I’ve been sober over 11 and a half years if I get to May 14th this year one day at a time I’ll be 12 years.
I was listening to the great Buzzkill podcast – with my friends Paul and Kristen talking about recovery and about sober blogging. I’ve been blogging since early 2006 – sadly my first blog “Further on up the road” (hence my anonymous handle in case you ever wondered) got deleted in a fit of some madness in 2008. I’ll be honest it wasn’t going to be a sober blog it was going to be a showcase for my hugely funny and witty anecdotes from where I’d be signed up to be a great novelist or Hollywood script writer, yeah right … I wasn’t living in reality then either. However my Mum was ill then with lymphoma and we knew she would sooner or later lose her fight against it. That happened in March/April of that year as she was taken ill and sadly left us. The blog became this outpouring of my emotions. This was my first dose of sober grief. I learnt so much about my disease and me and emotions in that time. It was actually a privilege to say goodbye to Mum sober unlike when I’d lost my Dad back in my early 20s. I just suppressed the grief about his passing for 20 years.
Part of the great conversation on the Podcast was about sober male bloggers. There aren’t that many of us out there, there are a lot more women. Interestingly Kristen and Paul both claim their local meetings are more male dominated – mine aren’t. If I’m honest in the 12 years I’ve been around the demographic of my local meetings has moved to an average younger age and to a gender mix that is probably majority female in most meetings.
However it has raised something I’ve been thinking about for sometime now. What do I provide? I’m a long way from my last drink. I do remember it vividly, largely I know since I go to meetings and there is an environment there where I’m reminded about it and I’m repeatedly taken back to that moment of utter desperation and simply looking at the choices of
- kill myself
- continue to drink – just a slow and more painful version of 1
- surrender to win – accept that I simply will try anything that I’m shown might work
Despite myself – I chose Option 2 a couple of months before I stopped – contemplated 1 about a month before I stopped… 3 became the last chance saloon.
However I find it difficult to talk to newcomers or those still drinking – it is becoming such a distance memory that I really find it difficult to have the raw emotion that people in the first few years of recovery have. I suppose I only really show here and in the meetings I got to that if you stick with abstinence, find a support network that understands and supports you no matter what with total abstinence of judgement since that is what happened to me, and it worked for me someone who was at points 1 and 2 above. I suppose I then show that those days all add up to years and to decades potentially. Also I can still read something, hear something on a podcast (like just now!) or talk to someone and I realise I’ve so much to still learn that whilst the drinking maybe fading my needing to understand how to live is still just like a newcomer so often.
I was considering recently whether to blow this and the other blog away since I get relatively little traffic compared with many others but in the end this is my space to just talk about stuff and maybe it’ll be useful for me or someone at some point so why not carry on? I suppose all I provide is proof that recovery can be sustained but that you have to keep working on yourself and continually remind yourself that drinking is never an option and also I wish I could just wave a wand and all those who are where I was at the end of my drinking or heading there could magically just see that abstinence is achievable and repays the effort you have to put in a thousand fold. In the end if just one person has stayed sober for one day or hour longer through reading any of my nonsense then I suppose that is what I provide. Also this helps me stay sober and for me that has to be my top priority.