Occasionally I get asked to speak at events about my drinking and sobriety story. Strangely it’s not something I get nervous about. Am always happy to share honestly so that normal drinkers can understand what it’s like for those of us who can’t control alcohol, and so that others who might be secretly locked in a boozy hell-hole can see that there is a way out.
I love talking up the wonders of recovery! I genuinely love being sober – even when I’m stressed and grumpy – and I try my best to explain in my talks why this is.
I also try to explain why online recovery is so genuine and transformative, by describing how writing my original blog (Mrs D Is Going Without) helped me, and how immensely powerful the community of support was that grew up around it. And of course I talk about our wonderful community here at Living Sober!
One of the best things about online recovery – I think – is that there are many degrees of engagement available, and all of us can choose to participate to the degree that suits us personally.
Some of us participate to the utmost degree. We write regular blogs or updates, sharing often about our thoughts and feelings. We leave many comments encouraging others along, we form one-on-one email relationships and sometimes even meet up with online buddies face-to-face.
Others interact but to a lesser degree. They might only occasionally share about their personal circumstances, they leave lovely comments for others only when they are particularly touched, they never seek to form one-on-one email connections and never arrange to meet online connections face-to face.
And there are others participating in online recovery who we never ‘see’ (except in website statistics). They read blogs and come into forums like the one here at Living Sober but never ‘show’ themselves by sharing or commenting, emailing or meeting face-to-face. These people are the lurkers.
Personally I love the lurkers. Lurkers rock! And I KNOW that lurking works to get you sober. I know this because occasionally I’ll receive an email from someone who says “I read your blog regularly and am in the Members Feed at Living Sober daily although I’ve never interacted - today I am celebrating 6-months of sobriety!”.
Each and every degree of engagement is TOTALLY FINE. Each and every degree of engagement works to help people get sober. You don’t have to interact online to get the full benefit of the blogging world and recovery forums (although articulating your thoughts and feelings is a very powerful thing to do, but you can do that in a private journal if you’d rather not share online).
Keeping yourself private is totally ok. No-one should feel bad or inadequate if they are keeping themselves hidden. No-one should feel guilty or worried if they’re not racing to attend meet-ups. Staying away and keeping yourself protected in a small sober bubble does not mean you are not a brave sober warrior! It just means you’re someone who is protecting yourself to a level that feels comfortable and safe. I have huge respect for that.
There are a million and one ways to get sober. Make your way work for you. Use the tools that suit your circumstances and personality. Don’t do anything you don’t want to do!
Just try and not touch alcohol because it will stifle your inner spark and slowly deaden your soul – that’s what it did to me anyway.
Love, Mrs D xxx