She was a force of nature— Reflecting on one year of sobriety and finding herself again

One year. One year of choices made. One year of growing up, of radical change, of heartbreak, of joy, of newfound friendship, new family, new everything. They said no major changes in the first year, but she changed it all. She became The Girl again. She found her voice. She found her freedom.

It had been one year of intense pain, but growth is not without pain. She faced her demons. She owned her mistakes. She learned to have fun again. If you had asked her who she was a year ago, she wouldn’t have known. She was lost in the depths of her mental prison, her only source of joy found in a bottle and the thrill of recklessness. She didn’t care about her body or her life—lost in the “shoulds”—laying drunk on the grass telling a stranger that this wasn’t the life she was supposed to be living. She was supposed to make a difference, yet here she lay, drinking her days away—dreaming of a life that seemed impossible to her. She would never get there, she believed.

She did the impossible two days later—she didn’t drink. She faced the impending destruction of her longest relationship yet—sober. She still couldn’t tell you today how she had the strength to do that—she had been so weak for so long. She had done so much damage.

Despite everything that told her to run from the waves of emotion drowning her, she held fast. She swam—she didn’t give up. A power greater than the girl alone kept her swimming. The ocean of despair gave her newfound purpose. With every stroke, she became stronger. Something sustained her when self-will failed her. She would never stop swimming, this she knew, but it no longer scared her. She loved the challenge. She learned to appreciate the beauty of the water, to ride the waves, to rest and replenish when she felt spent.

She was a new woman—a force of nature. She was The Girl and The Woman all at once. She was unstoppable.

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