There’s always been a part of me that wants to figure myself out – that thinks some amount of introspection will allow me some peace. I don’t cling to that as tightly as I once did, but I see now, in sobriety, the value in considering my own actions and motivations more than ever.
Sometimes I think I might be going through something that no one else has ever experienced.
And other times I am totally convinced that I am exactly where I need to be and exactly where any 29 year old sober woman would be, in similar shoes. I think that this might just be a phase of development, potentially uniquely mine, but similar to the experiences of others.
Then I read words written by someone else – someone who’s never met me, never had an experience similar to mine, save for an addiction to alcohol. I read the words of another sober woman and I am reassured – no we are not all alike, but we do have things in common.
There are similarities. And those similarities are unifying – powerful and refreshing. They are painful and troubling, but they are possible to manage and even more possible to thrive beyond. I am only sure of this because I read the words and hear the experiences of other women who have found the other side of life. They experience life as it comes at them, with a profound understanding that they cannot and will not have it all figured out – and they experience it anyways.
I can be moved to tears by another woman’s words. Today I was, reading a book by a strong and wonderful writer. She reminded me not to be small – not to be voiceless and to be a proud warrior, of my own definition.
“You are not what you’ve done. You are loved and have always been loved and will always be loved. And not only are you loved, but you are love. … Love is what you’re made of and grace is free for all. Grace and worthiness are yours for the taking.”
Glennon Doyle-Melton, Love Warrior
I am empowered by the words of other women – reminded of the force within me that I so often try to run from. My awareness is heightened, reading of the experiences of a woman whose words resonate so deeply to my soul. I catch myself, wanting to dart from my own mat. I read, until I cry, on my own bathroom floor, to my God of bathroom floors. I expand my understanding of sobriety, of life, of womanhood and what that all looks like as I move through life. I do the next right thing.
And I’m encouraged by people who are also just trying to do the next right thing.
I’m just mesmerized when some people have the guts to do it out loud.
“You are not supposed to be happy all the time. Life hurts and it’s hard. Not because you’re doing it wrong, but because it hurts for everybody. Don’t avoid the pain. You need it. It’s meant for you. Be still with it, let it come, let it go, let it leave you with the fuel you’ll burn to get your work done on this earth.”
I need to start writing more. Not on here, but with pen and paper. I’m going to start writing more.