Seven years ago today, I woke up hungover.

And thirsty.


Thirsty for peace.

Thirsty for answers.

Thirsty for freedom from the unquenchable thirst I had for the one thing that continually left my heart and my soul parched: alcohol.


Seven years ago today, I woke up hungover.

And scared.


Scared of how far I had fallen.

Scared of how high it seemed to climb back up.

Scared that I would fail before I even began, like I had so many times before.


Seven years ago today, I woke up hungover.

And tired.

Tired of the lies.

Tired of the pain.

Tired of being too tired to care.


Seven years ago today, I woke up hungover.

I sat up, shame shaking her finger in my face,

and despite my heavy legs and my heavy heart

I got out of bed

got on my knees

and pleaded for mercy while I begged for forgiveness.


Seven years ago today,

I woke up hungover

for the very last time.


The last seven years have taught me many things, but the most important lesson I’ve learned along the way is that a sober life, is not a perfect life.

There is still pain. And heartache. And fear.

But there is also joy. And laughter. And courage.


A sober life, is not a perfect life.

There is still unfairness. And conflict. And disappointment.

But there is also trust. And victory. And love.

(There is so much love)


A sober life, is not a perfect life.

But I know where I’ve been

and I know a sober life

is the closest to a perfect life I’ve ever come.




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16 Replies to “Thirsty”

  1. 7 years. WOW. You are amazing. Good on you! I have been clean for 17 years now. It is better. And tougher. And so worth it, for myself, for my family.

  2. My husband chose the sober life 6 months ago and i chose to join him. Pushed to alcohol to escape our stressful life he went to the brink of death, quite literally and i admire him for recovering both physical and metaphorically…anyone who turns there back on drink has my upmost respect xx

  3. I just wanted to say Congrats. And, this blog makes me happier than anyone could ever imagine. My mother is an alcoholic, she has been since I was in utero. I will be almost 40 this year. Growing up was hell, never knowing, things never being consistent, nothing predictable, nothing… normal. I have made a good life for myself and my children will never know the hell that was my childhood. The concept of being a mother is new to me EVERYDAY, as I never really had a mother.. instead, I had a woman who chose the bottle over her children. Thank you.. thank you for quitting.. thank you thank you for choosing your life and those of your children over alcohol.. Thank you.

  4. I woke up thinking of you and of how proud of you I am. I then thought about the way that you share your gift of writing by helping others with your straightforward heart, your experience, and your passion for standing up for what is right for challenged children from all walks of life; and for the amazing moms and dads who raise them.

    I hope that today you are celebrated; that the sun in the sky reminds you of just how damned much you have accomplished. Your “one day at a time” touches so many Jo.

  5. Your courage, your persistence, your humility and humanity inspire so many, my friend. Congratulations on your milestone. Keep on racking them up, baby! xoxo

  6. You are super amazing, and I think this is an especially noteworthy accomplishment THIS year, which has been so challenging for you. Congratulations! *passes you a cupcake*

  7. Hi Danielle –
    Thank you so much!! Yeah. I’ve been thinking the same thing. I can’t imagine going through all of the pain and anguish of what’s been happening and drinking through it. My family deserves better than that and I’m so grateful I can honor them by remaining sober.

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