I did something...
So I did it. I did something bold. I did something huge. I did something that many others would never, ever do. I told the world some of my most vulnerable, personal stories.
I know deep down though, that I did not do something wrong. I did something that as a society, we find to be difficult and have a hard time grappling with at times.
I told the truth.
I shined a light on my story. I stepped outside the darkness and told MY truth. My emotional truth. My story of sobriety from the beginning. And I feel an authentic freeness. A realness in being able to put my story out there for the benefit of others.
My past is now running loose, out in the world. My words are whispered over and over. They swirl amongst the leaves and are carried away in the wind. I believe they exist though, as anchors, to pull others back up and out of the darkness. My stories are there to remind people that there is another option.
We are living in a culture that accepts alcohol as the norm. We are "living life out of focus." In publishing, On the Edge of Shattered, I attempted to refocus the narrative and shine a light on the truth, from my perspective. Alcohol is the leading cause of death worldwide for ages 15-49. During the pandemic, the death rate jumped 26% between 2019 and 2020 – making nearly the same climb in one year as over the decade before.
I told my truth in order to help others. I want to inspire people that are struggling as I once was. And the feedback and outpouring of support has been more than I ever could have imagined.
The impact that my words are having on people is something that I never could have dreamed of when I was still drinking. Two years ago, when I was lost, drowning and almost totally broken, I never believed I would be able to inspire even a single person. I thought so little of myself.
Yesterday, I received an incredible gift in the mail. A friend gave me a beautiful bowl than she made herself. Full of symbolism and meaning, it was a poetic gesture that brought me to tears. In it, she included a note about how she made the bowl. At the same time, it's creation also said so much about the journey of recovery. "So much time and effort put into building ourselves and then fixing ourselves." I am not sure I have ever received a gift that was full of so much meaning in my entire life. I was blown away.
Not only do I feel understood and appreciated, but it reminded me once again why I have put myself out there. Feeling this connected to someone and realizing that I am having a positive impact on their life - these experiences propel me forward.
So thank you, to all of you - for reminding me of what it's all about. Knowing that my words are from the heart and are touching other people's hearts, it means something to me. I have come to see that I did something big by telling my story. I did not do something wrong. But I did a bold thing - and I know my truth is impacting others in a positive way each day.
Let's keep moving forward in this life and bettering our imperfect selves. I am grateful for all that I am learning in this sober world. I am grateful for everyone that continues to show me grace, compassion and understanding. I am grateful I have found the courage to be me.