Nothing is so bad that you can't talk about it.

Worried woman with head in her hand

Nothing is so bad that you can’t talk about it.

That’s a big statement right there, but it’s one that I’m finding to be so true.

I was a closet drinker, hiding behind closed doors not wanting anyone to find out about my little, ok big, secret.  I really didn’t want anyone to notice, let alone call me out on it.

But I couldn’t hide my secret from the one person that really mattered, and that was me.  No amount of lying to myself, justification, rationalisation, or hiding under the doona could hide the simple fact that I had a relationship with alcohol that was unhealthy.  Really, really unhealthy.

It’s definitely not everyone’s cup of tea to stop drinking and then tell your story, warts and all.  I get that.  But for me telling my story is healing, and cathartic, and lets me do what I know in my heart I am on this earth to do, and that is to help others.  Just like me.  Others that need a hand up out of the spiral of shame and blame and guilt.

Recently I told my story on Motherland Australia podcast, with the ever so kind Steph Trethewey.  I’ve told my drinking story plenty of times over the last couple of years as I have been healing, but always from the perspective of me as a drinker, never from the perspective of me as a mother, and a woman.

At first I was pretty pleased, but on second listen I crumbled into a heap.  It took me a while to realise that I hadn’t actually heard my story before told in my own voice, and it knocked me for a bit of a six. 

It wasn’t what I said, but more what I felt as I listened back that really affected me.  It was the feelings that came up around the stories and memories that took me by surprise.  I will probably never talk about those feelings in a public forum, as they are way too personal for the airwaves, but I sure as eggs want to make sure that I heal all those hurts.

And that is so much part of finding freedom from alcohol.  When we drink we numb the pain, the hurts, the uncomfortableness and the downright stabbing pains that are almost too hard to bear.  Drinking keeps us from having to deal with stuff that we would rather not deal with.  And it doesn’t even have to be bad stuff.  It might just be hiding out from not wanting to do the dishes, or deal with the kids right now.

But does it do us any good in the long run?  No.  It just keeps us stuck in the shame, blame and guilt spiral.  More pain.  More drink.  More pain.  More drink. 

I will deal with those feelings.  In private, with my own coach.  I no longer need to numb the pain with alcohol.  I have so many other really effective strategies that I can pull out of the bag now that alcohol is out of the picture.  

I see healing from alcohol as a bit like peeling an onion.  You deal with each layer (or hurt or feeling) as it comes up, one layer at a time.  But every now and again you get a soft slimy layer that you know is not a good one.  But it still has to be dealt with before you get to the beautiful sweet centre.  And as you learn to examine and heal from all those numbed out feelings, real healing starts to take place.

So nothing is so bad that you can’t talk about it.  It’s just choosing the right time for you, in the right way.  If you are ready to talk, I’m here for you.  You can reach out to me here.

 

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