Today marks my fifth month of sobriety. It’s also the day I’ve decided to come out sober, if you will.
Trying to explain why I’ve chosen this path is not something that I can answer with a simple, poignant blog post. There are many layers and facets to the complexity that is sobriety and it’s different for each and every person.
It has been one of the most profound, radical choices I’ve made for myself and the deepest act of self-love I’ve ever administered.
The primary reason I’ve decided to begin sharing this is that I full-heartedly believe in transparency to foster connection. Allow me to explain that first. I had held off in going public for a couple of reasons. For one thing, certainty about anything can be tricky for me; indecisive might as well be my middle name. (Defiant is a close runner up!) I tend to bounce back and forth on things, weighing my options before settling on a final choice. I wanted to be absolutely, 100% sure I was sure before sharing. I also wanted to take plenty of time to process this transition before I had to try to articulate answers to questions that are going to be hard to explain. Finally, I felt the need to make sure that my closest family and friends knew before I blew it up online.
Here’s the funny thing about me and indecision: when I do make a choice, I’m ALL in. So that said, yes, I’m absolutely sure.
To be honest, it’s been a little lonely and I’m craving connection to others who are on this path. I’ve considered a few different options in terms of support but feel that I’m being led to a holistic approach. I’d rather not remain silent and lurk in the shadows of sobriety. Instead, I’m exposing my vulnerability to achieve something greater.
I guess the bigger question I need to answer is why I decided to quit in the first place. The very best, coherent answer I can supply is that alcohol became a weed.
Weeds are defined as unwanted plants or vegetation, right? Well, have you ever seen a garden bed full of flowers or shrubs that someone painstakingly planted only to become overrun with weeds? These noxious species rob the desired plants of nutrients and sunlight, causing them to struggle for survival. Weeds are not necessarily even ugly or awful to look at. An out-of-place rose bush, even with its fragrant blooms and delicate petals, can be a weed if it is causing damage to the surrounding vegetation.
So as it were, drinking became an unwelcome weed disguised as a rose. It was crowding out my ability to focus on my passions and goals. It was stealing vital nutrients and wreaking havoc on my body that I’ve worked so hard to keep “healthy” despite the toxins I was drinking on a regular basis.
There is more and I will offer it when I’m ready. Writing about my experience has been therapeutic and as I peel back the layers, I will continue to journal my thoughts and feelings as a means to process it all. It has been one of the most profound, radical choices I’ve made for myself and the deepest act of self-love I’ve ever administered. I’m incredibly proud of my choice and feel empowered by my decision.
I would like to add that if you are reading this and find yourself identifying with what I’ve shared, please know that you’re certainly not alone and I hope you’ll reach out to me or someone you trust if you need support. There are a lot of misconceptions and labeling surrounding normal (whatever that means) alcohol use, abuse, and addiction. They are not all the same and that’s why I feel that it is important for more of us to share our stories to expand the sober community.
P.S. Here are a few links to resources that I’ve found valuable if you’re curious.