As many of you know, I started writing a blog on my first day of sobriety. I embarked on a writing journey about sobriety to help keep me accountable. I didn't know it at the time, but it was actually quite a selfish undertaking. You see, I always thought I was a pretty good person, good friend, good employee, good partner, and a good father. I thought those things were true because I really only thought about the happenings of my own world. I never really thought about how my world affected others. I'll be honest in saying, I did try to be there for people. I never intended to be selfish or narcissistic. The problem is, when we get lost in addiction, we have very little bandwidth available to focus on anything but ourselves. We associate with others, we have interactions, but the depth is very shallow. With that said, when I started writing my blog on day one of sobriety, it was with the sole intent of helping myself. Thankfully, it worked, but it also created a shitstorm of other ramifications for which I was nowhere near ready. Thankfully, those ramifications were nothing short of spectacular.
Alcohol puts us in a daily emotional state of fight or flight
What I did not know, when I started writing my blog, was I about to embark on a journey of not only self-discovery but also world-discovery. My tunnel vision was about to expand, and I was going to be privy to people and circumstances for which I would have never otherwise expected. The moment I quit drinking, my vision immediately began to clear. I believe this occurs because alcohol dilutes our ability to see clearly and access information. Alcohol puts us in a daily emotional state of fight or flight. In this state, we have no ability to see outside ourselves, even if we think otherwise at the time. When we enrich our senses rather than dilute them, we begin to see with more clarity. We are able to access more information. We are able to make better and more informed decisions. We afford ourselves the ability to step outside our selfish shells and open up to the possibility of things we have closed ourselves off to for far too long.
In my alcohol-free and heightened state of mind, it took me virtually no time to begin questioning the world around me, especially the sober world for which I involuntarily and unknowingly gained membership. I remember the day it happened. While I was writing a daily blog about my experience, I was not engaging in the social media world of sobriety. One day, someone responded to one of my posts and recommended I join an online sober group. I did, and that was the day everything changed. Everything changed for me because I learned everyone's experience in sobriety was not the same. I learned the majority of people in sobriety were struggling and fighting much harder than me. I learned my sobriety was not the norm, I was an outlier. Everything in my life changed because I wanted to find a way to help others experience easier sobriety.
It was those people who inspired me to continue writing my blog, to begin recording podcasts, to start a sober group, to do interviews with other sober people, and to publish a book
As I began to engage with the sober community, I learned a lot more than I had bargained for. I learned about the sober stories of countless people. I saw the frustrations, struggles, and daily grind of the normal person in sobriety. I will be honest in saying at first, I did not know if I could subject myself to those stories for very long. The stories saddened me and made me feel discouraged. With every story of struggle, my heart filled with a little more despair. Then, it occurred to me. If my story could be different from others, then it is possible for other's experiences to be different too. I made it a life goal and new journey to figure out a way to articulate the reasons for the disparity in my sober experience. Along my journey, I have met a fantastic group of people. It was those people who inspired me to continue writing my blog, to begin recording podcasts, to start a sober group, to do interviews with other sober people, and to publish a book. I want to take a little time to talk about some of those people.
My partner has been by my side since day one. In fact, she began her journey two weeks before I began mine. While her experience has been just as easy as mine, she has had to endure something I have not. She did not know she was going to also inherit a partner who was going to spend an enormous amount of time in the sober world she has left behind. Her support of my desire and dedication to helping others has been nothing short of outstanding. She has helped me with my writing and encourages me every day to grow. She is the only person who has read every single one of my blogs, and there are a lot of them. If I am the Captain of the Sober Militia, she is undoubtedly the First Officer. Right now she is cringing, but I couldn't resist a little inside humor. Thank you, L for your inspiration and support.
Along the way, I have met some other wonderful people who have also inspired me to not only continue my path but also to evolve. I would like to name a few, some of whom I'll only use initials to protect anonymity, others I'll share links to their work. Bobby C. was one of the first people with whom I came into contact. He is over 35 years sober and is a great guy. I lost touch with him but this blog will inspire me to reach out again. We did several videocasts together, you can check them out here. JoAnne from Sexy AF spirits was another person I crossed paths with early on. Her non-alcoholic spirit company is doing great things for the sober community. We have had several conversations and a videocast as well. Please check out her business if you are one to enjoy non-alcoholic beverages. We continue to maintain contact and she has given me some samples to give away, which I will do soon, stay tuned.
A fellow writer and sober warrior, Carmell Pelly was another person I had the honor of meeting on my path. She