“Hi, I’m Shaina and I’m an alcoholic”
I’ve defeatedly uttered this phrase a handful of times in the last few months. Honestly though, I think my admittance at meetings has been a means of solidarity, not a form of sincerity. The term “alcoholic” seems so heavy and almost cringeworthy to me, that it often fumbles out of my mouth like a bag of bricks, and drags me to the floor with it as if that’s where I belong.
I hate saying it. There is no way I could be an alcoholic, right? I’m only twenty-two. I just received my Bachelors degree from a Big Ten University. I’ve never been in trouble with the law. I haven’t lost a job or my family. I have never even drank in the morning (besides football Saturdays and St. Patricks Day, obviously those don’t count). I grew up with an alcoholic in my home; I KNOW what an alcoholic looks like. There is NO way I can possibly brand the same label as the people I know to be alcoholics.
Sure, I can think this way. Boo-hoo, pity me, I couldn’t possibly have a problem. Well guess what? If I didn’t have a problem, why would these thoughts even cross my mind? Why bother comparing myself to others if I truly have my life together? Why worry about the subject at all and go about my merry, obviously successful, way?
Because look, Darling, you’re a mess!
Truth is, I cannot and do not want to fool myself anymore! I’m done. It’s over. I’m waving this stupid white flag saying “Help me. I can’t waste another day and I can’t fix me alone anymore, so please for the love of God, help me.”
But if help keeps coming and I persistently throw comparisons, doubt, shame, and self-righteousness at it, then that white flag is entirely useless. I’ll be back at square one, or worse! I’ll be drunk. I’ll be drunk. I’ll be miserable. And one day, I will die that way.
That, my friends, is why I am here. I have 101 days sober today and a LONG way to go from here. I have found heaps of support, advice, and helpful tools from the online sober community and I want to contribute all that I can to this support system that has given me so much.
I want to document my rocky road to recovery in a way that might benefit others in some degree if not as much as it may benefit me. I have an avid passion for writing and connecting with/ helping people and I’m hoping this project (blog) will be a useful outlet for all of that.
Cheers, to this new journey!
I hope you will join me for the ride.
“It’s a long road up to recovery from here.” -Frank Turner, Recovery