Trigger warning: This article contains sensitive content involving self-harm.
I’ve been clean and sober for 1557 days. Sometimes I lose track, yet occasionally all I can do is count the seconds. The new year tends to produce thoughts of reflection, and like many, I freely give into those thoughts. This year it would seem that slowly, but all at once, I’ve forgotten the girl I was when I put the bottle down.
This may appear to be a good thing, the next logical mental development. One could suppose this signifies growth and transformation. And yes, I have evolved and my life has bloomed into something beautiful. However, overlooking that broken girl, omitting her feelings and struggles; she doesn’t deserve that. After all, she is why I began this journey. She didn’t know it then, but she was worth fighting for, and I refuse to abandon her as others have.
So today, I think of you, girl. I think of you, lost and broken. Battling with yourself and losing every time.
I think of you, constantly demeaning yourself, your inner voice whispering, “Worthless. Ugly. Stupid.” Self-destructing at every opportunity. Believing you weren’t meant for more.
I think of you, not knowing where you belong, and longing for your family.
I remember allowing men to use you, discard you like afternoon trash, and talk to you like you were inadequate—because you truly believed you were.
I remember the lies you were living. Waking up in your bed soaked with piss and vomit—how you violently shook until you took abother drink.
Today I think of you—the shell of the person you had finally become—the zombie-like state you conceded to with every blackout.
I think of you, and I thank you.
I thank you for somehow keeping us alive and allowing the woman I am today to take control, and struggling to bring us back.
Others may assume that I’m the strong one, fighting for us to win our freedom. Although I fought, you somehow survived. You somehow held on, even if only in our subconscious. You survived.
You are me and I am you. We couldn’t be complete without the other and I promise to never let you go. I won’t forget how you once longed for the things we have today. I promise not to take them for granted. Never again will I doubt that we deserve respect.
I promise to share with you with our boys because they deserve to know every part of us. And I swear that although we don’t believe it, we are exceptional—the good, the bad, the in-between—we are beautiful.
Lastly, I promise I won’t quit. I won’t stop making up for lost time while chasing our highest potential. You deserve to see how magnificently we can bloom. You deserve to experience the absolute best version of myself.
This post was previously posted on Mommy Without Wine. It has been reprinted with permission.