Farewell, 2021. Hello, 2022.


January 1, 2022

I’m sitting in my office, the pocket door closed, drinking coffee and writing. Mom is playing with Gray and Evy in the family room, and I can hear Jenga blocks falling on the coffee table as the tower crumbles. 

Last night was my second sober New Year’s Eve, and I might just be getting the hang of this. It was the first night since becoming a mom that I actually stayed up until midnight, no need for a 9pm snooze on the couch. 

(Well, by midnight I mean 11pm CST, midnight in New York, but still. It counts.)

Russell, Mom, Harper and I clutched our champagne glasses, brimming with sparkling grape juice, counting down along with Andy Cohen and Anderson Cooper on CNN in Times Square. 


My heart started racing. Was it just from the anticipation of waiting all day and all night for this moment? This countdown? 


Or, was it the culmination of all that had happened this year? The idea of finally closing the door on the heartbreak of 2021 was coming down to this moment. Was this it?


Is it really that easy?

Is moving on as easy as time passing, calendar pages turning? Will everything change in one instant, from one second to the next, right here in my family room?


I knew it wouldn’t. Moving on requires more than a countdown. A clean slate is only a shiny distraction unless I move through the mess that remains, clawing my way through the rubble of grief, sadness and everything 2021 left. 


It’s quiet in the family room now. The only sound I hear is the clock in my office ticking, reminding me with each tick and tock that 2022 is well underway. 

As I sit here, right now, I have more questions than answers. I’m not sure how the heartbreak and loss of 2021 will find me. I don’t know how many times I will be brought to my knees with grief. 

The one thing I know for sure is that I will get through. I will feel it all, with no desire to numb my feelings with alcohol, with no need to run. 

I will feel it all and when it’s time, I will let the tower crumble. 

  1. Katie says:

    Those last three sentences are perfect. I’m 6.5 months into the sobriety journey and those words fill my heart. I will
    FEEL all of it. The good, bad, beautiful and ugly. Life. 2022 here we come. Happy New Year! Thank you for sharing your journey with us.

  2. Marci williams says:

    I do not have the same story, but the heartbreak in my life is pretty significant. Each year brings me to my knees and I pray that it will get easier. Some days I put the pieces of my puzzle together, and some days a few pieces become lost and I have to find them and put them back in the right place. Some days I throw the entire puzzle across the room. But each day I remember what I am here for. My journey is mine, and no one else’s. I remind myself that I matter, and there is still good in the world, although hard to see sometimes. Remember to give yourself grace. Hard to do, but practice makes perfect, right? My circle is small, but if you ever needed a friend there is always room for one more. Happy New Year.

  3. George Hummel says:

    It never gets easy. For us, sobriety is not a cure. It’s remission.

    • suzanne says:

      I don’t consider myself in recovery or an alcoholic. I’m not in a battle with alcohol. I’m free of alcohol and loving it.

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