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  • I've changed phones three times since we last exchanged numbers, but I still knew exactly who it was when I got the text: "300 days!"

    You have to understand, when people talked about alcoholism, I was the first one to nod my head and say something like, "That must have been so hard." That's what people say when they don't really know what it felt like, when they don't have a story to share. They can't say, "I know how you feel," or, "I have a brother/cousin/friend who..." so they just make do with, "I admire your strength."

    I can't do that now. But not because of my aunt - because now I understand that sober doesn't have to mean drugs or alcohol. For a sex addict, it means something completely different.

    For an 11-year old girl with bulimia, sober is something she'll forever have to fight for, asked to maintain control over her addiction - like asking an alcoholic to stay 'sober' but have a beer three times a day for the rest of their life.

    Sober with ADHD looks like a university student slouched over a book, nervously scratching the skin off her knees in the corner a library but - goddammit - focused and actually learning something she doesn't want to learn.

    Clean from anxiety and bipolar? I live in the now, or try my best to. I no longer beat myself up, or hold my breath, or slam doors when my pencil breaks. But sometimes I fall off, and the best I can say is, "I'll try again tomorrow."

    Are you sober?
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