In honor of Recovery Month, we asked you to send us your stories about the impact community, nutrition or environment has had on your life since you put down substances and picked up life. Winners are not only receiving copies of our book, The Miracle Morning for Addiction Recovery, but are also being published here on the site.

This week we have Nancy Carr.

I’ve been sober for over 14 years. My prior life was a cesspool of drugs, alcohol and dispensable people that I used to get what I wanted. I was okay with my lifestyle, even thought it was pretty cool at times.

What I didn’t realize was how much I truly didn’t like myself. I just accepted that this was how my life was going to be. I kept searching for the right guy, the right job, the right town to fix me.  I thought my problem was that I needed a husband. So, that’s what my quest was, and what I found were people I wouldn’t want to be seen in the light of day with…along with an alcohol and cocaine problem.

I got sober after my second DUI, and even though I didn’t think my problem was that bad, in actuality it was. I walked into a 12-step meeting to get sober, and haven’t looked back since. In my first year, the changes were so extraordinary. Waking up with money in my pocket, knowing where I was in the morning and not hungover gave me a completely healthy and happy outlook on my life and how if I stayed the course, would remain.

During my first year, which by far was the most important, I had a number of “A-Ha” moments, mainly because I was going through the 12 steps and learning how to be whole again. Being around my family who drank, and going to concerts, and celebrating my birthday and holidays—sober was a complete change from how I lived my live for over 22 years.

I never worked out before I got sober. I would do the occasional walk or hike with friends, but I didn’t care about my body and I was always too tired or too busy partying to care. When I got sober, I started doing yoga, running, and hiking, and taking care of my physical body for what it was and to start loving, nourishing and embracing it. Even the parts I don’t like—belly, thighs, butt; all of it is a work in progress.

What I found out about myself when I got sober is that I’m a pretty likable person who has a valuable purpose. I found my purpose early on and that was to share my story with others and to let them know it’s okay to be scared when you know you have a problem with alcohol or drugs. All you need to do is reach out for help. And that’s the hardest part…getting honest and asking for help.

Before I even got sober, I started writing short stories and essays to just keep on my laptop. Then when I started getting sober I began journaling about my story. What came out of that was my own memoir, Last Call, and a blog where I can share my sober life experiences.