Thoughts On 4 Years of Sobriety


January 19, 2024

Grainy pic of me in my kitchen last night. 🖤

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As I type this, I’m sitting in my home office, right off the kitchen. They call it a “Mother’s Office” because apparently a woman belongs in the kitchen, but if she can’t be in the kitchen, she’d better be as close to it as possible, just in case.

I can hear my 4 year old playing with our babysitter. They’re sitting on our couch in the family room. The same couch, in fact, that provided me little comfort as I nursed my very last hangover 4 years ago today. (Wait. To be clear, the actual couch is the same, but the slipcover is new. The last one fell victim to the great stomach bug of 2023 and I draw a very firm line at cleaning shit and puke out of fabric. It’s a no go for me.)

If I close my eyes, I can go back.

I can see her, lying there, unable to participate in the full life she has worked so hard to create. I am hovering above, like the Ghost of Sobriety Future, watching her, waiting for her to jump. Knowing that she will have so many questions. So much fear. So much doubt. But in the center of her, where all the good things live, she will also have just an inkling of hope.

I see her get up, assessing the damage around her and inside her. The toys and lunch remnants are easily picked up, put away, thrown out. The shame inside though, is a different story. That will take months to excavate, diffuse, disassemble, only to rebuild slowly, line by line, story by story.

She starts in the kitchen, of course.

The sink is filled with dirty dishes, the counters sticky and smeared. She gets to work, knowing no better place to begin. What she doesn’t know now is that this will become a ritual that she will return to every single night. As the sun sets and the world goes silent, she will clean the kitchen and prepare her home for another day, all while listening to the latest Quit Lit book and applying the lessons she’s learning to her own life, her own past.

Night after night, she returns to the heart of her home and what at first felt insurmountable, with time becomes sacred.

This happens for her in sobriety and seems to be a sort of theme. What at first feels confusing and nebulous becomes clear and certain, and what she once considered a cage feels exactly like freedom.

The next four years of her life will bring with them the greatest loss of her life, along with the sweetest joy. She will learn to trust herself again, or maybe for the first time. She will feel childlike wonder and a grief so deep it it settles into every bone in her body to stay forever.

And she will feel it all. She will learn to welcome those feelings and use them as a key to unlock her greatest needs and desires. She will set boundaries and speak aloud words that she would never dare utter before this.

Her voice will waiver and her heart will race while she records her first podcast episode. Slowly, she will build a community of women who all show up to tell the truth about alcohol and its tricks and share their own stories of shame and hope.

Not yet, though.

She doesn’t know any of this yet. She has far more questions than answers running through her mind as she hears herself tell her husband: “I’m done.”

Right now, she stands firmly in the kitchen, wiping, scrubbing, listening. She will trust that the jump is a leap of faith, rather than a fall into despair. She will move forward, step by step, moment by moment, night by night.

She will go out and adventure and share what she’s discovered, but she will always return to the heart of her home.

She, the heart of her family, belongs here.

Cheers to a lifetime of sober nights, peaceful early mornings and a clean kitchen. ✨

(Grab my Happy Sober mug here.)

  1. Colleen says:

    So beautiful. The kitchen – sacred ritual – this hits home. Amazing work and thanks for all you do!

  2. Desiree Cloud says:

    Congratulations! I too became spontaneously sober. My journey started out as a dry January, 1/1/23. I followed that by alcohol free February, and by March I was sure I would never drink again. As of today I am 383 days free and I don’t think I’ve ever been this happy or free. I really want to thank you for creating the sober mom life fb group. And I love that it is now considered the AA alternative because from the very beginning I would call your page my AA. Thanks again and congrats on 4 years. You are amazing!!

  3. Megan Kantharia says:

    Such an amazing and inspirational post, thanks for sharing!

  4. Kate says:

    You’ve put into beautiful words exactly what I have felt. Thank you for normalizing the freedom of sobriety. I’m only 18 days in, but I don’t see myself going back.

  5. Les says:

    You remind me of my younger self. Trying so hard to drink smarter. Had to white knuckle through so many years. I did it but felt deprived.

    Now my older self has no one to answer to but myself. Covid and alcohol did not work well for me.

    Last 3 years. Dry Jan. One year Dry Feb.

    This year different. Tool box much larger. Found your post. My old life without alcohol. Would have loved it I think.

    Thank you for your information and sharing your life. It is refreshing. Your views make sense. More people will eventually hear your words. Keep posting.

    This time is d

  6. Blair Troiano says:

    Want to echo the thanks of others, Suzanne. Your voice has helped me tremendously in my journey. I needed a “softer place to land,” and you’ve given that to me. Thank you again and congratulations on your four year milestone. ❤️👏🏻💪🏻🎉

  7. Karen Myles says:

    This is really beautiful !! Same with my kitchen ..I always get that connection you make. Thank you for all your amazing words

  8. Congrats on 4 years! I’m not far behind you … thank you for creating this beautiful space. I love your kitchen reference I think my husband would’ve loved if I turned to cleaning my kitchen as my ritual. Mine was cooking! Still great and very beneficial to my house full of boys. I feel fortunate to have found your IG page and now since I’m off IG I get these wonderful emails .

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