I was quite inspired by my friend Tori’s post on “Shame”.. You can read it here. http://sothisissober.com/index.php/2016/07/19/shame/. In this post Tori looks at the feelings so many drinkers have recounted, of shame, cognitive dissonance and anxiety surrounding their drinking. Most people, myself included, had these feeling at least intermittently for a long time, years probably, before they stopped drinking. I though it was just me ..
Read that again.
I THOUGHT IT WAS JUST ME
The commonest, most widely described feeling amongst people who drink too much (and let’s not forget the huge number of people that applies to…) One in six women in the UK … Estimating population of 65 million of whom half are women, that’s more than 5 million women in the UK alone, feeling like this .. And I though it was just me … And I bet I’m not the only person who though it was ‘just them’
How can this be ? How can I have got to the age of 51 carrying this enormous burden of shame and disgust with myself and never worked out that OTHER PEOPLE MIGHT FEEL LIKE THIS TOO … I Honestly thought I felt like this because of my upbringing and my mother’s disapproval of my drinking (to be honest, anyone’s drinking) but it’s not that is it – or only a small amount. The majority comes from the internal critical voice, that says you could be ‘doing better’ , that knows you are harming yourself with alcohol , and sets up this shame and self loathing .. And we don’t share it.. We don’t share it…
Tori makes the point that ‘connection’ with others is vital, and honesty is necessary for that connection. I completely agree, but honesty makes us vulnerable which is why we keep the truth, and out shame to ourselves. I am determined to break this cycle of fear and shame, and reach out in real life as I have done on line.
So I told Mr Lily about my blog.
I have been hesitant about this, because once it’s said I can’t take it back, and the blog is public, and raw and honest in places. To let Mr lily in means exposing aspects of myself that may mean he will run away, and I don’t want that. But by keeping this important part of my life away from Mr Lily, it occurred to me I’m not really being as open and honest with him, as I would like him to be with me… And I should have faith, and trust … Because without faith and trust… Well problems lie.
I hope I don’t regret the decision, it’s a first step in sharing how I really feel. I’m not suggesting I will be sharing my inmost thoughts with all and sundry, but I come back to the phrase ” if you want things to be different, you have to do something different”.. This is fundamentally different. A planned, sober decision to share how it really is .. With the hope of increasing communication and connection.