In the last month or so I’ve had a few different people accuse me of glossing over my alcoholism on social media. I’m not sure what that’s all about, exactly. I assume this doesn’t occur to most people and the angry belief that I’m not tweeting/blogging/Instagramming/whatever-ing enough about addiction comes from a place of being Weirdly Focused and/or Overly Invested. But I suppose it’s also true that I talked about it a lot for a while, and then I didn’t.

I have one of those sobriety apps on my phone, the kind that simply tells you how long it’s been since your last drink. At first I launched it all the time and stared at the counter like it held some great secret promise. I’d switch between the days and months view to see what felt longer, as if there was some sort of gaming checkpoint hidden in there. As if you don’t go all the way back to zero if you fuck up.

Today the app says I’ve been sober for 8 months and 22 days. (Or: 266 days.) The numbers seem calmer, more certain. I have no doubt that I will see twelve months on that screen, and that it will keep climbing.

What I didn’t tell you before is that I’d been backsliding for a long time. I was drinking in secret when JB traveled. It wasn’t happening frequently, but it was often enough for me to get progressively worse. I sometimes wonder if part of me engineered the humiliating public events of last June as a desperate way of throwing on the brakes — although perhaps that lends too much control to what was clearly an out-of-control situation.

The first few weeks were as raw and terrible as anything I’ve ever gone through. For days on end I ate sandwiches made from Wonder bread, yellow mustard, and bologna, in some strange attempt to be gentle with myself. (It was like eating something from a half-remembered childhood memory — the wadded-up dough that sticks to the roof of your mouth, the bland hotdog taste of the bologna — and I’ve never wanted it before or since.) I slept too much, I cried too easily, I was convinced I was utterly worthless and my family would be better off without me. I twitched in shame and my heart pounded with anxiety. I was utterly revolted by the person I saw in the mirror.

And slowly it got better. I stopped passively suffering and I started working on healing. Little by little, that suffocating miasma of self-loathing began clearing away. The days added up.

I don’t go to meetings these days, but I still see a counselor. We mostly talk about inconsequential things to start with, then meander around until we get to a subject that feels like it’s tugging on something, and we delve into that. I think of our appointments as my regularly-scheduled emotional spring cleaning. Lifting up rugs and exposing the detritus I’ve swept out of sight.

I belong to a private Facebook group for alcoholics, and while I don’t post there very often, I read it every day. Over and over, I read about people relapsing. For a while I wondered how healthy that might be, whether it created a discouraging outlook that backsliding was somehow inevitable, but I’ve come to believe these stories serve as an important reminder for me. They are, in maybe a morbid sort of way, an ongoing exercise in gratitude.

Last but not least, I’m committed to a fitness routine. I know without a shadow of a doubt that exercise has a direct impact on my mental health. It is, I think, the most critical part of my recovery.

My name’s Linda, and I’m an alcoholic. I will never stop being ashamed of the terrible choices I’ve made. But I’m facing forward now. I’m doing things differently than I did before, and my outlook is stronger. I am hopeful about my future. I’m a thousand times healthier than I was 266 days ago. I fully own what led me to that point, and I’m incredibly grateful not to be there any more.

I feel good, these days. Really good. And I’m glad you’ve been here when I’ve needed to talk. It’s helped me more than you could know.

Comments

108 Responses to “266 days and counting”

  1. Amy on March 16th, 2014 3:32 pm

    Congratulations, Linda! Thanks for sharing.

  2. kathleenicanrah on March 16th, 2014 3:39 pm

    you don’t owe any of us anything, or specifically owe us your words on this area of your life, but we are lucky to have them. thanks for sharing this.

  3. Stephanie on March 16th, 2014 3:40 pm

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: thank you, so very much, for sharing this journey. Someone I love fiercely is an actively drinking alcoholic, and your stories and insight have helped me develop some much-needed empathy while also detaching from the choices he is making that have absolutely nothing to do with me. It’s a brutal path, and you have helped me understand that it must be even more brutal for him. Well done, Linda.

  4. Melissa on March 16th, 2014 3:54 pm

    Thanks for sharing. I’m rooting for you.

  5. JudithNYC on March 16th, 2014 3:57 pm

    What do people want? If readers are in any way familiar with alcoholism they know what a struggle it is. And anyway, everyone’s path is different. Sometimes we need to share and sometimes we need to hold it all close in order to deal.

