‘I wrote myself back together’

byronkatie

One year ago I was newly sober and dealing with really intense withdrawals and anxiety. I was scared to death. I didn’t know what the fuck to do but I knew I couldn’t carry on drinking.

With quivering fingers I slowly typed in the word alcoholic into Google, happened on some articles and then by a massive stroke of luck stumbled upon Sober Mummy’s blog.

A whole new world opened up. I couldn’t believe there were other women like me having the same issues! These brave women (and men) were candid and open about recovery and were keeping track of their successes and failures.

I was in a total mess at that point. Alcohol had literally brought me to my knees and my self-esteem was in tatters on the floor. I didn’t know how to be sober in this world. I felt naked and exposed… reality was a cold and frightening place to be. My crutch, my medicine was gone and I was utterly bereft. I was petrified to look around my life to really see the devastation the addiction had caused. There is that saying in AA: “If you want to know why you drank, stop drinking and you’ll soon find out.

I decided there and then that this blogosphere was a good place for me to be. It creates accountability and also takes care of step 4 (fearless moral inventory) and step 5 “Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.”

I found a world with honest brave people in recovery that are rocking life on life’s terms. The ultimate bas assery!

I want to borrow a quote by Roxanne Gay that describes my feelings around this far more eloquently that I ever could-

I wrote myself back together. I wrote myself toward a stronger version of myself . . . Through writing and feminism, I also found that if I was a little bit brave, another woman might hear me and see me and recognize that none of us are the nothing the world tries to tell us we are.
–  Roxanne Gay

I am so grateful to this community for being there for me in what could be easily said was the most difficult (and most wonderful) year of my life.

The more I wrote the lighter I felt. It was like unloading bags and bags of heavy rocks that I had been carrying around with me for years! I didn’t realise I was in such deep denial and more time I spend sober the more I realise in what a bad place I was.

I was telling the truth about my addiction for the first time. This was huge! Addiction cannot survive when you tell the truth. It needs secrecy and lies to thrive.

Every comment that said ‘me too!” confirmed to me that I wasn’t alone in this struggle. Every kind word and lovely suggestions meant and still means the world to me.

My perspective has shifted massively in one year. I am no longer apologetic or shy-ish about the fact that I am sober. I think it’s a fucking bad-ass choice and I am proud of it.

I am no longer counting days. I don’t want to do it and no one can make me. I will count 2016 as the year surrendered and got sober.

I am no longer scared of relapses, this is a fear based way of living and I have no interest in it. I am focussing on living in love and staying conscious. I am focussing on accepting the things I cannot change. I am focussing on spiritual growth and staying in my own business. I am learning that I am not in control of everything and that Donald trump and climate change is here to stay whether we like it or not.

Wherever you are on your journey, 2 years in, or battling to string a month together just know that by writing it down you are increasing your chances of beating this thing…addiction cannot survive when you are telling the truth, the truth will…as they say… set you free.

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53 thoughts on “‘I wrote myself back together’

  1. This is such a beautiful post. Full of hope! I had some sober momentum over the past few months but my community was hit by hurricane Irma and the evacuation and the chaos, etc has led me right back to where I was 😦 Reading this post lightened my heart. THANK YOU!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Such a beautiful post! Through your writing you have helped many others (me for one) as well as yourself. It took me several months of lurking before I gained the courage to start a blog of my own but doing so brought me straight into the heart of this rich, supportive community. I’m so happy for you!!!! Thankyou for writing it all down and illuminating the path for those of us behind 😊😘❤️

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  3. A beautiful post! You can’t write words and con yourself, can you? So writing is an incredibly important tool. Your posts have shared so much wisdom – thank you. AND congratulations!

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    • Yes because it shows us on black and white what we are doing. It’s one thing to do something deplorable in a drunken stupor and try to forget about it. Once you’ve admitted to the drunken stupor on paper in front of this community it makes you accountable.I think that drives change much faster, dont you? My lapses always turned into months (sometimes years) of relapses. Because I never made myself accountable. No one knew about the fact that I was trying to stop. This time the lapse was a one night only thing. I admitted it on here and i think by making myself accountable and publicily outing myself as having lapsed i changed the trajectory of it. If you lapse even after years, we need to get up go tell people and get to fixing it the next day otherwise I fear the relapses are becoming life threatning and way to dark a place for me to contemplate. I am also mindful of the days thing that can become an ego problem. People thinking thay have years then they stop doing the work and inevitably they will lapse. This is really a one day at a time deal. Every damn day we have to put in the work and make the human connections to keep ourselves sober. xxx

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      • I didn’t tell people when I relapsed because I never told them why I quit drinking. It’s like holding the door open so that you can morph back into the “fun” drinking partner you once were. I would always say I was on a health kick so that I COULD REMAIN UNACCOUNTABLE! Once you’re accountable, you can’t go back without looking like someone with a drinking problem.
        Congrats on your year sober. I LOVE your blog, and you’ve been a great companion on the journey. I look so forward to reading your book. (You are writing a book, aren’t you?) 💕

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      • Thank you Ms Miracle. I’m not a year sober but I am celebrating my blog’s anniversary. I think the day I started this blog is the day I really started to recover. My ‘clean date’ is far away (I lapsed this year in june) I choose not to think in those terms anymore because it can be very demotivating. You were one of my first friends on this blogging journey and I’ve loved learning from you. Nope I’m not writing a book, don’t know if I have anything new to say on recovery … but thanks for the compliment.

