27 February. 2020 • Category: Addiction | Mental Health | Recovery | Mindfulness | Anxiety | Sobriety
My littlest son and me.
I find sharing difficult. That sounds bizarre, especially when you all know I share a lot with you. But I guess what I mean is that I am always afraid that what I think or what I feel will be wrong. I’m afraid of upsetting or offending others, I’m conscious of their feelings and that I don’t necessarily understand everyone else’s life experiences, as they don’t always understand mine. I’m quite sensitive both in the way I am with others, but also in how they are with me. As I think about it, I’ve realised recently that although I share a lot, I only share what I am comfortable with, sometimes keeping those extra details to myself because they are either embarrassing or just too much for me right now. It makes me feel like I am glossing over things, and I’m not. I’ve read a lot of books by other women who have gone through recovery and come out the other side, and some of them have really cringeworthy stories. In some ways it’s nice to read them and to realise that I’m not alone, or that there is someone out there who has been through worse perhaps and yet is still okay now. That they are still loved. But I’m not sure that I have to share that much, sometimes it’s nice to keep just a little bit of myself for me.
I think a lot of it comes down to the shame I felt when I stopped drinking. I was mortified about the situation I had got myself into, and it took a very long time to come to terms with that. It made me feel grubby for want of a better word, and I felt that people, even those who love me, would think differently about me. Maybe that they would be disappointed in me, or feel let down by my behaviour. I’ve realised that isn’t true, and those that really love me have stood by me and care about me, even if I’m a bit anxious and possibly quite hard work at times.
I want anyone reading my thoughts to know that if I can stop drinking and work on overcoming my mental health issues than anyone can. Three years ago, I wouldn’t have believed it if you had told me that I would be sitting in a cafe at 7pm on a Tuesday night with my tea, writing this and not panicking about getting home for a few glasses of wine. I would have been going out of my mind then, and it is so unbelievably good not to be back there. I’ve come a long way and that makes me feel proud, but I also want to use my experiences so that others know that they can too. I’d love to give anyone who feels trapped in their addiction like I did, just a glimmer of hope that things can be different. Because they can.
I’m totally opposed to the insta-perfect way of life. I don’t think it does anyone any good to give an airbrushed perception of a life. I do however post a lot on Instagram. I use it as a virtual photo album really, a way of keeping up with what people I know, (and some I don’t) are up to, and I actually like to share on there. It’s full of all sorts, but that’s fine, because it’s my life and that’s the way it should be.
Maybe I haven’t shared every little detail with you all, I think I need to keep some things to myself although I’m a pretty open book. It feels good to share though, it helps me work through my muddled thoughts and feelings and work out where they are coming from and that is a great feeling. One thing I have noticed though is that I rarely now worry about what I have posted. I mean, I read back and check things, but I don’t wake up thinking who did I tag in that post? Or what did I share and was it even funny? I deleted many of my ‘friends’ back then. In all honesty, I don’t see the point in having a friends list that is full of thousands of people I don’t know. It’s not real and it isn’t an achievement for me. I feel that actually the conversations I have with you all are far more genuine, whether they are on my posts or in direct messages.
What is an achievement is to feel confident and strong in my sobriety. To have genuine connections with real people and hopefully to make a positive difference. If I can go by the messages I receive, then I feel like I am.
Thank you for listening.