    I am bipolar and not ashamed, although many times I cringe when I remember the awful mistakes I have made. Sometimes I share freely but when I am feeling fragile I tend to go quiet because I need all my energy to hold myself together and not go on the deep end. Can’t imagine how weird it must be to have people telling me I need to share more.

    Most of us that follow you admire you a great deal but you do not owe us to bare yourself “nekked”. Do what feels right for you and your three guys.

  6. JudithNYC on March 16th, 2014 3:58 pm

    Oops, that’s OFF the deep end. English is my second language and prepositions are my nemesis

  7. Sandy on March 16th, 2014 4:13 pm

    Like you ,exercise is a critical part of my sobriety and mental health. I am rooting for you Linda and am very inspired by your journey!

  8. Erin@MommyontheSpot on March 16th, 2014 4:15 pm

    Congratulations! You should be so proud. Thank you for sharing your story!

  9. Barb. on March 16th, 2014 4:21 pm

    You are immensely brave to talk about something so personal and painful, and I’ll always admire you for it. And I understand both the need to talk about it and the need to focus on the both more-joyful and more-mundane moments of life. Those little moments are far more important, anyway. Life isn’t always about the big gestures and grandiose statements.

  10. Sara on March 16th, 2014 4:24 pm

    Thanks for sharing Linda. And it is your journey to share as you choose. You are quite brave!

  11. Jennifer on March 16th, 2014 4:28 pm

    Thank you very much for sharing something so personal and private. I admire you.

  12. @ShannonSheh on March 16th, 2014 4:35 pm

    I can’t remember if I shared this with you before but my sister was mired in addiction for years. She committed suicide in May 2012, leaving behind three young kids (now 11, 10 and 8; they had been with me and my husband for years prior to her death). I say that not to be all PAY ATTENTION, WARNING, ALERT, ADDICTION IS BAD, DURR but instead to say fuck anyone right in the eye who is super invested in your recovery. You are doing an amazing job, you’re still standing, you’re being incredibly honest and raw about your experiences but again most importantly you’re doing you and being the best you can be for you, your life, your family. I know I am an internet stranger so this may not mean much but I am so, so proud of you. Maybe that’s too invested, too, I don’t really know but I just want to convey to you that it makes my chest heavy and my eyes watery knowing you are working so hard to get up a very steep hill. Ah too much rambling now but keep it up, you’re doing great and I admire the shit out of you.

  13. Alice on March 16th, 2014 5:00 pm

    I’m so proud of you, Linda.

  14. Mary on March 16th, 2014 5:05 pm

    Thanks for being willing to share your story!

  15. AnEmilyB on March 16th, 2014 5:13 pm

    I am happy and proud for you. Thank you for sharing such a difficult experience.

  16. Debra on March 16th, 2014 5:24 pm

    Thanks for sharing and thanks for being you.

  17. Penne on March 16th, 2014 5:26 pm

    Your job is to take care of you and your family, not to entertain us or teach the world how to cope/survive/succeed/etc. You owe us nothing and it’s a treat that you share your brilliantly crafted words with us whether it’s about an addiction, a sofa or a family vacation. At the end of the day, it’s your choice what you share and if people don’t like that, it is certainly not your concern. Keep it up. I admire the hell out of you for your courage and your talent. We’re all rooting for you.

  18. jan on March 16th, 2014 5:28 pm

    I think you are amazing. Thanks for sharing, it really truly means so much!

  19. NancyB on March 16th, 2014 5:38 pm

    I appreciate that you shared that with us. I think you are an amazing person, a great mother from what I witness through your blog.
    I hope you never feel like you “have to” tell us something because you feel pressured but we are always hear for you.

  20. Kristen on March 16th, 2014 5:53 pm

    You are such an inspiration. Thank you for sharing your story with us.

  21. Andrea on March 16th, 2014 6:07 pm

    <3

  22. sooboo on March 16th, 2014 6:16 pm

    You are an inspiration to more people than you can know. Your struggle has definitely made me think about where I’m being honest and where I’m not, in different arenas in my life. As others have said, reading your writing is a privilege. No one has a right to demand deeper knowledge of your private life. That’s more about them than you, but it sounds like you know all that! You’re the jam!

