Site icon Alysse Bryson

17 Things I Love About Being Sober For 17 Years

My name is Alysse, and I am most definitely an alcoholic. I started referring to myself as an alcoholic in spring 2006 before the clinical term became more widely known as Alcohol Use Disorder. (AUD for short) My sobriety date is 05.01.2006. I didn’t come out publicly on the internet about my alcoholism until I launched The Sober Curator back in August 2020. Prior to that, I was open about it around select people in an attempt to control the narrative around it. Isn’t that cute that I thought I could control what people think of me?

Recovering Out Loud

While I have seen improvement around the stigma surrounding alcohol and substance abuse issues since getting sober in 2006, I can assure you the stigma is still alive and well in 2023. Since launching this site with a very talented group of content creators that volunteer their time and energy, I have lost track of how many articles I’ve written, social media posts I’ve made, podcasts I’ve been a guest on, or crowds I’ve spoken in front of. The only filters left in my life are the ones I use on photos on Instagram.

Simply put, I finally stopped caring about what other people think of me. (I mean, for the most part, I’m not perfect. Let’s not get it twisted.) I put out content about recovery and content in general that I like, that entertains me, with a hope and a prayer it might help someone else or at least make them chuckle.

Want to know what else I’ve lost track of?

How many phone calls have I taken to help someone get a detox bed or find a treatment center. I can’t remember the names of every single woman I have sponsored over the years, nor have I tracked where they all ended up. I am clueless about how many hours I’ve volunteered for recovery-based nonprofit organizations. I’ve probably been to thousands of meetings in church basements and clocked hundreds of hours in therapy. My bookshelves are lined with every possible recovery book I’ve been able to get my hands on. Newsflash! Back in 2006, there weren’t that many of them. My dear friend and fellow Sober Curator Kate Vitela jokes that she has to “take a number” to get in line to get time with me. (She’s not wrong, if you don’t make it on my calendar, forget about it.)

Want to know what I’ve realized?

I have a servant’s heart, primarily due to how my parents raised me and because my life in recovery depends on it. Being of service to others is vital to my recovery, and I like to remind people that the definition of vital means “necessary for life.” That’s the secret sauce to recovery folks. It’s impossible for me to feel sorry for myself and be helping someone else at the same time. And because I have a brain that wants to feel sorry for itself a majority of the time, I’ve thrown myself into service work with a vengeance. Now, it comes as easily as breathing. I don’t think about it, I just do.

It also turns out I can tell a 45-minute story that should have been only three minutes. So, with this knowledge of myself, I’ll wrap this post with the 17 things I love about being 17 years sober. If you want to know more, my inbox is open.

17 Things I Love About Being Sober for 17 Years (in no particular order)

2:30 Minute Version of this performance HERE on Facebook

1:30 Minute Version HERE on Instagram

You can listen to Amy Liz Harrison’s Eternally Amy podcast HERE as we talk about celebrating 12 & 17 years sober.

Back to the list…

Oh hey, only 10 more to go!

The Final Four…

So, this is me at 17. It’s sometimes messy but mostly pretty decent. There are more good days than bad days, and when the bad days roll in, I know what to do and who to ask for help. Have I gotten everything I thought I would have at this age? Nope. Definitely not. But if you had told me 17 years ago that if I gave up vodka and cocaine my life would look like it does today, I would not have believed you. Full stop.

I have a life beyond my wildest dreams, and I know deep in my soul that the best is yet to come. Seventeen years Sober Alysse is stepping into her power, and she’s comfortable in her skin. Watch out, world; I’m comin’ for you!

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