Finding My People
I really feel recently I’ve found my people. I didn’t know I was looking for them, but I found them anyway. I’ve told you all before, I’m quite self sufficient and more than happy to spend time on my own, and with my family. I didn’t necessarily have friends to chat to, but I also didn’t feel lonely. I isolated myself a bit really, I think I’m always afraid of feeling judged, and not good enough. I’m happy in myself, but also I suppose at times a little insecure and my sense of self worth is fragile, so I don’t want to rock the boat.
I stepped out of my comfort zone recently and joined the Bee Sober team, becoming an ambassador and coach which makes me feel like I’m giving something back. Although I’ve been writing this blog for a few years now, I feel like I can be the person that I wanted to talk to in the rocky days of sobriety and even now. I’m approaching five years, and although everything is way more balanced and I am happier, stronger and healthier, I still have wobbly moments. They don’t usually involve me even thinking about drinking anymore, it’s more of an unsettled feeling. I normally have this feeling of having done something wrong, but I can’t quite put my finger on what it is. It’s annoying. So anyway, I’ve digressed. What I mean, is that by being in this group of people, all in various stages of sobriety, I feel understood. We may not know each other, or have anything in common, and yet without explaining anything, we get each other. We know because we’ve been there. We all understand through our different experiences what we’ve each been through, and we don’t judge. It’s supportive and accepting, and I think that by being more and more open to share what I’ve been through, I’ve come to accept myself more.
Then, as someone who doesn’t do group activities, I joined a group of wild swimmers. It was something I’d wanted to do for ages, but I was still nervous to go on my first swim with them, as like normal, I didn’t think I’d fit in, that I’d be the odd one out for some reason, and yet, they just accepted me. I took my daughter, who also likes to swim, and we had a lovely time. I’ve made some great friends, well, we both have. It doesn’t matter about age, ability or anything else, once you’re in the water, you’re all the same and no one gets left behind. We are a diverse bunch, so there’s always something to talk about. Katie and I still swim on our own, but having this group of other swimmers is a welcome encouragement to push ourselves out of our comfort zone. I even met them at 7am one Sunday for an early morning swim, something I certainly would never have managed when I had been drinking.
I don’t advertise to them the fact I don’t drink, but I don’t hide it either. I’m not ashamed of it, but it isn’t the first thing out of my mouth, because I’ve realised it isn’t the only thing that defines me. So recently, a few of us were talking, while swimming, about having a girls camping trip to some far off beaches and one of them suggested having a few drinks. I thought I’d be honest, and told them I didn’t drink, mostly because I felt comfortable. I didn’t excuse it, I just told them and you know what, they didn’t bat an eyelid! Not even when I told them why. My standard reason is that I’ve already drunk enough to last me a life time. I have never felt so accepted for who I am, without question. It was lovely, and somewhat unexpected.
I’d heard about the benefits of cold water swimming for wellbeing, but I’ve found it really helps. One lady describes the water as her happy place, and I have to agree. Even when it’s a bit cold! But maybe it’s helped by the fact I like myself a lot more than I used to, and because of that, I’m letting other people into my life too. I’m not sure that I care really why it works, I just know that I feel the happiest and calmest I have for years. Long may it continue!
I hope you have a lovely weekend!