I’m feeling better you guys. I still feel flat and somewhat depressed, but it’s not nearly as bad as it was. Thank you for that. And by “you”, I mean the sober blogging community as well as those of you that take time out to comment and support. It means so much.
I’ve been thinking a lot about this blogging thing and this sober thing and this depression thing and this therapy thing and, while they are all interrelated, the blogging thing stands out most in my mind because it’s the thing that is most responsible for my well being. Blogging is what moved me from sobriety to recovery and what keeps me fully connected to my recovery on a daily basis. Which explains why, when I became depressed, I stepped away. (Depression does that to you. Just like alcohol it lies to you and makes you do stupid shit that is the exact opposite of what you should be doing to feel better.)
When I stepped away I did it because I felt that I had been sitting in this sobriety/recovery place long enough. I felt that I didn’t have anything left to say on the subject and my brain told me that staying stuck in the pattern of reliving my drinking days and talking about recovery and sobriety was not good for me. My depressed brain told me that I needed to move on and not stay rooted in the past. That I should move forward and not keep looking back.
I think this is how relapses must start. You being listening to the lies your depression and fear tell you. That you’re okay and you need to move on – you need to run away from all those hard things and go where things are easy. Where your well-meaning but misguided friends and/or relatives tell you about how great you are and how you’re cured and should move forward, get some other interests and stop living in the past. Where you can just stuff down all that hurt and pain – ignore it – and it will magically disappear because, after all, you’re over all of that. Right?
Yeah…right. Stepping away from actively processing those emotions that come up in my every day life and just stuffing them down and escaping is the LAST thing I need. In fact, it’s not the last thing I need…I don’t need it AT ALL. Because it’s toxic. The relapse begins with food or shopping or manic behavior (well…for me anyway) but eventually, even if I never took another drink, it would be about booze. The dysfunctional behavior would be there and I would begin to think about the wine, get pissed off because I can’t have a drink, become hyperaware of everyone around me who’s drinking…all the things that made me miserable before I actually entered recovery.
I honestly don’t think I will ever take a drink again, but that doesn’t mean I won’t relapse. If I forget to work my recovery and start stuffing emotions and fear down again, I’ll just end up fat, in ill health, in financial crisis and miserable. What kind of life is that? I’d still be a burden to my children. No one would want to be around me. I’d still be getting old. So I’d end up isolating myself with reality TV, food and the internet. A miserable sober alcoholic.
Might as well drink. At least THAT would kill me faster.
Writing, journaling or blogging (whatever you choose to call it) keeps me grounded in what’s important. It allows me to process emotions, feelings and events and not stuff them down. It reminds me that I’m not alone and that I have a voice. That even if no one ever reads another word I’ve written, I can come out here and sort through all the shit that swirls around in my addicted brain and toss out what’s not good for me.
That’s a fucking miracle yo!
But people do read. This community of lovely, caring people who bare their souls and share their pain as well as their strength on a daily basis have become some of the best friends I’ve ever had. Some have their own blogs, some just read and comment and some lurk. Some are still drinking, some are trying to quit, some have been sober a long time and some have family that have brought addiction to their doorstep. Doesn’t matter. Each and every one of us contributes to this community of sobriety in some way and we make a difference every day. Whether it’s to each other or just ourselves, coming out here means something. It’s important. I don’t want to ever again forget that.