I write because the thought of not writing fills me with so much dread it is literally unbearable. The pressure builds up in my body and my psyche and it can be so deafening that it actually works against itself. It’s like trying to sing one song in your head while another one is blaring from the speakers all around. Writing is a must is what I am saying. But there is a dark side to sharing the “light” as some people call it (which is infuriating for a whole slew of reasons I’ll not get into right now) and that is that as soon as you open your mouth to tell a thing people hear you and open their mouth to respond. Even when they shouldn’t. Even when what they have to say has nothing to do with you.
I don’t know what it is about saying you are sober. To some people it sounds like you have your shit together and they offer nothing but mad respect. To some other people – for reasons entirely baffling to me – it sounds like you are in need of their guidance. Or advice. Or direction. Or enlightenment. These people say things unsolicited and with such blind and ridiculous certainty it almost makes me laugh and sometimes when the stars align and I’m in just the right mood, I do.
But I will tell you the truth about what it is really like to be me at one hundred and two days sober. I am pretty pissed about a lot these days. Because sobriety is clarity and when you get clear about what offers you true peace you also get crystal fucking clear about what is robbing it from you. What has been robbing it from you for years and years. And when the flood waters recede, and you see what weeds were beneath the surface strangling you, keeping you tied to the bottom of that wretched raging river of mania and fury, illusions shatter. Lies that were once masked in the muck and the chaos before are now naked and shivering in the cold shriveling light of day.
There’s a lot that is very, very not pretty.
Sharing my story over the past one hundred and two days has been a deeply weird experience. It has felt surreal and at the same time as it has felt the realest and rawest I have ever felt about anything ever before in my entire life. I am deeply, profoundly grateful for the ability to do it. I cling to it. I need it. I believe I was designed to do it. Meant to do it.
And at the same time, there are costs to doing it. There are consequences; the most obvious of which is dealing with people’s reactions. Some listen and some do not. Some respond in ways that are absolutely heart-meltingly kind and supportive and gentle and reverent. And some people respond in ways that are blatantly self-conscious and self-centered. Some, down right arrogant. Some, down right callous and cruel. As a newly fully sober person in a world drenched in booze and triggers and fucked up personalities which can launch words (and silence) like bullets straight to the heart, opening up can be as isolating as it is liberating. I do it in spite of – and because of – that.
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