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