I have been posting a lot on instagram recently, particularly honest stories about my drinking life, how I drank to cope with boredom, stress and loneliness. I have been utterly amazed at the positive feedback I've received from people in recovery, in discovery or sober curious. There really is so much power in sharing our stories and putting ourselves out there.
Everyday I receive messages from people who contact me for help or to say thank you. That my stories are resonating with them and helping them to feel more normal. This is the crux of it isn't' it, when we drink a lot we feel shame because we don't feel normal. We must be broken in some way and that is embarrassing to admit. We tend to drink secretly, only our minds truly understanding the effort that goes into making sure we have enough to drink and that we are drinking often enough to feel satisfied. Its a dirty secret for so many and it was for me. I was ashamed that I cared so much about the wine on the table and where the next glass was coming from. I would seek out the alcohol in every scenario to make sure I wouldn't run dry and be left feeling disappointed. I always broke the promises I made to myself and then feel deeply irritated by my lack of control the next day. All this inner turmoil going on inside me and I felt alone with it.
What a wonderful feeling to know that so many people grapple with the same shit. It really is freeing. I have shared stories about how I drank as a new mum, a single mum and a wine o clock obsessed mum. I've written openly about the darker side of my drinking habits and how many excruciating hangovers I managed. I've posted the most ugly photos of myself hanging and tired. I've bared my truth and I did it in the name of progress.
You see I am getting as much out of this as you are. I feel healed in so many ways too, when I see people genuinely resonate and feel motivated by my honesty. It's a fantastic by-product of sharing my story that I wasn't expecting. I never realised so many people would like my posts or feel some comfort from them, and that's really empowering.
It got me thinking about how much this raises the importance of sharing your stories too. Even if you are anonymous online and have no pictures of yourself or your life to share. It doesn't matter. You can still follow accounts like mine and comment on them to get your truth out. There is something deeply rewarding about getting what's in your head or in your past out in front of you. Putting your story and yourself out there is very freeing. Stripping yourself bare and just being you. Do it. Try and post some things that tell your truth and see how much we are there for you. It is unbelievably healing and I recommend everyone in sobriety do it.
Good luck x