Ashley's Journey

What is your sober date?
June 7, 2014 was the day it hit me. 
Alcohol and pills were my vice. 
It was my dad’s birthday. I ruined his birthday.
This day was the first time I’d ever seen my dad break down and cry. 
I knew it was time.
How selfish could I possibly be?

How did addiction keep you from living your best life?
As my husband says, I lived in a fairy land. It’s really that simple. I abused alcohol as a teenager, and a doctor prescribed me some pain pills and I got sucked into those too. My focus was to feel good. I had no productivity in mind. It truly was a dead end. I had no motivation.
When I was in the bubble of my addiction, I was in a season of infertility. My husband and I were doing infertility treatments one after another in hopes I’d get pregnant. During this time I felt flawed, I felt weak. I felt like I was a waste. .YES. I actually felt like a waste. 
I could not reproduce so I told myself I was garbage. 
I became garbage. I had no hope. I was a mess.

What and who guided you toward an addiction free journey?
My family guided me. 
I would drink, take prescription pills, do and say whatever I wanted to with no shame and no fear. 
My family and my best friend from high school, Krista, pretty much took the brunt of my weight while I was off in fairy land.
The amount of love I have for my husband, my mom, dad, sister, and my friend Krista is unconditional. 
These were the people who saw me at my worst. These are my people. 
They laid it all out on a platter. 
I knew I was at the end of my rope when I stole my husband’s grandma’s anxiety pills. What in the hell was I thinking? I wasn’t. 
I didn’t care.
The light flashed towards me around this time.
I knew I’d become a mess.
I had everything I ever wanted. 
I had my MIRACLE baby.
I had my PERFECT husband. 
I had a PERFECT home. 
I had the PERFECT life. 
I was not seeing it. I became a very selfish person. 
I was rude, and unkind.
June 7, 2014 my husband told me something. It was the first time he ever said it. 
I needed to hear it. He said to me. 
.you are worth it. 
I’m crying as I’m typing this. For the first time in a long time, those words stuck. Something inside of me said .YES. I am worth it. 
That was it. That was the day I became me.

What plan and steps did you take to get out of addiction?
The day I decided to make a change, my mom and I went to my primary care physician, I’d seen her since I was young. 
I trusted her, and my support team trusted her.
I was prescribed Zoloft, and Trazadone. 
My doctor let me know it was going to take some time for the medication to sink in, and I needed to have some patience. 
I began therapy. 
I started doing the work.
I knew I had to commit, and I did. 
It was hard. I was depressed. 
The amount of shame I felt was so over powering, words cannot even describe it. I had to forgive myself. I had to move on. 
I know they say one step at a time. 
For me, it was literally
.one.breath.at.a.time.

What was at stake for you if you didn’t take these actions to get sober? 
This is easy.
.marriage.
.son.
.family.
& most importantly
.ME.

For someone in the same situation as you were who wants to get clean, what would you want to tell them? 

YOU . my friend . are . WORTH .it. Go give your family a big hug, say you’re sorry, and move FORWARD. 
I remind myself DAILY that
the past is the past. & 
today is a new day.

Lastly, I want to say that through the last 5 years I have by no means been a saint. I have had some minor mistakes in my process of sobriety. These were MINOR mistakes. Mistakes I made, and mistakes I quickly owned. I never for one second told myself I was starting over again. 
No way. 
After all, part of recovery is making mistakes! 
In the last 5 years I had a couple lesson learned with pills, it was mostly me thinking I could be in control again. 
Today I know I will never be good with pills. My husband keeps my medications locked in a safe. I get my medication dispensed once a week. It works. 
It’s worked well for 5 years. 

There is one thing I want to shout loud and proud though, 
I have not drank alcohol in .FIVE. years!!!!

I want the world to know that I am an imperfect person. 
WE ALL ARE.
I hold myself accountable when I make mistakes. 
I OWN my mistakes, and guess what, I learn from them! Seriously! That’s how it works! 
Finally, I’d like to say that through my experience I’ve learned that people are a lot more forgiving than you might think. 
Remember that. It’s important. 

Man. I love this life.


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