We talk a lot about bravery here at Living Sober. We are full of praise for anyone who makes the big decision to remove alcohol from their lives. “You’re a hero!” we cry, “You’re amazing!”
And with good cause. We live in a boozy world, where alcohol is glorified and normalised at every turn. Any person who has the guts to admit they have a problem, swim against the boozy tide and learn how to live sober, addressing their emotional issues and persevering through huge personal growth, is an incredibly brave person. They deserve all the praise they can get.
But bravery comes in all forms. It’s not only found in the big decisions and monumental shifts. It’s also evident in tiny actions and subtle movements.
It’s brave to go onto Google and type “How do I quit drinking?”
It’s brave to hit ‘Like’ on a Facebook page dedicated to recovery and sobriety.
It’s brave to have one alcohol free night when that usually never happens.
It’s brave to order a ‘quit lit’ book on your Kindle.
It’s brave to turn down the wine your mother-in-law is offering you.
It’s brave to utter the words to a friend, “Sometimes I worry that I’m drinking too much.”
It’s brave to anonymously comment on a social media post sharing your truth.
It’s brave to share your truth anywhere, to anyone, anonymously or not.
It’s brave to start to admit your truth to yourself.
All of these little movements are brave, and take huge courage. Especially when you consider that prolonged dysfunctional drinking, flip flopping around in your brain about whether to drink of not, strips us of our feelings of strength. Addiction truly brings us to our knees.
When I was at the end of my boozing days, having struggled for months to try to moderate and control my intake, the last thing I felt was brave or strong. I wanted to stop but couldn’t, made endless promises to myself that I broke, set limits that I breached. The only person to blame for the awfully sloppy position I was in was myself. Consequently, I felt anything but strong. I felt weak, conflicted and pathetic.
But despite this, I managed to take small brave steps. I got a book out of the library called ‘Quit Drinking’. That was scary as hell but I did it. I phoned a helpline, also bloody nerve-wracking but I did it. I muttered out loud to Mr D that I was struggling. Very exposing but I did it. And eventually, after taking many small brave steps like these, I felt strong enough to make the big decision to quit.
That’s the thing about bravery. It’s like a snowball rolling down a hill. Once you’ve made one small brave decision, your snowball starts slowly rolling. The next tiny brave step, it goes down the hill a little more. Next brave step - more rolling. And slowly, step by step, your snowball grows. Your sense of strength grows. Your bravery grows.
Try it out for yourself. If you’re not feeling brave enough right now to make the big decision to quit, just try one little brave step. Tell someone your truth. Seek out some material that might help. Read a book, listen to a podcast, follow a social media account dedicated to sobriety, write yourself a letter.
Take that first little step to get your snowball rolling, and watch as your bravery grows. I promise you, it will.
Love, Mrs D xxx
Thank you Mrs. D. Again your words have lifted me up. You are a wise woman indeed. So glad this site is here and its solace and support.
Thanks for this and for your book, listening to it right now. I am a high functioning woman too, PHD, degrees in engineering, botany and architecture, 11 years old wonderful daughter and the worlds best husband… I read blogs, books, on the fabulous Facebook FFS group and spend my day swirling around the ‘not drinking’… and I hate it, I don’t like being so caught up in me, I don’t like it at all!!
Thank you Mrs D! I’m 5 weeks today alcohol free and other than sharing this experience with my husband I haven’t told friends or extended family yet – not feeling brave enough! My friends have been always been binge drinkers with us and consider this behavior to be fun and put subtle pressure on when I’ve tried to tone down the drinking. We live in a hard society where it seems that not drinking is unacceptable. I’m hoping and praying there is a shift.
So glad I read this @Mrsd.. today I don’t feel brave, feel totally washed up and emotional but I will get strength from this post .. thank you x
Beautifully written… you inspire me often Sober Sister! I love how “Real” you are… I’m in my 3rd year of Sobriety & living a life I never dreamed possible…
Thank you for speaking your truth so bravely out loud to remind people like myself how great this journey is! Much Love Nic X
Beautifully written… I love how “Real” you are Sober Sister … you inspire me often!
I’m in my 3rd year of Sobriety & living a life I never thought possible…
Thank you for speaking your truth so bravely out loud to help people like me remember how great this journey can be.. Much Love Nic X
Thank you for this post! I began my brave path much the same as you…trying to stop, moderate, and always failing. Reading your blogs was a part of my path to the decision to quit, along with a big dose of personal honesty. Now I am a month away from 1 year of sobriety and I am proud of myself. It has not been easy but I feel great about myself, clearer, happier, and fully aware. Thank you for all you are doing to encourage us all on this journey.
I love this post. I started AA 1 month ago and remember how scared I was, I was literally shaking as I walked into the meeting but it was the best thing I have ever done, I now look back at myself, and new comers and realise how brave we really are to admit we have a problem and actually do something about it.