Before I quit drinking, when i knew i was drinking more than i wanted to, I did some preliminary research on AA and decided it wasn’t for me. I started downloading the TV show “Intervention”. I read Unpickled’s blog. And then i waited. Several more months passed. I would quit for a few days, once for as long as 9 days. Then i’d start drinking again. For months, i continued to work and run and host events and drink every night starting at 6 pm.
I’m not sure why i thought that AA wasn’t for me. Please, no disrespect to AA. it works super very well for whacks of people. And here’s the truth: If i had tried other things, and they didn’t work, then i’m sure i would have tried AA eventually.
But for me, at least to start, I knew I wanted something else, some other way to support my new sober journey. But what’s available? There are other “groups” like WFS and rational recovery. Honestly, i just bristle at the thought of a group. I wonder if maybe you’re the same as me? i can’t be the only person who hates group fun. I hate joining things. I hate organized anything. I hate broadcast emails where everyone gets the same polished message, nothing personal.
Me, I am too independent, rebellious, smart, difficult, willful [insert adjective here] for groups … for now. I know, that probably makes me my own worst enemy.
So instead, when i got to day 9 sober (again), and didn’t want to drink (again) last July, I started this blog. Immediately there were people. Comments. Help. Opinions. Support. Phew. And I went from 9 days to 9.5 months. To today.
but if you are someone who does NOT want to start up a blog… where does that leave you? I never really considered it before this week, but if you’re drinking more than you want to, and you do NOT want to blog, AND you’re feeling anti-AA (or if you want additional support to supplement AA) … what can you do? You can comment anonymously on other people’s blogs (not quite the same thing). You can read blogs but not interact (not quite the same thing at all).
Or you can get yourself a sober penpal 🙂
Here’s a message I received from Carrie:
Thanks for your email … I am sitting in the park reading this with tears in my eyes because I am still hugely touched every time you reply to an email from me. That someone would bother to take the time to listen to my problems … that continues to surprise and humble me.
I wasn’t ready to own up and admit my problem to a room full of people. I am not ready to wear a label, I may never be. But, I also wasn’t in denial and I desperately wanted to be saved.
Who knew that being saved didn’t have to involve a public fall from grace, hitting rock bottom, or shouting from the rooftops for help.
Just one tiny email was all it took to be sitting here with huge waves of relief gushing over me, that I found a lifeline in someone else who gets this and cares that I am staying sober today. I only wish that I had found this/you sooner and that more people knew that reaching out would make a fucking ENORMOUS difference to this journey.
It’s a privilege to be getting to know all of you wonderful sober rocking chicks! I want to scream that from the rooftops now people! I feel guilty that I don’t blog myself, but don’t have the confidence and I don’t trust myself not to be found out as I am not very good at covering my tracks etc.
And maybe YOU would like a sober penpal. Almost every sober blogger has their email address on their site. Find a blogger you think you’d connect with, and send them an email. Ask them if they’d like to have a sober penpal. Of course, you can email me too, and I’ll get back to you with some info on how we can be sober penpals. If you hate group fun, but you don’t want to do it alone, you don’t have to. My email is email@example.com. You can email using your real name or a pseudonym. You can create an anonymous email address on gmail. And if you’d like to try 100 days sober, you can read more here.
And what do we get out of it? Well, for me, I get emails like this one above from Carrie. I get a built-in sobriety insurance program.
And slowly, over time, I get to know you, the cool sober YOU who’s in there waiting to come out 🙂 and that makes it all worthwhile 🙂