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  4. “I am no longer apologetic or shy-ish about the fact that I am sober. I think it’s a fucking bad-ass choice and I am proud of it.” Thanks for these words, I feel the same way. and I agree that writing has been monumental in my sobriety. sober on!

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  5. Congrats and what a great post. I haven’t checked in for a while so it was lovely to read this. I love ‘writing yourself back together’ that is how I feel when I write. It is a healing process and I too feel badass being sober!!! Thank you for being here xxx

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  6. Congrats chickie!! You were one of the first blogs I followed on here (I’m just coming up to a year), and your words of encouragement and kindness made such a huge difference for me in those first few scary months! Thank you for being totally awesome you! ❤

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  7. Hi Hurrah, I love reading your blog. I know what you mean about not feeling alone here. I still don’t know how to be sober in this world, but I have yours and others words to inspire me. I know I will give sobriety another go eventually. I have started to tune back in to sober blogs. Writing really can help and you have come so far. I am so proud of you. PDTG

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    • Thank you! Its such a massive change. I was going through my photos and realised just how many times I’ve tried. 3 months here, 6 months there. on and off for YEARS. I can see so clearly now how much I was struggling and I got very tearful about it. I wish I could have just learned my lessons before I had kids. The thing is it took what it took and my kids are ok. I’m ok for the first time in a very long time:) xxx

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  8. Thank you for this post, Hurrah. I am grateful for your courage, transparency, and willingness to live life whole-hearted. It really shines through your written words. I have found writing (journaling) to be a powerful tool in preparing me and for taking that first big step into my new sober life. When those feelings are on paper (or screen) they seem solid, real, resonant. I am so grateful that folks are moving toward embracing the Truth that there are many unique paths to and in recovery. Counting days works for some. For me, just acknowledging that around the the new moon of the Autumnal Equinox 2017 marks the time I took that first step into my new life (I am indeed a newbie at 54 years old!). A 40 year drinking history, many “breaks” and attempts at “managing” and now I truly know in my bones I am done. Moving and looking forward into a life of freedom, peace, and joy feels like such a gift. The Me Too experience is also Universal, not just in recovery. It is exquisite to know there are people everywhere who stand with the MANY of us in the United States who are utterly committed every single day to resisting, standing for social justice, peace, and creating beautiful, healthy communities for our families and children, and to caring for our precious planet. Keep up the great work, and thanks for being there!

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  9. This is wonderful, my friend.

    I started blogging a year into my sobriety. I too found a previously untapped wealth of sobriety and happiness (and downs). I found myself drawn to stories and the daily struggles and victories of those who were either trying to get sober, or who were sober and sharing their experience.

    I also love that it’s such a female-dominated thing, this blogosphere. Ain’t many of us blokes about, but that’s okay. I realized that this blogging world speaks to so many women who are in that place of “am I an alcoholic?” because of the idea of that man under the bridge chugging cooking sherry. The stories shared by all you amazing bloggers helps other women, especially in a Google type world we live in, just as you first did when you got sober. It’s amazing how I have seen growth in so many of the newly sober bloggers I “met” many years ago. Some of sober coaches, others have written books, others have gone into full-time writing, others have shared their experience in other ways. Many have abandoned blogs because life became so rich and wonderful they didn’t have time to blog any more! What a way to go!

    Thank you for what you do, and not only with your wonderful words here, but your supporting and encouraging words on other people’s blogs. You are a shining light indeed.

    Blessings
    Paul

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    • Thank you Paul. Yes I think the blogosphere is a way into sobriety. The UK doesn’t have a big recovery scene…we are a bit stuck in the 50’s in that regard. I remember those early days when I was active on the blogs all day every day for those first months. I think that could be compared to the ’90 meetings in 90 days’ thing. There was somethign about that routine and repetitiveness that I am convinced saved me. Thank YOU for being there. I love reading your stuff and am truly blessed to be able to call you my friend. xxxx

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  10. Sensational!

    Has it really only been a year! It feel like you’ve been at this thing forever. It feels like I came onto the scene and you were a staple. Just goes to show how powerful your blogging voice is. I’ve also found writing and sharing my writing a powerful tool in my recovery.

    As you mention in your post too, it goes beyond our expectations or what we think it could do for us.

    So glad you’re here.

    Mark

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    • You made me laugh now I have been at this thing forever! Just wrote a post about how long I have been at this ‘getting sober thing’ Takes some of us a bit longer to get it:) Yes I totally agree writing gave me a voice and provided the healing that I never dreamed it could. I’m so glad you are here too:) xxxx

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  11. I LOVE reading this!!! You just reinforced everything I believe is true … that self-love (not the meme kind) is the way to finally put an end to this battle. I can identify with everything your wrote, especially this about relapse: “It’s a combination of lack of self-love and poor coping skills.” I never addressed the coping skills when I tried to stop drinking. Alcohol had become my only coping skill.

    Thank you for being so honest in your journey. It gives the rest of us the courage to do the same.
    Ms. Miracle 💕

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  12. Getting sober is most definitely bad ass, as are you. My hubby recently celebrated one year and I feel like we are the most bad ass (sober) couple around. Love this post, congrats on your amazing success in the recovery journey. xoxo

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