  23. Cindy on March 16th, 2014 6:19 pm

    Your honesty and willingness to be so open is very admirable. Screw anyone who flips you shit about it. Keep kicking ass!

  24. Jen on March 16th, 2014 6:32 pm

    Thank you for sharing your story with us.

  25. Lauren on March 16th, 2014 6:47 pm

    Congratulations, and thank you for sharing! Continuing to root for you!

  26. Kelly on March 16th, 2014 6:49 pm

    Slow clap, Linda. You don’t owe any of us any part of your story, but thank you for sharing your vulnerability and your steps to a healthier you. I have heard nothing that makes me feel more interested in therapy than this: “I think of our appointments as my regularly-scheduled emotional spring cleaning. Lifting up rugs and exposing the detritus I’ve swept out of sight.” That’s a nudge I’ve needed.

  27. Emily on March 16th, 2014 6:55 pm

    Oh, people are idiots. You don’t owe anyone anything. Just be true to yourself.

  28. Koa on March 16th, 2014 7:20 pm

    I think women sometimes say the “it’s only” too much, like, oh, I’ve “only” lost 20 lbs. Or I “only” got a small promotion. Or I “only” stayed sober and focused on my path for 266 fucking days. Bravo to you, and bravo to everyone who sticks with anything for “even” or “only” one day. If it doesn’t stick, then you pick it back up and go again. Burpees, kale juice, coconut flour muffins, sobriety. I can only imagine the service you’ve done for countless people by writing about this at all, once. That you keep sharing is a beautiful gift. Love it.

  29. jody on March 16th, 2014 7:35 pm

    Proud of you! Thanks for sharing. Keep up the good work!!

  30. Mary on March 16th, 2014 8:30 pm

    I am so happy for you. As a fellow traveler, I think it helps me to read about the relapses, as well as the success stories. Even more than three years out, I don’t ever want to get too cocky, or take it for granted. I’m far enough out now that I might forget what it did to me if I don’t hear about the relapses. For so many years, that was me.

  31. Courtney on March 16th, 2014 8:55 pm

    And tomorrow will be 267!

    Congratulations, Linda. I’m so very very proud of you.

  32. Claire on March 16th, 2014 9:10 pm

    Rooting for you!

  33. Scott on March 16th, 2014 9:27 pm
  34. Marna on March 16th, 2014 9:54 pm

    Linda- from one addict to another – your recovery and your program is yours. You owe no one else any explanation. Your job is to work your program and to keep your side of the street clean – that’s it.

    Congrats on your sobriety

    I mean it.

    Marna
    30 years 1 month and 6 days.

  35. AlisonC on March 17th, 2014 2:15 am

    Keep up the good work!

    I think some people forget that at the other side of a blog is a real person and not a soap opera! We want to hear more about the person’s life forgetting that we are not just watching on but that someone is actually living it.

  36. Barbara on March 17th, 2014 2:54 am

    Read this the other day and passed it on to my dear friend who is battling addiction to meth:

    “Don’t let your wounds make you to become someone you’re not.”

    You Go Girl! You are such an inspiration!

  37. Jean on March 17th, 2014 5:09 am

    I also admire you…..your strength and honesty…

  38. H on March 17th, 2014 5:41 am

    As others have said, you do what you need to do. Your path is your path. Thank you for sharing. You deserve to be proud! Congrats!

  39. Tracy on March 17th, 2014 5:44 am

    <3

  40. Maggie on March 17th, 2014 6:22 am

    Congrats to you, Linda. It is your right to talk about it or not talk about it. I appreciate you sharing here and it takes an immense amount of courage to put it out there, but when and if you decide never to speak of alcohol, alcoholism, addiction, etc. again, that will be your choice and no one should say shit about it.

  41. april on March 17th, 2014 6:33 am

    You owe us nothing, but also I don’t understand this “glossing over”. You are an alcoholic, and it colors your life but it is not all your life is. You deserve to be happy and healthy and to have focus beyond drinking or not drinking. Congratulations on every day.

  42. Deanna on March 17th, 2014 6:36 am

    I just wish I could give you a big hug. (and that it would not freak you out and/or you would think i was a stalker. or beat me up with your new skillz. *smile*) You are amazing.

