This might sound strange but in many ways I am grateful for being an addict. Why? Because without having experienced the despair of my addiction, or the grit of the fight to get free of it, I wouldn't be who I am today.
I wouldn't be so in touch with the the strong and determined part of me, I wouldn't be so empathetic toward other people's struggles, and I ceratinly wouldn't be so appreciative of the wonders of recovery.
Because I've been in that miserable addicted place I can fully appreciate the calmness of a gentle booze-free evening, I can relish the getting-into-bed-sober moment, and boy can I delight delight in the marvel that is a hangover-free, guilt-free wake-up. That shit never gets old (does a person who has never been miserably addicted appreciate these things as much as me?)
But most of all I am grateful to my addiction because it has led me smack bang into the heart of my tribe. Finally for the first time in my life I feel like I truly belong in a group. My tribe of fellow addicts.
Immediately when I meet someone who I know is in recovery I feel an instant connection. It's like we can go straight to a place of real honesty. Even if we don't get all deep and meaningful with our conversation I feel a connection.
I know that they know what I know ...
They also know what it's like to feel utterly powerless over alcohol - that it's not a simple case of stopping after one or two or only drinking on the weekends.
They also know what it's like to have their self esteem eroded by letting themselves down time and time again with their drinking. Breaking promises to themselves, going back on their word.
They also know that awful feeling of utter despair when they reached the end of their drinking days, stripped of their confidence and self-belief.
They also know that raw exposed feeling when they took the drink away and felt super sensitive and vulnerable to life.
And they also know the intense work of grinding through the weeks as a newly sober person. Lurching from emotional state to emotional state, navigating moods, forgiving themselves constantly, adjusting to their sober skin.
Just knowing that I am faced with another person that can share in all of those experiences is gold to me. I feel instant empathy and connection. It's lovely.
We need one another. In this crazy, complicated, booze-soaked world that we live in with our crazy, complicated human brains.. we need that empathy and connection with our fellow addicts. We need to support and encourage and boost each other along. And that's what we do!
We do it here at Living Sober, we do it in meeting rooms around the world, we do it in twos and threes and groups, we do it via email and over coffee and while staring at the sunset.
We do it because we belong to the great amorphous tribe of fellow addicts - the brave and amazing people of the world who have dug deep, removed booze and gotten sober.
Bloody awesome tribe to be a part of if you ask me.
Mrs D xxx
I am starting again . I have been starting for decades and not yet managed. I want to, but just keep falling back in to old habits. I can’t just have 1or2 it always ends up in blackout. Help
Thank you all for being here. Starting over again and feeling so hopeful when I read your posts. I must Stay strong and stay sober today.
Warm fuzzies,love our tribe.So many lives improved and this support makes it possible.Perfect timing for so many of us.You shifted something in our universe Lotta.
that has literally bought a tear to my eye
This blog is my go to place. Thanks. I seem to be waking up with a headache! Is this par for the course?
I love this post and find so much comfort, peace, understanding, joy and even sadness in reading everyone’s stories.
I feel alone in my struggle with sobriety, until I click on Living Sober.
Here I feel accepted and understood.
Thank you for the amazing post:)
I agree. Have been reading for a while and have just joined, good to know I’m not a freak!
Just read blog. Good reminder of the best place to be. I’m at day 1 yet again but am truly thankful for the people who are here and Lotta for wise words of encouragement. I don’t think there is any other place where like minded people who appreciate your struggle can come together for support. I’m going to start this battle again and fight against this stupid addiction once again.
I am trying again today too. We can do it!!
It certainly is a bloody awesome tribe and I definitely wouldn’t be where I am today without it! Thanks Mrs D xxx
I’m so happy to have been an addict too for all the reasons you described , no shame, no guilt just freedom to move forward and live healthily and meaningfully , not to say others who drink aren’t doing that but those that are addicted and suffering are clearly not and this site offers a lifeline to those who need hope xxx thank you
Lotta, thanks so much for the blog – the message was like a welcome home mat weaved just for my arrival home – I have been away from the tribe and struggling with things – but I return to reconnect with the tribe and embrace sober living.
I want that sober skin feeling 100% of the time , I want it so bad that I need to remember to just do the work stay focused, admit I am an alcoholic and today I will not drink.
Um Ba Ya Ya!! Um Ba Ya Ya!!!
Amen to that Sista!
Hello! Funny the timing of this blog post! I was just out with drinking friends, and made it through the night without taking a drink. All I was thinking as I was heading home was, I am going to get on living sober and tell the group! They will be so proud, since they know the challenge! This connection means a lot when you have nobody else in you day-to-day life that can relate to the huge step that is getting sober. Yeah Tribe!
