These Are the Days

Be Yourself

I spent many years trying to be the person I thought others wanted me to be. I tried to act the way I thought they wanted me to act; look the way I thought they wanted me to look; say the things I thought they wanted me to say. Getting sober didn’t just give me a second chance at life; it introduced me to a whole new me – the real me. I was finally able to discover who I was. It was scary at first. I felt like I was learning how to live life all over again while getting to know myself. It was like dipping your toes into a steaming hot bath, until gradually your whole body is emerged in the water. And, once in, you take a deep breath and exhale, because at that moment all seems right in the world.

Very slowly, little by little I immersed myself into discovering who I was. What did I like? Who did I enjoy being around? Without booze, how did I react to boredom, anger, sadness, happiness? It was overwhelming at times, but also exhilarating. I’ve come a long way since those first few months. I’m settling into living life as me – just me. I like the person I see looking back at me in the mirror. I’m strong; I know what I like and what I don’t like; I’m okay with my imperfections; in fact, I embrace them because they are part of what makes up my imperfect self.

Lately, I’ve found myself at a loss for words when it comes to my writing. I’ve come to a place in my recovery where I don’t have daily struggles. Wait, let me re-word that. I don’t have the constant weight of recovery on my mind. Sober life and life have become one, which I believe is a miracle all in itself. Is life perfect? Heck, no! I still struggle like any “normal” person. I’m challenged daily by insecurities and relationships. However, I face those challenges with a strong sense of who I am and who I want to be.

When people ask me how I am, I say “Good, really good.” And, guess what? I mean it. For many years I didn’t mean it. Things might have been good, but there was always a “but.” Nothing was ever okay, just the way it was. There are certain areas of my life that I wish were different. Not everyone likes the person I have become. And, that’s okay. Like we say in recovery, it’s none of my damn business what other people think about me.

For now, I’m just living life. Enjoying those silly and sweet moments with my kids and husband. For those in the beginning stages of your recovery or who continue to struggle with staying sober, I hope you can find encouragement in my story. Life will never be perfect, but if you do the work and stay sober, you will discover a simple, enjoyable and rewarding life – a genuine life that is worth living.

19 responses

  1. I love it. You think you’re at a loss for words but the clarity of your mind helps you examine that. Once considered you take another step forward. Good, you’re really good. Those of us in your world think so too.

  2. Wonderful, Chenoa. We all get to that point where constant thoughts of recovery and/or thinking of drinking or not drinking start to fade a bit, and we start to realize we are living to live now. We are evolving in our journeys and we are getting to new places and seeing the light in different places. Our focus starts to shift and we are amongst the living. I too have gone through this, and find my journey changing and turning as it needs. Sometimes it slows down, other times it’s quicker paced. Just living in the moment of life…is fantastic.

    It’s no coincidence that at some point, we sober bloggers start to slow down our posts, that we engage more in the offline of life than the heavily self-examined online one. Many of us have contemplated (and have gone through with) shutting it down, or shifting to a new direction or something along those lines. I think it’s healthy.

    Like you, when I do say “I’m good”, I have to actually think about it for a second – and say to myself…yeah, I *am* good…not used to that still…ha ha.

    Keep living the simple yet loving life there, Chenoa. Post when the spirit moves you, stay connected, love deeper, give generously…like you always have.

    Blessings,
    Paul

  3. I personally find this SO inspiring and SO encouraging. And I echo what Chris said – for someone feeling lost for words this is written with remarkable clarity! Beautiful post – thank you.

    Lilly x

  4. Great post.

    So true – and at times you don’t even really realise it do you? Well I don’t until something happens.

    Just the other day a colleague said “New glasses?” They were I’ve had them about a month but he’d only just noticed. “They look really cool”. I laughed, he defended his statement saying he did really think they were. I wasn’t laughing at him but that he thought that was the important thing.

    I bought them because… they were comfortable first and foremost and they were the right size to take the lenses I need (being old I need varifocals now!) and finally they looked ok. Now years ago, yes when drinking, I bought a pair based on the name on the side and that I’d thought they’d look cool and make me cool and clearly more attractive to the ladies. I remember taking them on and off in a meeting with one lady I was trying to impress. She finally said “Stop fiddling with the bloody glasses, I’ve noticed them, I’ve noticed the name… I’m not impressed”. Haha! Now someone is impressed and I find it funny that they think that I even considered the fashion factor.

    Comfortable in my skin – I didn’t even comphrend that phrase when I first heard it – now I live it. How amazing is that?

  5. I woke up this morning, on my Day 7, to this remarkable post. I relish the day when I am at a loss for words. Lately, it seems I have too many! Your thoughts are so eloquent, direct and heartfelt. You truly are an inspiration to those of us on the ground floor. Keep writing when the spirit moves you; you are helping lots of people out here!

  6. It’s nice to not have drinking struggles to write about all the time but the loss of words in terms of writing can be frustrating. You’re a great writer and will find your groove. Your story is an inspiration and constantly being revealed. 🙂

  7. Chenoa! I love this – this is so me too – I had no clue wh0 I was, I only knew how to be who You wanted me to be! And we find ourselves, I couldn’t put it any better. Thank you so much for sharing this is very inspiring and I very happy for you to reach this awesome point in sobriety!

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