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This past October, I celebrated one year of complete sobriety.

I have been asked how it started and why it started, and while addiction can be a complicated subject to broach at the best of times, I will explain it like this:

When you are baking, it’s normal to create quite a mess.

But regardless of how messy it may get – it is your job to clean it up.

That’s what sobriety has been to me; I had made a huge mess of my life, and it was my job to clean it up.

Just as I rinse my Cuisinart mixer accessories and Lysol the kitchen counters, I stripped my life of all that was poisoning it and made it sparkle once more.

 

I do not aim to oversimplify – addiction is a multi-faceted, shape-shifting monster, and it isn’t easy to identify or defeat this monster.

I will only speak for my own experience in overcoming the beast of addiction.

 

I knew it was time for change when I couldn’t stop shaking.

I knew it was time for change when I was apathetic to almost everything in my life.

I knew it was time for change when I didn’t recognize myself any longer.

 

The scariest part of this journey was the very beginning – taking that first step, admitting that I needed to change. This isn’t to say that I thought I was perfect, but to admit that you think you are an addict is to put yourself in a very vulnerable position. I had no idea how to share this information or what to expect as a reaction.

Could I text it? “Hey, happy Monday. I’m an alcoholic,” didn’t seem like a very socially appropriate message to send.

Was I a freak? None of my friends were sober.

I knew this was necessary, not only to my health but to my survival.

Through my addiction, I had lost trust in myself.

 

Luckily, my story took a turn for the better.

 

In my first year of sobriety, I have learned that being in the company of the wrong people can feel lonelier than simply being by yourself.

I have learned that I have more power than I realize.

I have learned that I am completely in control of how I navigate this world and how I treat others.

I have learned that I owe it to the people that care about me and love me to take care of myself properly.

I have learned that it is worth it to sit with those impossibly painful emotions because avoiding them will hurt you more in the long run – work through your problems, don’t ignore them.

 

In the past year, I found a way to connect with myself like I haven’t been able to for a very long time.

 

If I were to impart one lesson onto anyone reading this who may be feeling sober curious, it would be to try it out – even if you don’t feel like you have an addiction.

See if you can go to a family party or a social gathering without wielding your favourite pinot grigio like a shield, or even just practice the habit of saying “No” instead of feeling obliged to say “Yes” when offered a drink.

 

If I can do it, anyone can.

Emma Morrison

Wilfrid Laurier '23

Emma is a classical violinist who loves rap, a sober person who loves a good party, and a general guilty pleasure aficionado. If she's not reading, doing yoga, or chasing her chihuahua Blue around the dog park (he loves a good fight) she's writing or creating a masterful charcuterie board. Emma loves smashing the patriarchy, tear-jerking stories and TV shows, naps, and anything Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez does.
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