Great to read this! I can’t quite say I’m grateful about this addiction, though I might get there. But I sure can say being sober is a much better way to live than the misery I was mired in, and it seems a lot of people who don’t see booze as a problem spend a lot of time miserable because of it, so I can say I’m glad to have recognized my addiction for what it is. What I really am grateful for is the wonderful connection with so many fantastic people that I’ve made as a result of acknowledging my addiction and trying to get sober. That’s really changed my life. Big thanks to you, @Mrs-D and to everyone here. xo
Thank you Lotta. I SO identify with feeling a connection and belonging. Something I had looked for all my life. Substances gave that illusion of connection initially. Then they didn’t. And I found it here and in anonymous rooms with like minded people.
Must be something about that 70 day mark as I found that was the one point where I almost slipped too. I am at day 93 today. Good on you for getting past it.
I know how you feel. I was doing great for two months then went on vacation with drinking able friends and its taken me a month to get back to who I know I want to be. Day 2 for me and wanting so bad to keep my sober skin in place. Need it so bad. One day and one event at a time. Thinking of the tribe will keep me strong. I lost sight of you for a while but am in focus again.
Wow, yes absolutely true! Ain’t it strange the places you find family!
The tribe is real! I know that same gratitude Mrs D. And my personality type, addict and all, allows me to do some amazing things sober. The grit and the fight of it like you mentioned. I agree though, that the biggest gift I’ve received is the FELLOWSHIP!
This is beautiful!! I am only on day 6 ,longest stretch for a while after multiple day 1’s. It is a booze filled world, restaurants,bars,outside cafes makes drinking alchohol look so awesome,and unfortunately I am still in the mindset of how I go to those places without drinking. I am still in the early struggles, hoping it gets easier. Another thing that happens a lot to me is the comments of colleagues after long shifts is them saying “time for my wine”. Makes me feel like everyone drinks why can’t I. I try to remember what happens after I start,never wanting to stop
Well done, keep going! I find that when when I’ve been out with friends, I’ll want a drink for about 10 minutes, and then it passes, and I laugh as much as I would, and have a much better time later on in the evening when I would normally be a bit wasted and wanting to drink all the booze in the place, and an infinitely better morning. All the best, you can do it!
Thankyou for such a lovely post Lotta. It has made such a difference to me to have so much support and to know that i am not a ‘bad’ person because i couldnt control my drinking. I dont need or want alcohol in my life and i never want to go back to that hell again. The tribe here help me to stay on track and for this i am so very grateful. No one here would be able to be doing what they are (getting sober and staying sober), without you being so incredibly brave in telling your own story and getting this site up and running. And boy o boy, it is chugging along very nicely. xx
thats beatiful x
Absolutely true, so inspiring and thoughtful. I am at day 11 and super proud to be part of this tribe! Thank you for you honesty and opening yourself up to the world. This website is a blessing to me and I am about to indulge myself in reading your book. Cannot wait until I can say my number of days sober are as much as yours! My life feels more peaceful less chaotic and anxiety and panic attacks have left me now so I get to experience what is real, happiness, family and actually giving a shit about my life 🙂 Thank you!
I adore this post. Every bit of it is true for me too. Thank you for being you x
Brought tears to my eyes, Lotta. Absolutely brilliant post. I love being sober. And I love it even more, second time around, because this time I know I’m ready for the challenge.
And yes, it’s so good to be a member of this tribe. One day, it would be lovely to meet up with some of you. I have shared so much here on LS. Stuff that those who love me most don’t even know. It’s wierd, but I share this common bond with so many of you.
I can never thank you enough Lotta. You have changed my life. Xx
Thank you so much for this post today Mrs D. I have been sober for 70 days now, and this week has been really tough. I came so close to having a drink yesterday but somehow managed to stay dry. My inner drinkers voice has been loud and clear in my thinking again. Today just feels too hard so to read this message has helped me no end. Xo
Great post @mrs-d and I’m so grateful and proud to be part of this tribe! Thank you ♡ ♡ ♡
I’m so looking forward to having that face to face connection with people. So far I’ve only had contact with others choosing to be AF online.
That was so lovely, so inspiring, so true that I had to have a little lie down and meditate! While I didn’t reach the utter despair, I know so well the erosion of self esteem, fear that addiction is taking hold, lying to self over and over.
It is wonderful to know that is gone forever, and that is thanks to you lovely Lotta XXXXX