Updated: Sep 1, 2021
I came home from spending the morning with a group of ladies that are kind, thoughtful and always ask about me. How am I doing? I had a nice conversation with a friend that I hadn't seen in a while, who wanted to talk openly about my sobriety. It made me feel seen. Heard. Understood. I appreciate when people acknowledge the struggle that I have been through and aren't scared to talk about it. Sometimes it seems like no one wants to bring it up for fear of upsetting me or "catching" it or something. But I am the opposite. I am an open book, and I am proud and confident and want to tell my story. I need to talk about it, because it is healing and therapeutic for me to put it out there. This friend was so sweet and gentle to reach out to me prior to today and make me feel that I was understood and not strange for going through what it is that I have been going through. I have heard now from so many friends and people in town, "I know you stopped drinking..." It isn't a secret and I want people to know, so if there is anyone that sees even a fraction of themselves in me then they too can recognize that it is possible for things to be a thousand times better in this world without alcohol. If I can help even one person, then it is all worth it.
Walking this road of sobriety has been exhausting and at times rather lonely. But obviously all worth it. Every second. But - there have been days when I have felt like being the only one not drinking has tested certain relationships that I always thought had a strong foundation. I expected other relationships to withstand this test and they haven't. It is sad and breaks my heart to think that I thought there was more to those friendships. But then I realize maybe there wasn't. But I am healing myself, and I am focusing on fixing the parts of me that have been broken for a long time. I know in the end that it has more to do about the individual and the way they see themselves than it does about the way they see me, so I need to focus on myself.
I just wish that my own family would acknowledge the struggles I have faced and the progress I have made. But I know it is the same story. It has more to do with them. We just continue to pretend. Play nice. My sisters and I had a wonderful time with each other this past weekend, but there is so much that we all have yet to say to one another about our shared history. So much that we need to acknowledge and discuss about my parents. There is so much my dad can't see. So much my mom can't claim responsibility for. So much resentment and anger from everyone. So much history that no one in my family is able to deal with, and so we just keep walking forward and ignoring it all. Pretending. Filling the void and hurt with other things. Plastering over it all with bandaids, letting the years go by. Years of hurt. Disappointment.
But not me, I will not allow the hurt to break me any longer. Because I am sober.