What I’ve learned from my recent relapse is that it doesn’t really matter so long as you return to recovery. I was devastated that I picked up that whisky in London and I struggled with the depression that it brought but as the dust settles and I get back into the routine of being sober I can start to reflect back. I appreciate that whilst it would have been better not to drink, it was two isolated moments in what has been in the main, a progressive and positive 16 months. My sobriety (like anybody) is owned by nobody but me and I’m not here each day to justify myself to others. I don’t need to crave the acceptance and plaudits of people because I should have enough confidence and belief in myself that I’m enough and the decisions I make in my life are the right ones.
I write this blog primarily to help my own mental health. The blog started from a hospital bed during a detox. I had a-lot of time on my hands and so much I wanted to say but nobody to say it to. Writing about how I feel in what is effectively a white space works for me. I don’t know who is reading this and in most cases I never will, but if my words resonate with you and can help with your own decision making, great. Nothing bad comes from writing this blog and publishing it in a public space. I’ll continue to blog so long as it isn’t detrimental to my own mental health.
I’ve said it time and time again that communicating with others is so important. We are a social species and crave the connection with another person. It’s not easy to open up to others about our feelings, especially those closest to us because we don’t want to burden them. However, there are so many ways we can share whether that is by writing like me, talking to a counsellor or therapist, friends, family, colleagues or via recovery groups. In 2022 most of us have access to the internet (certainly everyone reading this!) and we no longer have to rely on solely ‘in person’ talking therapy. We can call free helplines, log on to ‘live chats’ or connect via social media. I’m a traditionalist and personally speaking I enjoy sitting in a room with somebody and talking but I’m also conscious this isn’t always possible so don’t be afraid to explore other channels.
Somebody is out there waiting to listen to you whether you believe that or not. Nobody has to be alone. All we ask is that you make the first step. You won’t regret it.