Seven years ago today, I got sober.
That’s a sentence I never expected to write. Seven years and one day ago, I was a mess. I was making every mistake in the book, legitimately throwing my life away. It sucked, and I’m not proud of the choices I made. But seven years ago, I made a good choice. I decided to get my life in order, and the first step was to stop drinking. It was hard, and I had very little faith that I would be able to lay off the alcohol for long.
The first days are the worst. The darkness surrounded me as I battled the depression and nasty side effects that come with fighting an addiction, but there was one thing that always managed to make my day better. Every single day I would listen to Taylor Swift’s Fearless album from start to finish. It was the only thing that consistently put a smile on my face, and the only thing that helped keep me going.
I can’t tell you why it happened. Alcohol wasn’t some man who had wronged me, like the guys Taylor was singing about. But in a way, I was definitely dealing with a loss. A loss of myself, a loss of innocence, a loss of friendships and relationships I thought were strong. So Taylor’s words resonated with me, and they have ever since. On the album, Taylor went through all the motions of falling in love, feeling regret, trying to recover and then finally becoming OK again. Our journeys were similar, and in my battered heart and slowly-clearing mind, a connection formed. Taylor’s music became my sanctuary, and I began to look at her as a friend I just hadn’t met yet.
Seven years later and I still listen to Taylor’s music every day. Her words are still my guidepost. Her strength of character and kind heart are models for how I want to live my life. I still consider her a friend I just haven’t met yet, and even if our paths never cross, I’ll always be thankful for the help she’s given me.
Seven years ago today, I got sober. That’s a pretty great sentence. I’m so glad that I got to write it.