When I first got sober, I thought I knew who I was. But, I wasn’t going to tell you.
Even just a few, short months ago I wasn’t interested in broadcasting my sobriety, at all. It’s never been something I’ve tried to hide, but I haven’t been especially open about it either. For a long time, it was information I distributed on a need-to-know-basis. The people in my life who needed to know, knew. I left everyone else to wonder.
Simply put, I found myself(ie). That little voice I’d been shhhhushing for so long, well, it turns out, she actually had something to say. It took some time for me to decipher what was divulging too much. I asked myself: How much of my story did I really want to tell? Tough call. Historically, I’ve been a pretty private person. So, it shouldn’t be surprising that sobriety wasn’t the Girl Scout badge I wanted to showcase. For a long time, to me, sobriety equated alcoholism–one required the other. I wasn’t ready to out myself.
It’s not that I don’t have pride in the work I’ve done or the person I’ve become, I sure as fuck do. But, somewhere along the line, I decided that I wasn’t going to let sobriety be the thing that defined me. Promptly following that decision the inevitable question arose: If sobriety doesn’t define me, what does?
OK, so, I’m no longer shitfaced and miserable. Now what? What makes me tick? What do I want to do now that I’m not glued to a bar stool? I batted ideas around like a kitten for 18 months. I had no idea. I couldn’t decide. And, I wasn’t alone.
The wonderful world of 12-Step provided me with a host of littermates that were similarly phased by their new found freedom from being constantly intoxicated. I started to see a theme. My former-drunk-y pals had either started to run with their sobriety, acting on their goals and dreams, or, their asses were glued to folding chairs in church basements 24/7, clinging to paper coffee cups to keep them from floating off into lunar orbit. I didn’t know which category I fell into. Was I goal oriented? Or, was I just hangin’ on to my cup of Folger’s for dear life? I came to realize that I wasn’t either. More importantly, I didn’t have to be. I started making my own plans. The 12-Step Kool-Aid is delicious, but, it’s not going to take me to my spaceship.
After much hunting and soul searching I came to discover that: You are my spaceship. Yes, you. Since you’re reading this, I assume you care about what I have to say, or, at the very least, you are so judgmental that you’ve taken the time to note how craptastic I am!
But seriously, this is where my heart is: Writing my experience. I open my mouth, I speak, and I hope someone is listening. And yes, it’s true, I have no idea what the fuck I’m doing with my life, but, I will always desire to be heard.
And so, Saucy Sobriety was born: An unabashed look at my sober-life, not my sober-alcoholism. In this blog, it’s me you’re getting–not the alcoholic. Though, I do happen to be one. For me, sobriety isn’t about alcoholism. It’s about freedom.
Finding yourself(ie) is an ongoing process. (So, you may find your iPhone handy-dandy for last-minute edits…)
My mistake was making recovery my life. When I made my life about living, the story wrote itself.
My advice: Don’t wait until you have a plan. You don’t need one. Put pen to paper and write.