Support is one of those things: you don’t know you need it, and then all of a sudden you’re flailing about wondering WTF just happened. Then you remember. Oh, yeah… people. I need them. My support. I need it. My recovery. I have to honor it.

I was feeling so under-able last week. Overwhelmed. Life was just mostly sucky, plain and simple.

As soon as I wrote about it I felt better. It made me think about support- how I shore myself up- my own self and other people and then the things I read and think that help too.

As addicts I think we all just want to hide. Hide from our addictions, hide in our addictions, hide from people, hide from life. Seeing the truth is not high on the list of priorities. Join that with not doing things we’re supposed to (you know, the things we know work) and you have a duo of life mucking up muck. So here I am, on the fence- hiding and being wishy washy.

Being on the fence is kind of where that mucky place puts you. Up there, straddling both sides of decision, unable to commit to either action so just waffling back and forth from here to there keeping things confusing and wobbly. I am still unable to commit to a few things that I know will make my life better. I hate it because it reminds me of the years upon years upon years I would promise myself that I would quit drinking only to drink again and again.


It’s like I’m a spoiled child and I keep mush mouthing around with myself. “No, no sweetheart. Don’t do that. It’s not nice.” But life is hard, and work is hard, and the kids are hard and blah blah blerg. I need to push that sucker out of the way and say, “NO. NOT ALLOWED. TOO EFFING BAD.”

But here’s the thing: that’s OK. I appreciate it when everyone says “Be nice and kind to yourself” and “Don’t be hard on yourself” but there comes a time when I need to kick my own ass. When other people might need to join in. There comes a point when I have to say, “OK. Enough is enough.” And I can’t say it in a sweet voice. I have to mean it. I have to really get out the big guns and put some fire in it. I have to be hard on myself or the things won’t get done.

I’m trying to say that making myself behave is OK too. That sweetness and light have time and place, but it can’t always be that way. When I first quit drinking I had to find balance between “NO, AMY. YOU MAY NEVER DRINK AGAIN” and “It’s OK for you to feel sad and awful, but no drinks sweet one.” I need some back up that isn’t my friend but my truth from time to time. I need support in breezes and in hurricanes. Sometimes I need a hug and sometimes I need someone to hold me responsible for the things I say and do.

I mean this in the nicest way, but I get so tired of all the damn polite hand holding. Sometimes it isn’t OK. Sometimes keep trying and there, there does more harm than good. Sometimes you have to be allowed to say the hard things that maybe people don’t want to hear but need to hear. I’m a fucking alcoholic. I’m a master at saying what people want to hear, but I’m not so comfortable with what needs to be heard.

All these feelings I started to feel after I quit drinking deserve to be felt. ALL of them. Even the bad ones. They don’t deserve to be minimized or brushed away just because they aren’t happy and bright. These tough emotions warrant real attention. They certainly don’t feel better just because it’s more comfortable for everyone if we aren’t hard on ourselves.

Who else is there to blame? Who else has to take responsibility if not me? I have to own it. I have to make it mine and accept the consequences of my actions. I have to be able to take myself to task for not holding up my end of the bargain when it comes to things that I can’t compromise on. I have to be honest with myself. I owe it to myself to be so.

I am super stuck right now. I keep Sisyphus-ing along knowing I’m prolonging this part yet unable to shake and get unstuck. But I’m working at it. I know things will shift, and move, and that I’m OK. At fifteen months sober these are all things I know are true all the time. I feel like I’m ready for the tough love I know needs to come my way. I’m going to tuck in, brace myself, and open my heart to whatever comes next. Sometimes the best things come from the hardest places.