One. Thousand. Days.

1,000 days alcohol-free. 1,000 days free of the shame that was invisible to everyone around me yet kept me limited, fearful, and small.

My gray-area drinking limited my brain power and my potential. I spent so much time thinking about drinking – when can I start? How much can I have? What if I have just one more glass?
And then – why did I drink so much? Why can I never just have one? What is wrong with me?
And then – when can I start? All over again.

Alcohol kept me as its fearful prisoner, even as the key to my chains was in my pocket all along. I was afraid to break the bond because, without booze – how would I de-stress? How would I take a moment for me? How would I socialize? How would I enjoy a date night or survive a family get together? How would I feel like the funniest/prettiest/best version of myself?

Wine mom life was a small life. Almost every day was bookended by guilt-ridden grogginess and a guilt-ridden buzz. Alcohol kept my self-confidence small, my creativity quashed, my energy low, my patience thin.

1,000 days after my last drink, here’s what I can say: I am learning to take up space, unapologetically, just as I am. I am learning to cope with discomfort by being uncomfortable instead of numbing myself with booze or food or doom scrolling.

Cutting alcohol out of my life did not solve all of my problems but it solved one big one: alcohol. The clarity and capability that are sobriety’s wingwomen make all of life‘s other problems, puzzles, and pickles easier to solve – or at least navigate.

That’s what I’m doing now. I am a navigator. I choose to go through, not skirt around or spin in circles or sink.

1,000 days is a number that once seemed preposterous. Not just unachievable, but undesirable. The day I took my last drink, I didn’t believe it would be my last, or that I would ever want it to be. But I also knew that I was tired of feeling limited, and fearful, and small.

I am still working toward limitless, and fearless, and big. But the work is so worth it, and so is the journey.