The stories you'll 'hear' here are taken directly from a page in my life; sometimes sad, sometimes funny.
But all come straight from the heart.
The real me, meant to meet the real you wherever it is that you are in your own journey!
YOUR PERMAGRIN RECOVERY BLOG
A CDC study that shows the growing trend among female drinkers.
And I had a lot of shame when I quit drinking.
Shame during my drinking days was very consistent, but was something that I certainly didn’t expect to persist once I quit.
Once I researched the hell out of this new side of shame that I was experiencing (like I do everything else), I discovered that it's more common than not.
It's a 'thing'.
Of course all of us, for the most part, carry the shame of the wreckage of the past. We can hopefully work through that and beyond that side of shame during our recovery journey.
I’m talking about a surprising and VERY REAL form of shame that I - and apparently many others - experience.
I DID THE RIGHT THING; NOW WHY AM I SO AFRAID SOMEONE WILL FIND OUT?
We fellow heavy drinkers, alcoholics, people with drinking ‘issues’ - whatever your preferred label - seem to have a common theme going when it comes to feeling embarrassed and fearful that others will find out that we are in recovery.
Ashamed that we are choosing sobriety.
That we needed help and asked for it.
We carry more shame over getting sober, more fear of being outed or discovered, than we do when it comes to being ashamed of that drunken night that we hardly remember (our friends filled us in on what we said and did) where we didn’t just dance with a lampshade on our head, we dropped the lamp, tripped over it, broke it, fell and got stitches in our chin.
YES, that happened to me.
Yup, more ashamed of saying we’re sober for some reason. HORRIFIED AT THE THOUGHT OF SOMONE FINDING OUT.
Perplexing, isn’t it?
Since blogging, I’ve had friends say that they loved learning more about my sobriety; that they knew I didn't drink, but they didn’t know know.
If you’re like me, you get what I’m saying.
THE WHISPERED CONFESSION
As I was getting my hair cut last week, (and yes, the f'g grey covered), I told my hairdresser about my blog, what my website was all about, and that I was sober.
It's the first time I ever told him. He was immediately intrigued.
Mind you, I whispered this confession under my Covid-19 mask, as if my voice wasn’t muffled enough.
He whispered back through his mask, ‘I’ve got two years!’
How is it that two people who see each other for two hours every five to six weeks had no idea we had this in common? How could we have left out this very precious detail during our deep talks?!
Don't we tell our hairdresser everything?
Everything except that.
Bottom line? It’s the shame. The shame was standing in our way.
he stigma held us back.
I grew up in an alcoholic home. I saw A LOT of drunk and disorderly behavior.
It made me grow up too fast.
I’ve been in therapy for most of my life per my own doing, and there are things at the very core of who I am that are changed because of the environment that I grew up in. And that’s okay - now.
But the point is that I grew up walking around with a secret.
And it was a shameful secret; one that I had no control over.
The only 'control' I had over it (or what felt like control) was to make sure no one found out about that part of my life and to learn to be an expert at carrying that shame around with me wherever I went.
And I did the same with my recovery and sobriety.
THE MORE WE SPEAK UP
The more we say where we’ve been, where we are, and how we got here, the more we empower others to tell their stories.
Each time I’ve been open and honest about my story, there inevitably is someone who speaks up and says, ‘That happened to me too,’
‘I did that too,’
‘I’m in recovery too,’ ‘
I grew up with alcoholic parents too.’
A SENSE OF PRIDE
My hope is that we can all (myself included) begin to feel the sense of pride that we’re entitled to when it comes to having the courage to face our addictions and for seeking help.
I've always gotten nothing but positive feedback when opening up and telling my story even though there may be lingering resentments at times on the part of my friends and family.
Those are the things we face and work through in sobriety.
TED TALKS ROCK
I absolutely love a good TED talk. They’re nice and short, but just long enough to really hit home.
Brene Brown calls shame an unspoken epidemic; she has delved into the topics of that and of vulnerability in her TED Talk.
It’s absolutely worth the 20 minutes, and she has a way of educating that has hit home with millions! (full TED Talk below)
‘THE ANONYMOUS PEOPLE’
The movie ‘The Anonymous People’ also speaks to the same theme.
It addresses the 12-Step culture and how anonymity is embraced.
It highlights the fact that this approach is quite beneficial in the beginning for those new to sobriety (which was true for me); however, alcoholics over time who are in long-term recovery may become slightly paranoid about revealing to anyone at all that they are sober (also true for me as this is how I was ‘raised’ in sobriety).
We did not speak of it to those outside of our circle.
Or at least I didn’t.
I spoke to my sponsor, those within the program, and my very close family members. Otherwise, no one knew I was in recovery.
And I carried a lot of shame over being in recovery.
I’m working through that still because I’m so accustomed to being ‘anonymous’.
I’m still struggling with a slight feeling of betrayal, as if I'm doing something wrong by voicing the truth about my recovery.
The key to the movie is that it discusses a movement taking place with individuals publicly proclaiming ‘I am in long-term recovery’ and saying it with the pride and accomplishment that they very well deserve.
LET GO OF SHAME
As I begin getting accustomed to being open about this aspect of my life, my hope is that those in the same boat might have their shame turn into pride as well, because we've been brave enough to admit that we're changing the direction of our lives.
That we’re taking charge of the path we’re on.
And there’s no shame in that. Period.
Ever feel like you're the
ONLY ONE WHO'S SOBER?
Not the case!
THERE'S A MOVEMENT taking place, and sober IS the new black, whether you're thinking about getting sober, taking a break, or committed to a life-long recovery journey!
JUST PLEASE DON'T CALL IT A TREND.
WHAT DO I WIN?
HOW DO I ENTER TO WIN?
WHEN WILL I KNOW IF I WON?
GOOD LUCK, HAPPY WINNING, AND DON'T FORGET TO SUBSCRIBE!
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