I have mentioned a few times how helpful I have found sober blogs and the online sober community helpful in the in the run up to deciding to stop drinking and putting that decision into action (Stages 2-4 for those of you who saw my blog yesterday). As I move into Stage 5 that remains so.
I read sober blogs every day and I also post on a dry board where the ladies are wonderfully supportive.
When I first stopped drinking, I was posting on the dry board several times a day. Once I said I felt guilty for hogging the board but I was told firmly that was not the case and I should post away as much as I needed. So I did exactly that and it made such a difference. There were numerous occasions where I experienced very strong cravings, feelings of self-doubt, despair and sometimes elation and joy. However I was feeling I knew my friends in the online sober community were there for me.
Now I am moving towards 2 months sober, there has been a shift. I continue to take so much strength and comfort from the wonderful sober community. Now I am able to start giving back. Just a little. I have started this blog and I have been overwhelmed by the kindness of those who have commented. Some have said that my musings have helped them and they identify with what I have written. I feel so privileged to be a part of their sober journey, even in a small way.
On the dry board, I am no longer a newbie. I get so much out of being able to offer support to others embarking on sobriety and further along the way. It is wonderful to be able to offer words of comfort and encouragement. Reassuring my fellow posters that they really don’t have to go to that party or night out they are dreading or that it is OK to say they are not drinking because they are on antibiotics (I firmly believe the truth can wait until the first fragile days, weeks and months are over).
I have started commenting on other blogs whereas in the past I lurked out of view. I hope my fellow bloggers feel the same about my comments as I do about theirs.
When I first stopped drinking I was concerned about being selfish and putting myself before others. Now I can see that self-care is crucial. Becoming sober is not selfish and the benefits to me and everyone around me are starting to become clear. I am a much better mother than before and the long-suffering Mr So has commented on how much nicer I am to be around. I am a better friend.
In real life I also have a sense I am finally able to give something back. I am attending an evening course run by my local drugs and alcohol service. There is one lady in particular I feel a strong affinity towards. She is not yet at the stage of giving up alcohol altogether but I sense that she almost there. Outside of the course, I have been in touch with her by text. I have lent her some books and suggested some blogs. I believe in her and she says that is helping. It won’t be long now but however long it takes I will be there for her.
Take care and have a wonderful sober Sunday wherever you are. X