I am a recovering alcoholic. That’s it. Two whole words can’t describe an experience as nuanced as sobriety.
Each person who has been in recovery has a different story. A story of their life. A story of their sobriety. It is different, but it led us all to the same place – recovery.
There is a universality to being the club of recovery. The only people who truly understand the difficulty of this journey, both getting to sobriety and maintaining it, are those who are going through being a recovering alcoholic.
I was a high-functioning alcoholic, and no one was the wiser. I hid it really well. I would have died if I hadn’t gotten help. If you have even the slightest thought that you or someone you love is a high-functioning alcoholic, please encourage them to seek professional help.
I recommend Online-Therapy.* Encouraging therapy is their first step in healing.
Recovery is different for each of us who has gone through that veil of alcoholism. But at the end of the day, that difference doesn’t matter to us. Our similarity is that we are in recovery, which bonds us together.
Even though it is different, there are similarities. Like the moment we all realized we were in a bad place and needed not to be there anymore. Or perhaps it was someone in our lives who shared they were concerned. And the many conversations that include a shake of the head followed by, “I don’t know how I made it through that alive.”
Then there is the after you tell people you aren’t going to drink anymore. Of course, there are differences between those stories too. And yet there are similarities in how people react to sharing your truth.
Still Recovering Alcoholics
The truth is that it is different yet not so different. But our brains like to tell us that we are different, which makes us feel alone, so we isolate ourselves, only looking at what makes us different. I think that is why so many people struggle. It can be so hard to see the similarities.
It is both our brains and alcohol that want us to keep going, to keep drinking. But like most things that aren’t the right way to handle life, alcohol lies to you. It tells you to keep drinking, that perhaps peace and calmness of being are at the bottom of another bottle of wine or beer.
But it isn’t there. It wasn’t anywhere that I thought I would find it. Ironically, I knew I wouldn’t find it there, but I had run out of places to look. Perhaps I wasn’t looking hard enough and just needed to keep moving forward.
Secret Sobriety Handshake
Whatever I did in the dark days doesn’t matter because I can’t change any of that. I can only sit where I am now, as a recovering alcoholic, sharing what recovery looks like. That is all I can do.
Should I suggest we need a secret but not-so-secret handshake or something? I mean, we all are part of the recovery club.