Celebrate 8 with an addict

Celebrate 8 with an addict


Today is my 8th birthday. Oh, sure, I don’t look a day over 6, but trust me on this one. It has been 8 years today that I gathered up every ounce of courage I had and checked into a detox/rehab facility. I had hit rock bottom and knew it was literally do or die time. I wasn’t ready to die.

Eight years clean. Eight years without using drugs to get through a day. Eight years of trying to live life on life’s terms and not my own. Eight years of not giving other people the power to send me right back into a place of using and losing. Eight years of giving my children a drug free mom.

Don’t get me wrong. It isn’t like I hit a perfect number of years and all is well. The urge or knee jerk reaction to find a fix when I am really hurting still pops up. When someone I trust kicks my feet out from under me, I want to use to make myself feel good. I mean, really, who wants to feel anything but good? But life is not all about the good stuff. And as an addict, I have to figure out how to make life work when I am hurting, angry, lonely and sick and tired of life on life’s terms.

Yesterday was hell. My body knew I was jonesing for something but my brain didn’t know why. I would love to say I woke up this morning to birds chirping as I danced my merry way around the house singing as I did my chores. Not even close. I woke up and dreaded facing the day. Any day. I wanted to stay tucked under my covers and be as far away from people as I could be. It didn’t help that once I dropped off the kids it began to rain and become very cold. A perfect day to snuggle up and hermit myself.

But like any good addict, I knew where I needed to be. So, I forced myself to get dressed and get out. Even though it was raining and sleeting and they were calling for more snow and ice, I still made myself go. Where? Where every addict and/or alcoholic should go when they have a day like I had yesterday. And when they need to have a day like I wanted to have today.

8-year-medallion-color.jpgI went where I belonged. To a room full of addicts. They applauded my 8 years. Understood my angst. And supported me when I cried for reasons I didn’t understand. When I walked out of that room, I felt better. I was better for having been in that room with a bunch of drunks and druggies. They keep me sane. And clean. For 8 years.

And now? Now I want to celebrate.

EIGHT YEARS, people!

Celebrate with me! What accomplishments are you proud of that you want to share. Toot your own horn here, people. I want to share my celebration with you. Because? I worked damn hard to get here!

52 thoughts on “Celebrate 8 with an addict

  1. Jen, congratulations. And thank you from the bottom of my heart for your kind words on BlogHer. I’m deeply honored.


  2. Congratulations! I recently celebrated my 8 year anniversary of overcoming addiction to nicotine. I know how hard it is to not want to smoke again when I am having a hard day (even though smoking is an ‘acceptable’ drug) – so I doubly and triply (is that a real word?) congratulate you for going 8 years without what I assume were ‘unacceptable’ drugs! It’s great you can take pride in this accomplishment. Stay strong and keep up the good work.

  3. CONGRATULATIONS!! That is a fantastic, amazing achievement. I hope that as the years progress, you have fewer and fewer days like the previous, and more like this one.

    I realized just now that I seem to have been reading your blog for a long time now, because I distinctly remember your 7 Years! post.

    Mara’s last blog post..Who wants to gamble?

  4. Congratulations! That is an amazing accomplishment. As the child of an alcoholic (he’s 20 yrs sober now) I applaud you so much. That is a huge and difficult thing to do and you are an amazingly strong woman to have stuck to it, gotten through it and to have even started that journey. That is an amazing accomplishment and truly a blessing.
    8 years. Wow.
    Fabulous. Congratulations and Happy Birthday!!

    rachel’s last blog post..Skintabulous Haiku and some Frump Busting too

  5. What an accomplishment! I appreciate and value your willingness to share your ups and downs with regards to your sobriety. I am sure that you are providing great strength and encouragement to many. Many congratulations on eight years, on yesterday and for today.

  6. Jenn,

    As the daughter of a one-time drug addict let me say, “WAY TO DAMN GO GIRL!!” I lived through my moms life and death struggle to kick her addiction and I am as proud of you as I am of her. She has now quit smoking as well and that wasn’t any easier. I know you will understand and appreciate how much I love and adore her. She is my best friend. You keep on keepin on….8 years is fantastic….you rock.

