Call It What You Want

What a fucking head trip getting sober is, man. It’s hard but you almost want it to stay that way if only because the challenge of it makes you focus. And there is something very soothing in having a focus that is so healthy, so benevolent and kind and strong, aimed right square at yourself and nobody else. I’m not sure there is any other experience like it. You have to claim it for yourself and that makes it entirely personal. You get into yourself like never before. I have written across the top of my journal the words: If I left it up to anyone else I would not be sober. Because no one was going to intervene. Only I had the problem and only I knew it. Only I could fix it.

People say they are ‘alcoholics’ or not but I feel like on some level that’s all just semantics. It’s all getting yourself snagged on the side of the drain when all you want to do is flush right on out into the glorious ocean. All you want is freedom. The labels either help you get there or they don’t, but freedom is the ultimate goal. Freedom to see everything clearly. To make life choices from a place of complete awareness and strength. Now, truth be told, at 144 days I am kind of looking around at some shit in my life and thinking why in the hell have I not changed this or that. What on earth have I let fester all these years.

But one thing you certainly get back in sobriety is time. Time to spend focused on getting what you want instead of dumping booze into your face and then recovering from the nasty side effects of that. What a stupid fucking gamble drinking is. Was. What a goddamn lot of time I wasted being wasted. I don’t even miss it.

All these years I thought I’d die without the drinks and now I realize they were killing me. I feel like being in recovery is wave after wave of sick twisted irony. All the shit I thought was happening wasn’t. All the shit I thought wasn’t happening was happening right in front of my eyes but I couldn’t see it. All the faith I put in glass after bottomless glass of wine was total utter trash. And even though I chose sobriety, even though it is now solidly, decidedly, mercifully mine through and through and it’s at the very center of everything that matters most to me in this life, I still can hardly believe I’ve done it.

I’m Looking for a Literary Agent

Not sure if it’s cool to do what I am about to do but something in me won’t let up until I do it so here’s the thing. I am actively looking for a literary agent to help me scout around and get my early sobriety memoir published. I need help finding my agent person.

I can write. I’ve got that part down. It doesn’t stop or let up because it is who I am so I have to follow where it seems to be leading me. I don’t really have a choice other than to ignore it but I have a very sneaky suspicion that suffocating my own lifeblood is exactly the kind of shady shit that makes my addiction act up. My sobriety won’t stand for it.

When it comes to finding an agent, a partner in crime to navigate the overwhelming publishing industry, I feel paralyzed. Maybe I shouldn’t admit that. Maybe I should pretend I am far more savvy and confident and I should fuck around behind the scenes until I can make it look effortless and magical. But I am not and it is not. I am just so not right now.

So I am starting right here from exactly where I am. In a kind of soft, safe, glowing virtual room with all of you, my fellow literary writer artist creative beauties. We are not like the rest of the humans. We are writers and writers know about the lit agent world. Well, all the writers except me, that is, or so it feels. I’m scared but I’m also determined. I have received so many messages from incredibly brave souls who have told me my words are helping them stay on track to keep themselves healthy and alive. I need this to happen for them as much as I need it to happen for me. Maybe more. For us.

My only ask is this: If you have any connections in this regard to email addresses or contact information to agents who publish memoirs, or connections to connections, please drop a comment below or send me an email to allisonmarieconway@gmail.com or tell a friend who might know or anything you can think of that I am not thinking of. I am open to however this shit might go down.

I know my creative stellar partner person is out there. This is one of many ways I am sending up a flare, I hope, into the vast and mangled wilderness to say: Hi it is me and I am searching and here I am.

Thank you for reading and sharing and listening to my words here on my blog. It means more than you can possibly imagine. I mean that from my soul. Thank you.

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Photo: self portrait April 2022

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