I see you. I know that you try to hide it but I understand the anguish underneath your front. You’re not alone in this. You are never alone in this. This is written as I remember the times that I’ve found hardest, and so directed at no one in particular – though if it helps, I’m glad.
To the drinker trying to figure out if they have a problem, or are having a hard time – hi, I see you there. Things are tough, and self medicating, or hiding, with alcohol might feel like the answer. I can’t tell you if you’ve a problem or not, but I can tell you I’m here to listen, if ever you need. Only you can decide that. I can tell you that generally, if you are considering if you’re drinking is a problem it probably is. I can tell you that it will start to get better, if you open your heart and share what’s on your mind. You are not alone.
To the person hungover, or going through withdrawal. Hi, I see you. My heart goes out to you – this can be the worse feeling in the world. I want you to know that support is out there, please use it. That shaking feeling, the sweats, The Fear, the craving already hitting even as you’re vomiting up the drinks of yesterday – I understand. I’ve been there. You are worth getting better, you are worth recovery. You are not alone.
To the person who has recently relapsed – hi. I see you. You haven’t let anyone down, this is a fight for survival against a powerful and cunning disease. It’s ok. You can still do this. Let me help you now the paths got tough – we aren’t meant to hike this trek alone. Reach out, talk to me, hit a meeting. Don’t be angry at yourself – your previous sober count isn’t wasted. This is so fucking tough, but pick yourself up and let’s get on track again. Forgive yourself, and move on – don’t dwell on it. I believe you can do this, even if you don’t believe in yourself right now. You are not alone.
To the person in long term recovery, wondering what their role in life, recovery and the universe is – hi. I see you. This journey is still challenging, no matter how many years in and when the ‘recovery’ medals shine has maybe dimmed. Some things get easier, some get harder. I can tell you your voice still matters – your story is powerful and the wisdom you’ve figured out on the way here is invaluable. Your contribution is huge, and you are helping others just by being here. You will inspire so many without knowing, and I’m proud of you, and to know you. Life is still tough, but look at how far you’ve come in dealing with it! Amazing. It will get easier and the hard times will pass. You are not alone.
To the person who is hiding a slip, or relapse, in fear. Hi, I see you there. You’ve nothing to fear, this is a judgement free zone. We’ve all made mistakes, and this illness is powerful – for some relapse is part of the journey. Remember you need to be open and honest to be authentic, and for us to help you through this time. My heart is open to you. You are not alone.
To the person who is testing how the word ‘alcoholic’ tastes in your mouth – hi, I see you. It might seem bitter to swallow now but I promise it is so much better than any alcohol you’ve drowned in before. This acceptance could be the first day of your best life, if you want. I know how terrifying, and overwhelming this feels. I know the thought alone makes you want to grab a drink. I know you wonder how you could ever enjoy life sober. You can, you can do this, and I’m here for whenever you need. You are not alone.
To the person who knows they desperately need to stop drinking, but doesn’t feel ready. Hi, I see you there. I can’t decide when the party stops for you – but at some point every drinker takes their last drink. I hope to God yours is because you’ve chosen to stop. Just do one thing for me, please – write down the five worst experiences that you’ve had due to drink. Sometimes this is frightening enough to realise we have crashed to our bottom but have been numb to the impact. You are not alone.
To the person doubting the sincerity of those in recovery – hi, I see you there. This might feel a little bit ‘much’ at times, and the phrases used might seem alien. But I can promise you that the kindness offered is meant – because the people that offer it have been in your position too. And it left such a healing on their hearts that they desperately want to pass it on, and help someone they recognise the pain in. You might feel no one understands, but trust me when I say these people do. Listen to the feelings, and the relatable parts. If you listen, it can help you. You are not alone.
To the person approaching a sober milestone but feeling flat and deflated – I see you. Birthdays are tough, and a complete head fuck at times. It’s ok to find them hard. Do what you need to to get through them, and know that I’m proud of you for doing that. You are valued, and doing amazing things. If it’s too tough remember, it’s just one day – and you can get through another. You are not alone.
There are so many more stories, and people, and experiences that I can’t begin to share. I’ve been most of these people, at one time or another, and so I get it. No matter what stage of drinking, or recovery you are, it can feel impossibly tough. Wherever you are at, remember it’s always a ‘we’ thing. We need you, you need us and together we help each other along. If you need help or support, reach out. If you think a member of our team might be struggling, reach out to them first. Check in with one another. Because without each other, we’ve got nothing to keep us on this road.