…I am no longer filled with self-doubt and an inner suspicion that the life I’d led so far — unhappy, unfulfilled, and completely disconnected from all of humanity — was because that’s the best I deserved. I don’t let people treat me badly anymore. I know when to walk away — and really walk away, not just shutting up and sitting on my hands and holding my tongue and waiting for the right time to strike back. Whereas I used to say “yes” when I meant “no” — or “no” and then felt terribly guilty — even when at my utmost limits, today I know that I can’t give away what I don’t have, be it time or love or energy or hope. I know what to do not only when I’m angry or hurting or sad, but also when I’m happy or excited or inspired. I’ve stopped sitting around waiting for something exciting — or even just life — to happen, and I’ve started making it happen all around me. I feel grown up not because I have the freedom to do whatever I want but because I have the inner strength, courage, and faith to take care of myself, and I don’t need anyone or anything else to complete the fabulous person I am. In other words: I’ve just finished my first year of sobriety. Here’s to hoping the second year is just as amazing. Namaste.