What do we want?

I was thinking today….what are we looking for when we are here blogging? Opening our thoughts to the world?
Do we want unconditional support? Hard love? Truth? Exeprience? A magic solution to addiction? If only I had one…
Perhaps it’s all of the above.
I try to bring to my blog a sense of deep wonder and joy for the changes my life has gone through this year. 2013 was a dark time. I knew I needed to quit drinking, but I could not find a way to do it. I had know for years I probably drank too much, but in that last year it was the knowledge that my actions had crossed into compulsion, that I desperately wanted to be free of alcohol but couldn’t, that frightened me. Because I had ALWAYS been successful in the past when I wanted something.
I searched for help in various forms. I never really considered myself an alcoholic, I thought I had just developed some bad habits and needed to find a way to replace them with good ones. After all, I worked out every day, I had a high pressure job. I was functioning. I looked good on the outside.
I joined an online fitness coaching program, and I made very small pleas for help. I thought I wanted tough love. For someone to tell me exactly what to do and when. But my coach wasn’t one to carry a big stick. She encouraged me to look at my behaviours and try to see what was causing them, to understand why I did thing the way I did, to be kinder and gentler with myself.
The truth is I wasn’t completely honest with her. I never told her I was addicted to alcohol. I didn’t even understand it myself. I never really explained the deep seated self-hatred and loathing that came with my failures to stick with my plans to quit. I downplayed how much I drank.
So she gave me the kinder, gentler path. And I continued to drink. Waiting for the right time to quit. When there were no parties, holidays, birthdays, excuses.
Over the year of coaching I did develop some pretty important self-awareness skills that have been unbelievably valuable this year. I also gained confidence in myself, so that when an opportunity to quit suddenly arose I took the leap of faith and grabbed it. And I have been holding on for dear life ever since.
My first few months were filled with uncertainty, anxiety, deep depression and fear. But somehow I knew that alcohol had caused a lot of those things, and that whatever happened, however broken I felt, drinking would not fix it.
Time did. Time and openness to change. Asking for help. Listening to others. Finding people who had similar stories to me and learning from them. Honesty. Love.

Life is a beautiful thing now. I am no longer trying to fix broken me. I am whole. And growing, learning and filled with wonder every day.
My natural personality is to be fairly blunt. I can be bossy and like to think I am right. I admit it. I am working on these things….Especially as I become more gentle with myself.
So – what are we looking for in blogging? I am not sure. We all want to be happy, free and sober. So when I comment on other blogs I try really hard to think what would I want to hear? Regardless, I am trying to speak from my heart. To offer support in a time of fear and uncertainty. To give a glimpse of one story, that has so far turned out well. Mine.

Have a wonderful, sober Wednesday.

20 thoughts on “What do we want?

  1. I think it’s hardest for high functioning alcoholics (like you and me) to admit “failure” – such as the failure to be good to ourselves and the failure to admit fault and especially the failure to control our alcohol-fueled compulsions. It’s too easy to hide behind our successful exteriors rather than admit our problems and work on them. To be and feel vulnerable. But to grow (as I’m learning) we have to feel that vulnerability. I think blogging (even anonymously) helps strip away the false strong front and allow us to be open, honest and vulnerable in a supportive, understanding atmosphere.

    But maybe that’s just me.

    1. Yes! Brene brown is my hero and her writing on vulnerability and authenticity have truly changed my life.
      Pretending problems don’t exist does not make them go away. I know. I tried!

  2. You ask what we want we want and then you answer it beautifully.

    “So when I comment on other blogs I try really hard to think what would I want to hear? Regardless, I am trying to speak from my heart. To offer support in a time of fear and uncertainty. To give a glimpse of one story, that has so far turned out well. Mine.”

  3. I too think you’ve expressed it well..always with the awareness too that comments may not always be read as they were intended, so I think both reader and writer need to give one another grace and leeway accordingly!

