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3 Months, and I’m Still Sober

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When I first heard Kelly Clarkson’s song “Sober”, I was maybe a month sober again after my relapse and active addiction for the last few years. I just searched for “recovery songs” to try and make some kind of playlist for myself, and that was one that came up. At first, I kicked myself for never hearing of it, especially since it’s been around for a few years and I’ve always loved listening to sobriety and recovery themed songs, but now I’m just thankful that I heard it when I did. Something about it really spoke to me- probably the direct way she addresses sobriety, without vague terms or cryptic meanings. Who knows.

I’ve recently hit 3 months sober myself, and I’m just beyond grateful that I even get a second chance at this. As much as I hate what it took to get me back here, I’m thankful that I now have a much better understanding of my addiction(s), and what it takes to stay in recovery. There’s so much more than just not drinking, which I already “knew”, but now I KNOW. I’m in more than one 12-step program now, some of which are too personal for me to talk about or even name publicly, but maybe someday. I have to consider my children, my husband, my family, etc in how much I share online.

One thing I have learned is to look at recovery through a much more holistic lens. It doesn’t matter anymore if I’m just not drinking, or not using other substances, if I’m engaging in other addictive, harmful behaviors. Binge-eating, for example, may not be a relapse, but it is a warning sign that I need to take seriously. There are plenty of other behaviors that I have to be aware of, and I used to justify it with “at least I’m not drinking”. And maybe there’s a place for that kind of thinking, for a time, for some people. My time for that has passed.

I’ve learned that even if I can “drink normally”, or at least what I THINK is normal, it’s a lie. I’ve learned that while I can technically drink just one glass, and not go on to binge-drink, the cost of “normal drinking” is that I let down my guard in every other area of my life. Whether I like it or not, or want to accept it or not, alcohol doesn’t belong anymore. Escapism in any unhealthy form doesn’t belong in my world, now that I’ve learned that I can always come up with new ways to ruin my own life even without drinking too much. That was a really hard lesson to learn, and one of the reasons it’s taken me years to get back to recovery. I just couldn’t let it go. I wasn’t getting drunk, so I was fine- right? Wrong. So, so wrong.

It’s still early days, and I’m not interested in getting on any soapboxes or trying to teach anybody anything. This is just a blog for me to process some of the lessons I’m learning, and if it helps somebody, that’s awesome. But I’m not here to teach or preach. The idea is laughable, especially as early as it is. These are some things that I’m doing differently now though, to work on my recovery:

  • regular meetings (majority are telemeetings, along with 1-2 local meetings per week)
  • step-work, with a new sponsor in one of my new 12 step programs
  • consistent therapy appointments, and actually working on things she asks me to
  • exercise at least every other day, often daily though. I started running again about 2 months ago after taking years away from it, and it feels a little bit like I’m running for my life.
  • overall a much larger focus on self-care, whether I want it or feel like it or not. Daily stretching, taking my vitamins, choosing healthier food to fuel my body, almost feels sometimes like parenting myself. Not just with emotional and mental health, but physical.
  • daily prayer and some form of meditation- this one, especially prayer, is still difficult and I’m working on it. My faith is pretty well in shreds after the last few years, and I don’t know what I believe anymore, but I can trust that there are things I don’t understand or know, and just go from there.

There are other things that are a bit more specific, but those are the bigger ones.

Thanks for reading. Enjoy this beautiful song:

I don’t knowThis could break my heart or save meNothing’s realUntil you let go completelySo here I go with all my thoughts I’ve been savingSo here I go with all my fears weighing on me

Three months and I’m still soberPicked all my weeds but kept the flowersBut I know it’s never really over

I don’t knowI could crash and burn but maybeAt the end of this road I might catch a glimpse of meSo I won’t worry about my timing I wanna get it rightNo comparingSecond guessingNo, not this time

Three months and I’m still breathingBeen a long road since those hands I left my tears in but I knowIt’s never really over, no

Wake up

Three months and I’m still standing hereThree months and I’m getting better yeahThree months and I still am

Three months and it’s still harder nowThree months I’ve been living here without you nowThree months yeah, three months

Three months and I’m still breathingThree months and I still remember itThree months and I wake up

Three months and I’m still soberPicked all my weeds but kept the flowers

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Sitting on top of Pike's Peak in Colorado, a little over 2 years sober.

Hi! I'm Ashley, and my sobriety date is May 6, 2015. I write to share my experience, strength, and hope in recovery. On any given day, you can find me developing websites, writing, or chauffeuring kids around.  Read my story...

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