One Day at a Time for 4,018 Days: My Journey to 11 Years of Soberity

Halley Valentine
Tell us about your (or your loved one's) recovery journey. What has been the most rewarding part?

My life before alcoholism- growing up in a low-income family, divorced parents, a mother and a stepfather with untreated mental health problems, living with a mentally and sometimes physically abusive stepfather, a sense of no control, and the inability to see that I had a support system I could have utilized.

My life while actively drinking- untreated mental health issues, reckless behavior (drunk driving, getting into cars with complete strangers going to unfamiliar places), suicide attempts, in a mentally and physically abusive marriage, sexually assaulted, out of control debt, constantly destroying relationships with people who cared deeply about me.

I never thought I could "right" all of the "wrongs" my drinking had caused. When the alcohol wore off I would reflect on the disarray I caused while intoxicated, drink, and add more chaos. Again and again. This continuous cycle made so many problems for me that I would drink because I thought everything was beyond repair. It took some time to "fix" my mistakes, but the hard work I put in was well worth it because it led to the life I have now.

My life 11 years sober and counting — I have a beautiful family (three children and an amazing husband), a home, a reasonable amount of debt, healthy relationships, actively addressing my mental health, a bachelor's, a master's, and, come this fall, a doctorate. Above all I am happy.

Do you have a message for the Shatterproof community?

You CAN get sober. You CAN find help. There IS judgment-free help for you. There ARE people who love you unconditionally. Maybe you don't know those people. That's right, those people *may* be strangers. You wouldn't believe how many people truly care about you. I care.

This is your life, your story. You're writing it. You have the ability to add a plot twist to your story! Write one now!!! Get sober! You've got this!