Tommaso Boddi/Getty Images Jana Kramer
Jana Kramer is celebrating her victories as she turns 39.
On Friday, the country music rang in her birthday by sharing a black-and-white photo of her walking in the water and looked back on her accomplishments in the caption.
"38 was a year of an immense amount of growth and healing through some very hard things and as I look at who I am now at 39 I'm actually proud of myself and it felt really good to feel that," she wrote.
"For the first time probably ever I've started to love who I am," she explained, adding that she had a breakthrough at a recent therapy session.
"I had therapy the other day and while I was sharing some things with her I started to cry," Kramer wrote.
"She asked me what the tears were. I couldn't answer because I started to cry more and she said 'it's because you're proud of yourself isn't it'. And I shook my head yes and cried even harder but not out of sadness. HAPPY TEARS… cause I never thought I would be here," she added.
Although the One Tree Hill alum said she is excited to "continue to grow, learn, heal and connect with others along the way," she touched on the most important lesson she learned this year.
"I have always searched and wanted that validation from others but I have found it from within and that's the greatest birthday gift I could receive," she said.
RELATED VIDEO: Jana Kramer Says It Was 'Hard' to See Ex Mike Caussin 'Flirt with Other Girls' During a Night Out
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"More," she said as her eyes began to water. "I know we're both in better situations. But I think about this year ... my kids won't wake up at my house Christmas day. That one's gonna hurt."
"That's when I get like, that's not fair. You took away my dream too, of what I wanted for my family," she said. "That's not fair."
A rep for Caussin did not return PEOPLE's request for comment at the time.