Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Caring Isn't Punishment

For the past few days I've felt like this child in the corner. I know that's what made me give up my Whole30- it started to feel like punishment, like I'd done something wrong and deserved to do without. Hold up.

I realized this morning that I carry this notion that nurturing myself has negative connotations. That it's a bad thing. A selfish, self-centered, greedy thing. Well, dang. Where did that come from? If you wrote to me and said you were doing something nice for yourself I would be all for it. Hell, I even have a whole day of this blog devoted to cheering for myself and y'all.

So why does my inner bully start tapping the bat when I'm starting to feel pretty good about things?

And when did I stop believing that I was a worthy person? Because I cannot remember a time when I didn't feel that way. Whoa.

Getting sober uncovers all these simple truths about me. It's like I'm meeting a whole new person. It's pretty damn cool, and pretty unsettling at times too. If you'd asked me three months ago if I liked myself I would have said flippantly, "Sure, I guess I do." And I really wouldn't have known the answer, I didn't even know who I was. I was a shell.

If you asked me that today? Right now? I would say with my head, "Hmmmmm. I think so. I'm still figuring this one out." and with my heart I would say, "I would die for this woman. She is brave, and kind, and strong. I love her."

As I would say to my oldest, Jack (he's eight):

"It's OK to think your self is cool."

I think it's time to learn that lesson for myself.


  1. I remember a conversation I had with my husband when I was very first sober. I was crying and telling him how raw I felt and how afraid I was because I no longer knew WHO I was. More importantly, I was terrified of who I would turn out to be.

    Not a lot of self love there.

    I think it was because I'd never been stripped of all my defenses like I was during that time and, given my childhood, I had no role model for who I should be.

    Scary stuff.

    Just know that it does get better and easier to see the good in yourself and, to quote you, think your self is cool.

    I already think you're cool.


    1. Thank you. It's so scary some days trying to be the sober me, since all I'm used to is that ol' wino me.

      My childhood role models kind of sucked too. Although I had both of my parents and they were OK, they both grew up in very alcoholic chaotic families and you just can't help but living your normal. Even if no one is wasted and fucking all the neighbors they still modeled that upbringing to some extent.

      You're damn cool too sister. :)

  2. Really good post!

    What an awesome thing for your boy to say! He's right. I remember, though when I first started to try to get sober, writing that I deserved to be sober on a SMART message board.

    Then I burst into tears thinking I don't deserve anything good. I don't know when that crazy idea started either.

    A wise friend once told me-- you have got to remember that time spent on yourself is not wasted time, nor is it time spent away from your daughter. (She was a baby at the time & I didn't listen much).

    Anyway, your self is very cool & your self is very brave. You are someone you can be proud to be.

    1. Thanks so much. Much of my sobriety is changing the negative messages to myself. To be deserving, not what I think I deserve.

  3. Great post Amy.. great. Love the slow unveiling of ourselves to ourselves (and the blog-o-sphere!) that occurs in sobriety. I do thank you so much for sharing what you are going through. If it's any consolation I lasted only 4 days of the sugar-free January thing... now is not the time for that for me. I might do it at a better time though, just now wasn't the time (MA, summer hols etc etc). Give the Whole30 another go sometime when it feels right. Doesn't have to be now. And remember - hell we're awesome because we choose not to drink alcohol! That lovely numbing life choice that so many people make, and we used to embrace with boozy abandon, we have kicked that loser behaviour to the curb! So we are awesome. xxxxx

  4. I completely relate to this love.

    You are brave and kind and smart and strong and generous.

    You are very cool.

  5. you are enough. you're very cool, you're sober, and you rock. have i said that yet today? Sober Girls Rock :)