January 5th, 2016 I had my last drink.

I remember sitting in the Gatwick airport like it was yesterday, having a glass of wine with a friend + my family before we boarded our flight home after my 5 months of solo travel. It was in that moment I knew with every bone in my body, every ounce of my soul that I was done. Once I landed back on Canadian soil alcohol was not touching my lips for one year. Done....The thoughts going through my head? This is seriously going to suck, one year is like an eternity + this is going to be the hardest thing I've ever done...I've signed myself up for a real shit year but I can do it. I have to do it. 

I had decided that New Years Day that I was done drinking after waking up feeling like death had just knocked on my door, hungover + going through the self sabotage that you do after a night on the booze. I didn't have a drink for a couple of days after New Years Day...I didn't have a drink until I got to the airport. Why did I have a drink at the airport? Because I hate flying, anxiety was coming in + the natural way for me {and a lot of people} to deal with common, mild anxiety is to have a drink. So I had a drink, did it help? No.

Something that I started noticing after my travels through India was that I masked things, things I didn't think I could deal with or want to deal with, with alcohol.

Bored in life? Have a drink. Realize you are across the world completely on your own + out of your comfort zone? Have a drink. Lonely? Have a drink. Scared the Peugeot, you lovingly nicknamed Pete... that you + your holiday romance rented in Israel, is going to lose control + drive off the cliffs into the Dead Sea? Have a drink. 

It was my escape + it was a self sabotaging, scar inflicting {literally, I have a scar on my left bicep because I fell in a fire. You would think that would've been my wake up call. Nope.}, shitty escape. Don't get me wrong, there was a time in my life that I was an every weekend party girl but since 2012 that started shifting...slowly my need/relationship with alcohol was becoming less + less until I was a maybe once or twice a month have a few drinks + if I hadn't eaten enough or gotten the right amount of sleep, or things were upsetting me that day, a couple of drinks lead to black out drunk + each time that happened I woke up feeling horrible, depressed, + unworthy. It took me 20 steps back on my path of self, my path of yoga. 

I needed to take the next step. 

So, 365 days later what have I learned? What does a sober year look like?

Clear. Focused. Simple. Aligned. 

It turns out being sober for a year has been the easiest thing I have ever done. There hasn't been one ounce of temptation or desire + it whole heartedly has felt like the most natural thing to do. 

Drama has virtually left + so have some people in my life. It was definitely upsetting when I realized that some people didn't want to be a part of where my path was taking me, my natural response would've been to have a drink but instead I had to sit with it. Grieve it, dig into why I was letting it dictate my self worth, why I was taking it personally. The people in our lives are merely mirrors of ourselves, these people weren't my mirrors anymore + I wasn't theirs. And thats okay. 

All of my relationships have shifted, my relationship with my daughter, my mom + most importantly with myself. I've never felt more confident + beautiful being me + when the darkness creeps in {because it always does} I embrace it, sit with it + lean into it. I'm not fighting it anymore...because at the end of the day we have to love those parts too. Nobody is perfect + it's humbling to know I don't have to try to be.

New supportive soul sisters have come into my life + my relationships with the people that have always been there have changed. Deeper more meaningful connections. I have become more aware of being present, when I'm here - I'm here....+ when I start to wander off in my mind to some foreign place, when the monkey chatter steps in, I notice + try to bring myself back. It's not perfection, it's a practice. Presence is a practice that I am working on everyday. The stillness + softness is expanding + the people around me seem happier because I am happier. Life is lighter, simpler + with purpose.

I've come back into my heart space, peeled back loads of layers + learned to love myself again. 

Turns out sobriety is pretty sweet.