were months that felt more intense than others and some that I felt more free than ever.
Living life without these two particular intoxicants cleared pathways within me that have led to a life I had only ever dreamed of.
I have done things like tripled my business and team. My relationships with family, friends, and clientele are thriving. I have found the love of my life and am engaged. I have manifested abundance and hilarious joy in every area of life and the growth feels so organic.
I have also made some immeasurable strides in inner peace, acceptance, forgiveness, surrender, and devotion. I have healed and restored my relationship with myself, others, and my higher powers.
Somewhere in the middle of this, I was asked about the difference between abstinence and sobriety. "Don't you have to identify as an addict to identify as sober?"
The question made sense but I feel a particular way about choosing 'sobriety' over abstinence.
To abstain from substances is a great choice. To me, abstaining seems as though there is a time to go back to something, as if there is a deadline or time limit.
To choose when you partake responsibly works for some. To use certain substances as appropriate treatments is effective and natural in many ways.
I don't see anytime I will be going back and relating to myself as indefinitely sober is a way of being. It serves as an anchor for integrity, alignment, and faith in my life. Sober is a place to come from, not a thing to practice or master.
For me, I never thought I had a problem until my body told me so.
When I couldn't unfog my mind.
When my stomach always ached.
When my skin was always broken out.
When my focus faltered.
When my energy lagged.
When my motivation and communication suffered.
It took me about two years to really quit alcohol for good and I am so glad that I did. Quitting marijuana took one month of going overboard after I knew my body's demand. It took time because I really actually identified WITH these substances.
The Party Girl
The Anxious One
The Chill One
The Relatable One....
Letting go of these substances meant letting go of the versions of myself that I was familiar with and loved very much. Choosing to not be them meant finding out who I am without them.
To me, identifying as sober doesn't represent the severity of addiction.
It represents a clear mind.
Once I got off substances, I realized my real addiction: stress, anxiety, overwhelm, paranoia, overthinking, and worry.
Once the physical effects wore off, I saw how I was also mentally and emotionally intoxicated by my own catastrophozing, fantasizing, and dramatizing.
After 6 months sober, I set an intention for myself:
"Relax into the adventure of releasing addictions of the body and mind"
This meant surrendering completely to the path sobriety was taking me. I was going to find out who I am beyond who I had always been. I was willing to witness everything that being intoxicated and distracted successfully suppressed. I became willing to be with any discomfort with a clear mind and full heart.
This has expanded me beyond what words can describe.
I have never felt more clear.
I have never felt so committed.
I have never felt more sober.
I have never felt so in my purpose.
I have never felt more on purpose.
And I am very clear that those inhibitors no longer serve me. I realized they wouldn't get me to where I am going in life. I know that I need every bit of my mind, heart, body, and soul to serve at the capacity I plan to.
My body is not mine.
It is rental property to function in this realm.
It is a vessel for love, affinity, and abundance.
It is for smiles, hugs, kisses, and words of affirmation.
It is to deliver infinite intelligence in the least adulterated way.
It is to shine light on the path of transformation and enlightenment.
It is built to lead and love.
I will do the best I can for this body to do what this soul came here to do.
I will show up for that work as fully as I can.
If you know there is more to you than what you are up to now, you are not alone.
Listen to the whispers of your heart.
Practice courage in honoring what you hear.
You know you best.
You know what's best for you.
Own it, love it, live it.
I love you.