Tuesday, December 17, 2013

9 Days Until Christmas: Countdown of Good Reasons to be Sober Day 9

Day 9

Now here we are on the day it really is, unless you're reading this tomorrow then it's the day it really isn't. Maybe I had too much coffee. I had a heart-to-heart with Universe Amy about something I consider one of the biggest parts of my sobriety- humility. There's an art to being humble, it's hard to do in this world of look at me look at me look at me. How to balance being proud and shining without coming across as a know-it-all arrogant asshole.

9th Good Reason to be Sober

Humility & Grace

I have been struggling some with trying to feel this new feeling: pride. You know how that goes- welp, before a fall they say. I am so proud of myself for being sober for a year! For writing a blog people enjoy! For being really good at sobriety. I wonder when we got to a place that says be as good as you can but shut up about it. Trying to temper success, but still be able to show your joy. To be able to be all Dalai Lama about it. To radiate awesomeness rather than announce it. To have the strength to take a bow even if you're the only person in the audience. And then throw flowers too.

So much of our successes depend on what other people think of them. Being sober is trying to give me the ability to celebrate myself from within, and then be able to share that rather than megaphone it. It's hard when you're being sober and you need a parade every day to keep going and then you have to ask for it.

Humility and grace go together. I think as a whole we are pretty bad at accepting praise. "You look so pretty!" "Oh, no, I just rushed out of the house." "What a great shirt!" "Oh, no, I got it on sale for like 50% off." We have to explain why we aren't pretty, or why good stuff isn't true, or how it might be, but only because we got it at a discount.

It has been wonderfully overwhelming to get all the kind messages I have throughout the course of writing this blog. I am learning to accept praise offered and accept it with grace. "Thank you." "I appreciate you saying so." and not have to explain my goodness away as some sort of accident or markdown.

To be able to be humble, but without being meek. To be gracious. To be welcoming, and comforting, and to be proud.

Later.....

I had my women's group meeting today. My therapist gave me a one year chip. It took my breath away. In that room, tears running down my face, I felt humbled by the simple beauty of that gift, by her belief in me. I managed to say, with all the grace a sobbing woman can muster, "Thank you so much. I was lost for a really long time. It feels really good to be found." I felt humble and heartswollen and proud and full of messy grace. Overflowing of good reasons to be sober.

13 comments:

  1. I was sober for 180 days and then threw it away on Oct. 20. I have done a lot of stops and starts since then; the merry-go-round is horrid...I just want to get off and I can't seem to do it..I really need some help...I feel like I'm missing out when I don't drink, but I can't moderate..Anyone else relate out there?

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    1. Here I am....wondering what happened on the throw away day ,Oct 20?

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    2. You did not throw it away-you earned every day and you lived them sober and you keep them sober. The merry go round is horrid.

      What are you missing out on?

      Email me if you need a pen pal.

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  2. Thanks for sharing your good reasons! It is such a tough time of year to stay sober, so your blog posts are very much appreciated. Betty x

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  3. Your # 9 and 10 together make a nice balance. Humble but not meek, and taking good care of yourself while being present to others, they're both so important. I love what you call your messy grace. Focusing on that myself over here! Big congrats on your one year chip!

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    1. Thank you! I love me some messy grace. It means you are really feeling the moment.

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  4. I don't think you should be humble about this at all, shout it out girl, tell the world. "I'm Sober!" Do you know what a miracle it is that we go from feeling such shame to feeling such pride about our struggle.
    "Hallelujah! You made it a year! Can you freakin' Believe It? Remember Day 1? No way in hell were you going to make it a week, right?? Look at you! Look at you! Look at you! OMG! LOOK AT YOU!!!

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    1. I am so proud of making it to a year! I agree.

      I also have to have humility- if someone is trying to learn something new maybe the last thing they want is some loud fathead coming in and screeching about how awesome they are.

      So I'm proud- with balance. :)

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  5. You know, I just wanted to tell you that ever since I was introduced to your blog from Good Housekeeping I have been coming back again and again to read your older posts. Your words could be my own, they are uncannily my experience. I had no idea that there were women out there who actually KNEW what it felt like to experience this, how silly is that? Of course there are. I mean, you always hear about so and so being a 'lush' or that crazy uncle degenerate who basically lives in the gutter, but you don't think of how easily something like 'wine while you cook dinner' can cause your life to unravel and can no longer recognize yourself. And isn't it so easily swept under the rug in our society? I'm just so, so, grateful to hear your words and your inner voice, so nakedly honest. You give me so much hope. I have been waffling around between 'CAN I socially go out with my husband and friends and have a drink and not end up blacking out later', the frightening label of 'former drinker' to..dun dun dun...' ALCOHOLIC'? I can't drink, period, because it attacks my soul like a poison, and it has taken me so long to accept that.

    So, anyways, thanks for helping me understand things within myself that otherwise would have been terrifying to admit. And so I begin.

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    1. Once you accept the fact that you just can't I hope it gets easier to stop. Email me if you need a pen pal.

      Thank you so much for your kind words, they mean a lot.

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