This Guest Post comes from member @soberbutterfly who wrote it as an update in the Members Feed. It was so powerful and well received I thought it well worth featuring here. Enjoy.
What if sobriety is kind of like a horse riding adventure?
We begin on foot - walking (drinking).
We are having a hard time walking (drinking).
We keep falling down. Maybe we break a leg, or two. Maybe we just get lost and feel completely unsupported in general.
Then we see a few people riding horses (sobriety!) and think, "Hmmm, that looks interesting. They look like they are having a good time up there." One of the horse riders pulls over to chat with us for a bit, maybe they're members here at Living Sober or another person in recovery you meet. "I’ve been riding my horse for three years,” they tell you. “I love it up here. No way I’m ever walking again!”
You are intrigued. So you saddle up and start riding your horse. You get sober! Wahoo!! You feel great riding along. You feel supported in a way that you have never felt before, so you continue on your horse riding journey. You are getting pretty far along into unknown territory when you see a big pile of rocks ahead. You think, "Hhhmm, I haven’t seen that before." You are a bit unprepared and you fall off of the horse.
You are walking (drinking) again, and it sucks. So you decide to get back on the horse to continue your journey. But here’s the thing - you did NOT go back to the beginning of your horse riding journey! In fact you got back on right where you left off. Plus, you have the added experience of realizing what can cause a fall from a horse, so you are a much better rider now.
In fact, after you start riding again you notice a similar patch of rocks coming up, you remember what caused your fall the last time and make some adjustments so you can keep on riding smoothly.
Maybe you ride the horse for years. You get pretty comfortable in your horse riding skills. At one point you even get bored. It’s too easy. You look down at people walking and they look like they are having fun down there. So, you actually just get off your horse willingly. No fall. You just get off.
You hang out with the “walkers” (drinkers!) for a bit and realize it’s just as crappy as you remember. So, after a few weeks you decide to get back on your horse.
Although you detoured a bit, your horse is right there waiting for you. The horse did NOT go back to where you were when started your horse riding journey. And neither did you! The horse was chiilin exactly where you left him, happy to see you actually.
But this time when you look at your horse, he looks a little different to you. And you realize you weren’t really riding a horse after all. You were riding a unicorn! And you now realise maybe you actually needed get off the horse to take a step back and realize what it really was.
Some people realise they are riding a unicorn right away. But for some of us (myself included!) maybe we need our little detours to appreciate the beauty that is always there waiting for us.
Let’s be gentle on ourselves. It is all ok. Whereever you are on your horse riding journey, it’s part of your story that is super unique to you and only you.