Reactions to Sharing…

I shared Friday that it was my 90 day anniversary, and that I “celebrated” by telling a large number of people in my life who had no clue I was struggling with sobriety that I was. Here are some of the responses I got. More than one made me cry.

“I just have to say that I absolutely love you and am so proud of you. I had no idea you were struggling with any of this and I can only imagine how much strength this must take. I wish I could give you a huge hug right now! I am honored that you would share this with me. If you ever need anything let me know. I love you hun!!!!!! I am not without my own demons. I used to cut myself…a lot. I don’t anymore, but every once in a while when I get stressed I still get urges. We all have things that we struggle with, but you are a truly beautiful person and you should never forget that. You welcome everyone into your heart and home and make them feel safe. You do soooo much good. Never doubt yourself or forget that.”

“Thanks for sharing.

Sometimes its too easy to look at other people and think their lives are so much better than your own, or that they have no problems of their own.

Everyone has something going on, something they could do without and make their life better. Often its things outside of their immediate and quick control – work issues, self control issues, relationship issues, etc. Being reminded that everyone has stuff they are dealing with makes it somewhat comforting. So in reading your post, it reminded me that no matter how there are things in my own life that I am not happy with right now (and can be downright depressing at times, especially of late) there is a commonality in the world between all people. My problems are no worse or better than anyone else’s.

Of course, the reverse of that is that Angie needs to remember that other people are going through similar things in their own lives even if they are different in specifics. This is not to say that Angie’s issues are diminished by that fact, but rather that Angie is not alone. She is not “doing something wrong” nor is she “one messed up person”. No, she is like everyone else, dealing the best they can.

Now the thing is, there are a lot of people who respect you. Saying something like you did today will have the opposite effect than what you fear. People are not going to look down on you, instead they will again look at you for inspiration. “If Angie has issues and is dealing with them in a positive manner…maybe I can too.”

So again, thanks.”

“as one of the people who has been worried about you and this for years….i couldnt be more proud to call you my friend for doing this for yourself and for continuing to walk down the hard path even when it sucks”

“Hey….been trying to think of something to say since you shared that note with me, but I’m having trouble thinking of the words…. I just want to say that I’m honored and humbled that I was one of the ones you chose to share with, and I want to tell you that I think you are a brave and amazing person…,it takes so much guts to share things like that with your friends and I really admire your courage both to share it and to commit to sobriety which I know is a struggle. I saw that post over the summer but did not realize there was more to it. I am so happy that you hit the 90-day mark and I want to let you know that we are here if you ever need anything. Again, not sure if that came out right but basically I wanted to say thank you for sharing, congrats on 90 days, and I really admire your courage, bravery, and determination and I think you are a strong, amazing, kick-ass lady”

“I read. I love you. I’m a very imperfect person and I appreciate the lengths you go through to improve yourself. You really do inspire me. I still want to hang out and be silly. You are the best.”

#1, “vs. the many people who are successful, healthy and balanced”. These people don’t exist. Seriously. They don’t. EVERYONE has something that they struggle to balance. #2, “I’ll never be considered someone who is perfect, without flaws, or mistake free”. This goes hand in hand with #1. No one expects you to be. It’s impossible. Look, we all have things we work on. And I can’t speak for everyone on your list (cause I don’t know them all), but I know a LARGE majority of them would do just about anything for you. Period (and yes I’m one of them). I certainly understand the drinking thing. Alcoholism runs in my family, so I know all to well how this can be difficult for you. But know that we are here for you, and I have no intention of treating you any different, knowing the above information. ::MAJOR HUGS::” (the quotes above were from my initial note”

“Congratulations, 90 days is FUCKING HUGE. I feel I have so much to say and yet can’t say it all. So, I’m going to leave it at Congratulations. 90 days is FUCKING HUGE.”

Ang, first I want you to know how incredibly proud of you I am on several levels…opening up like this is such a brave thing to do, and I think as hard as it was to say these things out loud it will help you along in your journey. I can appreciate the difficulty and anxiety of choosing not to participate in an activity that can be SUCH a major part of social gatherings. On the flip side I realized after reading this, it was causing me some anxiety not knowing where you were with things… so thank you again for sharing.

If it is EVER something that would be helpful for you I will abstain from drinking if you need a fun sober hang out person at a party. I want you to know this offer is not made out of pity, it will not make me have LESS fun at said party, and I don’t feel “obligated” to make the offer. Along with being someone you can come to, I feel like this is something I can offer to help someone who I love very much in a moment of time. There are amazing super fun times to be had my friend, and we don’t need to have alcohol to enjoy them. Love you lots and sending lots of hugs”

I haven’t gotten a single slightly negative comment, and no one seems odd or awkward around me as far as I can tell.

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