I’ve been feeling super cocky in my sobriety lately. (Being in a magazine didn’t hurt.) Like I am a sober badass, and will be forever. Nothing will stop me. After a summer/early fall of feeling pretty wavery and sad and just down in the dumps something changed and I took another step up- another leap away from boozy me and towards this awesome new person I am slowly becoming, that I already am.
It still feels very uncomfortable to think of myself in positive terms, but I’m practicing. A lot.
Which makes me realize that at some point in my life I felt really good about me, and then I felt toooo good about me. And then I got knocked down several times and finally stayed down.
I can be quite firm in my beliefs. Almost unbending. I can also be “If I can, you can. So just do it.” Not super fair.
I want so much for anyone struggling with alcoholism to find their way to sobriety- consistent, lasting sobriety. And I’m at this point where I have almost a year, and I feel good about it, but I cannot forget where I came from. That bossing people into being sober (which is where I was heading) is not the way to help people to be sober.
Alcoholics aren’t really the type you can boss into anything. Alcoholism is really an act of defiance. You can’t really manhandle people like that (me) into anything, much less saving their own lives. Lord knows no one could have told me to stop drinking. It just would have made me drink more. And it did! The more I told myself I needed to quit the more I wanted to drink. You can’t tell me what to do.
I’m struggling some with guidance and excuses. How to hear someone’s struggle and it be expansive, and then how to draw lines in the sand that define boundaries that cannot be crossed. How to hear explanations, but not excuses. How to have forgiveness, and have expectations. How to hear people in their sobriety, not mine.
My universe friend Amy and I had a really good good conversation yesterday and I could tell I was feeling so smart and wise and superhuman. My advice is so good. My thoughts are wonderful and the best. I was basking in my glory.
And then she said some things in her universe Amy way that brought me back to earth.
One of them thundered through my head: “When you start feeling invincible is when it gets really dangerous. Then you could be way more likely to drink.”
It reminded me to be humble in my sobriety. It reminded me to listen to those who have years on me, that my wisdom is far from complete. It reminded me that I am me, and you are you. And that to be the strong person I am and want to be I have to be able to use what works for me, but then I also have to use what works for you, too. It reminded me that I have a lot to give, and a long long way to go.