It’s 5:15 in the morning on day 214, month seven, of sobriety, and I am drawn to act upon some intuitive guidance I am receiving, here in a quiet house in the dark, with only a sleeping dog for company.
It will require an act of pure heroism (for me).
I’m going to use my real first name to sign off today. This is a big big deal.
It defies everything I used to think mattered — my reputation, my employability, my anonymity, my need to protect myself from the judgement of others. My commonsense.
Before you think this really is not such a heroic act, let me tell you that I have an unusual first name, and anyone who knows me will be able to tell from the blog who I am. If my first name and unusual last name are put together, there are only one or two of us in the world, according to Google.
If you want to read about the extent of my paranoia, read this: Day 42: Paranoia.
This amazing act of courage represents a few things that I notice have changed about me.
The Absence of Shame
I am beginning to release the idea that becoming addicted to an addictive substance is shameful. That seeking help is shameful. That I am less of a person because of it. I am beginning to think I am more because of it. I am who I am because of it. And this could not be a more monumental shift in mindset. This is me owning my story, not in shame, but with pride.
I am pivoting from what other people think of me to what might be good for the rest of the world. I am thinking about what might be good for someone like me, who sees me coming forward, a little at a time, from a place of growing confidence and strength. It’s no longer all about me. What a relief! I can venture outside of myself again, something that became lost in those long years of drinking.
I am someone new. I am someone who takes risks now and then. I am someone who is learning to voice an opinion, without the liquid courage of a few drinks. I am stronger, wiser, more mature. I matter to myself, and to other people, and they now matter more to me than alcohol.
This represents so much more than I can put into words without writing the longest blog in history.
Thank you for being here to witness it.
With great love and compassion,
Painting by Sachin Sagare