7 Years Sober and 8 Months Pregnant
Photo Credit: Caroline Brothers Deese, 704 Photography
I woke up this morning 7 years sober. I also woke up this morning 8 months pregnant. I’m 39 years old. I was 32 when I got sober—when I landed myself in rehab for substance use disorder. Alcohol was my solution.— a real shitty one but it was my answer to not have to show up to life on a daily basis. To say I was a lost soul might sum it up pretty well. I wasn’t connected to anyone or anything—just wine, beer and the occasional pill.
I remember that day—this day 7 years ago. I remember it like it was yesterday. It was my first sober day in years. I was hungover and miserable but I had this tiny ounce of hope that maybe my life could be different. I had admitted to my parents that I was sick and needed help and that I couldn’t do it alone. I checked into rehab a few days later that week. I had so much fear but I also had that sliver of hope and I guess it was really all I needed. I was willing to try anything at that point. That included being dropped off at rehab by my parents at the age of thirty-two much like I was eight and they were sending me off to summer camp.
To think that was seven years ago is crazy. I remember being over the moon at 30 days sober that I had made it that far. Then 60 days passed, 90 days, 6 months, 1 year and here we are at 7 years. If you ask me how I’ve done it, I wouldn’t be able to give you a road map. I’ve relied heavily on God, the 12 Steps and good sponsorship, being of service to others, family support, community support, and a whole lot of grace. And on days that I’ve been spiritually or mentally broken? I just haven’t picked up a drink. And believe me, over the past 2,557 days, there have been days that I have wanted to drink. There have been days that I have turned my back on prayer, God and the 12 steps. And trust me, it’s not a good a place to be for someone like me.
But here I sit 7 years sober and 8 months pregnant. As I try and reflect on the past 7 years, it’s pretty unbelievable. No, seriously. If someone would have outlined my first 7 years in sobriety and given me a run down of what was in store, I would have told you there was no way I’d remain sober through it all. You see, that’s the beauty of sobriety—a beauty I knew nothing about 7 years ago. Sobriety allows you to really show up for life and deal with whatever comes your way without blacking out or making a bigger mess of your life in the process.
And now here I am about to bring a precious baby girl into this world and the biggest gift I have to give her—a gift she will never truly understand, is my sobriety. Because I am sober, I have a chance at giving her my best. She’ll know God because I am sober. She’ll have a mom who is present for her. She’ll know compassion and empathy and the importance of being of service to others. She’ll know what a life of purpose looks like. She’ll be raised with value placed on people, not things. And she’ll see me fall and mess up and make mistakes and I know I will fail her from time to time. What she won’t see is a mom who needs to drink to deal with her or life. And my most sincere prayer for her is that she will never find herself walking a path similar to mine with substance use disorder, but if she does, she will have a lifetime of knowing and seeing what recovery looks like and that it is possible for her too and that it’s a better way of living life.
So, here’s to 7 years sober, 8 months pregnant, the years to come, the baby girl I get to raise, and the stumbles and falls I’ll make along the way without picking up a drink.
“But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them-yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.” 1 Corinthians 15:10