This is an extract from one of my favourite books. Rachel’s Holiday by Marian Keyes is the story of Rachel Walsh, a twenty something addict, her trip to rehab and ultimately, her recovery. This is the point at which the penny drops for Rachel and she finally comes to terms with her addiction. I can identify with Rachel, not so much in terms of her addiction (which is to recreational drugs more than alcohol) but in terms of her recovery journey. As I read about Rachel’s relief, it resonates really strongly and I can feel myself becoming somehow lighter inside. I am relieved for Rachel and relieved for myself.
I met with a lady last week who has just celebrated her one year sober. We met through my group, Club Sober, when she responded to one of my flyers. I wanted to take her my copy of Rachel’s Holiday but I left it at home. I had few minutes to spare before we were due to meet so I popped into a charity shop on the off chance of finding a copy. And there it was. What a coincidence. I was really chuffed. It must be a good sign. It was meant to be.
This lady, I’ll call her Jane, is lovely. Really, really lovely. As we were talking I mentioned that the day before I had been at college enrolling on the counselling course I’m starting next week. Turns out she was also there that day. So we could easily have passed each other and never have known. As we continued we found other things in common. I am certain we must have crossed paths before. It is odd to think that when I was 7 months sober, Jane was starting her sober journey.
I have written before about how lonely I have felt especially knowing that there are other women out there just like me but not knowing who they are. I kept my drinking a secret and got sober in secret too. I am not naturally a secretive person. I am open and honest, sometimes overly so. I have found the guilt and shame associated with my drinking overwhelming and all consuming.
But now I’ve met Jane. My real life recovery network is growing. I have Jane and the other ladies from Club Sober. And I have my wonderful, wonderful sober sister who gives me so much strength. So if you feel lonely, please reach out. It makes so much difference to do this thing together.