  7. I can’t imagine what a struggle that must have been and how strong you must be to push through it.


    Lisse’s last blog post..6x

  8. Happy birthday Jenn! Your strength and courage is such an inspiration, so is your vulnerability and your weaknesses. What I admire most about you is how real you are and how you’re not afraid to admit your flaws. For that we see all your strengths. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Vera’s last blog post..Bacolod Chicken Parilla

  9. Congrats Jenn. I think this is a day for YOUR accomplishment. I blab about mine all the time anyway.

    Suebob’s last blog post..Monstrous

  10. HOORAY FOR EIGHT YEARS! Being brave enough to face your demons head-on is an amazing thing, and you deserve nothing but praise for having not only faced them eight years ago but for facing them every day since. You have tackled your demons for 2,922 days. That is just incredible. More power to you!

    My recent accomplishment is having passed Anatomy in medical school. Hooray for us!

    Emily’s last blog post..Abraham Lincoln said it better, as usual

  11. Oh hon, good for you! Congratulations on 8 years. Keep on plugging day by day. It’s not easy.

    I’ve had my share of problems in the same field and was/am a cutter. (Just like drugs, they say you’re never quite “recovered.”) The itch is still there from time to time, but luckily my kids are usually the kick in the ass I need to get set straight again.

  12. You are my hero.

    For real.

    I have done nothing that awesome in my life.

    PS. Please forgive me in advance for offering you a sip of my purse mine at blogher. I can never keep track of who I should offer and who I shouldn’t. I suck.

    Jenny, Bloggess’s last blog post..Judgemental cat is unpleased

  13. Congrats! From the sorta daughter (long story- he was my mother’s live-in boyfriend, but not my father) of an alcoholic, your children thank you for giving them a drug free mom. I thank you for giving them a drug free mom- so less children have to live the childhood I did.

    Amanda’s last blog post..My No Good, Very Bad Day.

  14. Bravissima! Brava!

    I’ve never been addicted to anything worse than a really good TV show, but almost every adult in my family smokes. My mom has tried and failed several times to quit. I tip my hat to you, you brave, strong lady!

    Danielle’s last blog post..Daddy/Daughter stuff…

  15. Happy 8th!!

    You should check out what a woman hater is saying about us coffee drinking blogging moms. Sounds like a real creep!

    Kathleen’s last blog post..changes

    [Editor’s note: I took out the url to the haters site. I don’t promote hate here. Laughable as the idiot was, I am not sending people that way. ~Jenn]

  16. For my 8th (regular) birthday I went to the roller skating rink, did the hokey pokey and turned myself around. So stick one foot in and one foot out and happy 8th birthday to you. Congratulations!

    Susannah’s last blog post..Flash

  17. You are awesome. 8 YEARS. You have my admiration, congratulations, and wishes for maximum joy in the days, weeks, months and years to come.

    Karoli’s last blog post..Mirror mirror

  18. Congratulations! I’m married to a guy who calls himself a “retired” drunk (10 years sober in may) and who is also a long-retired meth addict–heck, he tried everything. (

    I don’t have an addiction myself, but I living with him, I understand the struggle. You’re admirable!

    Leslie M-B’s last blog post..Ten great tips for teachers and mentors

  19. Woohoo!! Way to go. My parents are in your neck of the woods and say they’re calling for big snow tonight. If you do get a good amount, jump in and make a snow angel for me, k?

    Crisanne’s last blog post..What would you do?

  20. Jen, sobrity is a great thing and is to be celebrated. I dryed up in 2002 myself and fight the urge to tip one back, however each day is easier to resist the tempation. Fourtunatly for me giving up the drugs was not that hard.

    Most users, abusers, and drinkers get dried up and then wonder where to go, and what to do from there. That was my problem with drinking. God brought me to a wonderful solution, Christian Intervention Program (CIP) which is at http://www.sofm.org.

    It is Bible based, however it is not churchy or preachy.

    I not only went through the program, I now teach it.

    Thank you for sharing with others.

    Rocky V.

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