  4. So glad you took that leap of faith and are still holding strong!!! Your success in sobriety is an inspiration.

  5. Anne, a beautiful Post as always! As you know, I have trusted you on this path that life will get better sober. It has!!
    I like reading what you have to say and I think you are amazing that you dedicate yourself to reading and commenting on others’ Blogs.

    ps. sorry about the no WordPress thing, I picked the wrong platform and now I am stuck with it. grrrrrr

  6. I think like others have said you’ve answered your own question beautifully. For me and I’m very new to this some of the more established blogs I read offer hope along a bumpy road. They offer truth and a glimpse into something that is largely taboo (like alcohol misuse) for women to talk freely about especially writers like yourselves. Its about understanding and hope when I read, advice and truth. When I write its about letting those voices in my head out, the tiny voices trying to be heard, Am I OK, Will I be OK, Is this normal? Its also about being accountable to myself and working on how to find a way through, for me. So comments are always welcomed and like Primrose says, a little grace sometimes when the words are heard/written. A great blog thank you really made me think.

    1. That is very true. Society puts a lot of pressure on women to appear to have it all together. Asking for help feels like failure, but I now see it is actually one of the bravest things a person can do.

  7. Great post! I look to other blogs to make sure I’m not nuts. I don’t have any recovery people in my life (outside of my group). I’m the only one, so I can’t really bounce behaviors and thoughts off a close friend or family member because they wouldn’t understand. I suppose I blog for the same reason. To reach out and say, you weren’t the only one! I also read other blogs and blog to offer encouragement and help. I don’t view your comments as tough so much as direct, but with lots of care and kindness. This struggle is tricky and different for us all. It didn’t come with a handbook, so we do our best to navigate through and community is a huge part of that. xoxo

  8. That’s a beautiful post. The hardest part for me was shaking that thought that you need rock bottom to be an alcoholic. I knew I was one, but I don’t think I truly accepted it until I ended my month long relapse crying to a friend then to a doctor. I acted normal, like it wasn’t a big deal last time I quit. Nobody wants to show weakness. I guess I had hit rock bottom when I relapsed…
    Not homeless, but hopeless.

    I truly believe now that the only way forward is to be honest, not try to downplay the addiction. Everyone is looking for support, and the knowledge that other people are the same. I read blogs where the writer only drank 2 glasses of wine a night, yet they still share the same fears, concerns, and troubles as me. I read blogs from people sober for years, and that gives me hope. I read blogs from people who keep relapsing, and I can relate and try give them advice, respect, the knowledge they aren’t the only one, and hope.

    I think a lot of the problem with alcoholics is the idea that they are different. Everyone thinks they’re special, but everybody hurts.

    1. Sorry I am slow replying. I am still figuring out the blogging.
      The misconception of alcoholics as rock bottom, destitute people hurts us all. No one wants to end up there, and I think that fear makes us afraid to take steps to prevent it! Crazy.

      I had a lot of hopelessness when I was trying to stop drinking and couldn’t. I think I was just so tired. Surrendering was a relief.

      We truly are all the same. When we see that connection life becomes so much brighter.

      I’m glad you are here on the journey with me!

  9. Your posts have such a positive energy to them; I really enjoy reading your stuff. I’ve only recently started blogging & I didn’t know that there was such a thing as a sober-sphere.

    As for why I’m blogging, I guess I feel as if I am giving a voice to a deep dark secret that I’ve been carrying around with me for years! Although I choose to remain anonymous I feel relieved to just write about it. Even if no one reads it what I’m writing, I’ll carry on because I feel so liberated that I can speak the truth and admit I had a problem.

    It’s really helping me read through more established blogs (like yours) to see that there is hope and that life is so much sweeter without booze.

    1. I started anonymous too.
      Along the way I started posting pictures, etc.
      And I became much more open publicly with my personal struggles with addiction and mental health.

      I see so many women like me suffering. If I can help them see there might be another way, or even to just ask for help, I am honoured.

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