12 January. 2020 • Category: Running | Addiction | Mental Health | Mindfulness | Anxiety | Authenticity | Sobriety
Post run picture.
I used to be quite opinionated, not argumentative necessarily, but certainly I did like to make my opinions known. I wouldn’t have said I was rude, just vocal. I liked to know about a subject and stand up for it. I had a voice and I wanted it to be heard.
Of late, or at least since I stopped drinking, that voice disappeared a little. I still had opinions but the idea of any confrontation terrified me. Now, I know healthy discussions are good. I am all for people having opinions, and I don’t think everyone should agree on everything, but I’ve found it hard to voice my own thoughts. The idea of standing up for something frightens me. I’m afraid of conflict, afraid I’ll upset someone and afraid to be wrong. It’s hard to relearn things, especially things you’ve been good at in the past. It’s hard to put yourself out there again and take a risk.
I may have said before, but the three year mark of sobriety seemed to be a real turning point for me. It coincided with this blog becoming a bit more known and I felt some more of my old self returning. The old me mind you, not the wine me!
Anyway, as I said, I tend to avoid conflict out of habit. Then I was scrolling through my news feed and I saw a post that I felt was really unnecessary. If I'd read it in my early days, it would have made me think twice about posting for support for fear if being judged and it annoyed me. I could see others felt the same and so I reported the post to the group admins, not for them to do anything necessarily, just for them to be aware. Sometimes it seems like ‘fake’ accounts pop up in support groups just to unsettle things. It wasn’t long before I had a message from an admin asking why I’d reported it. She was quite abrupt in her tone and said the person had since left the group, which reinforced my thought of it being a fake account. I explained my reasons and said that if the person had left, then that was cool, problem solved. The admin didn’t feel the matter was resolved though and questioned me again, saying she didn’t understand my reasoning and saying the post created a healthy discussion. My point was that it did, but only for those brave enough to speak up and lots of people in recovery aren’t. It was strange having her question me. It annoyed me and stirred up a fire in my belly that had lain dormant for a long time. I wanted to defend the vulnerable. Now, maybe I trod on her toes, maybe I shouldn’t have reported it, and just left it to her, I just didn’t know whether it would be seen by an admin or not. I didn’t know how many people it might have affected before someone said something. Either way, the admin didn’t like my perspective and I didn’t like her aggressive tone and the implication that she was right, regardless of what others thought. There’s no need to be rude in a conversation like that.
But, it was good. It showed me I can voice my opinions. I can be brave. I don’t have to sit quietly by and watch from the sidelines. Oh, and I can remove myself from a group where I don’t like the ethos. So, all in all it was a good lesson to have, and nice to feel I am getting my voice back!
Thanks everyone, I love chatting to you all.