  43. Hillary on March 17th, 2014 6:46 am

    Congratulations on your 266 days and on getting to a point where you’re feeling good.

    It seems awfully presumptuous of these other people to think they have any say in what you write about and when. I hope you don’t let them bother you.

  44. Jess on March 17th, 2014 6:54 am

    Linda, you are the most honest and real person I know on the internet. I am so amazed and proud of you for sharing all of this with us. I can only imagine what it is like to go through this and you have been incredibly honest and open. I am so happy for you- I can hear it in your voice. Congrats on 266!

  45. Shawna on March 17th, 2014 7:10 am

    Who the heck ARE these people accusing you of not sharing enough about your struggle publicly? “Glossing over”? Seriously?

    I can’t imagine why anyone would think it’s appropriate to exert public pressure on a stranger to share more than they want to! Ridiculous!

  46. Kelli on March 17th, 2014 7:30 am

    Having never met you in person, I still feel like I know you – and as odd as it may sound, I treasure our friendship.

    You’ve got a lot of people in your corner, Linda. Keep fighting the good fight.
    We believe in you.

  47. Jessica on March 17th, 2014 7:34 am

    You are amazing. Your boys – all 3 of them – are so lucky to have you.

  48. Mary McNally on March 17th, 2014 8:04 am

    I stumbled across this post in my search for all and sundry. You are brave to share your journey so honestly and humbly. My husband died at 51 from alcoholism as a secondary cause. I had no real personal experience with alcoholism (not in my immediate family background) until I married him. Continue with your self-healing. You are so deserving of it–and your family will be grateful for it.

  49. Mallory on March 17th, 2014 8:04 am

    Thanks for being you! Please write a book.

  50. GingerB on March 17th, 2014 8:13 am

    I am also an addict, my demon pain pills. I have almost a year, and I am super proud of your 266 days. 267, … Keep going, lady. I am tired of people wanting to make my life all about my recovery. Yes, it is important, but so are the things that led me to self medicate so desperately, and when those are the things I need to work on so I don’t relapse then that is what I work on first, and other people’s points of view be damned. I think you are lovely, flaws and all.

  51. Deb on March 17th, 2014 9:04 am

    What everyone else said.
    You’re doing great.

  52. Non-Anon on March 17th, 2014 9:13 am

    Oh my God, I was in tears at the bologna sandwich reference! I know it probably wasn’t meant to be funny, but I, too, ate the weirdest shit when I was first attempting sobriety. It was my way of being kind to myself, and by God, turkey bacon sandwiches were ALL I WANTED.

    I just stopped in to say that I had emailed you years ago re: AA when you were writing about your recovery. Your kind words and honest evaluation of what you were going through gave me the strength to look at my own life and choices. It wasn’t instant, and I’ve slipped and stumbled along the way, but thanks in part to you, I am now sober.

    You don’t owe us anything. Recovery is personal and hard, and I will never have the openness to share mine with the world as you do. But, just so you know, your sharing helped another addict get her life back.

    Thank you, from the bottom of my heart. (And keep up the good work!)

  53. sal on March 17th, 2014 9:14 am

    Your writing is stunning. Thank you for sharing…wishing you continued happiness, strength, and health.

  54. Jessi on March 17th, 2014 9:35 am

    I wish you all the best. Thank you for sharing something so personal.

  55. danish on March 17th, 2014 10:10 am

    Longtime reader pulling for you, so hard.

    I am always surprised at the bullshit you have to put up with from some readers/commenters/followers.

  56. Christy on March 17th, 2014 10:19 am

    Good for you, Linda. Always rooting for you.

  57. willikat on March 17th, 2014 10:24 am

    Wow… I shouldn’t be, but am still continued to be, amazed at how rude people can be on the internet. You owe none of us anything at all. And it’s not dishonest to keep parts of your life private.
    But thank you for all your honesty and great story-telling. Sharing the way you do is why people love you.
    Count me in as another fan who is pulling for day 267, 268, and so on…

  58. Ashley on March 17th, 2014 10:25 am

    267 days. You go, girl. Rooting for you. Thanks for sharing.

  59. Allison on March 17th, 2014 10:45 am

    I can’t believe the gall of people. I’m rooting for you, and happy for you, and so glad you share the bits of your life that you do. You inspire me in many ways. Thanks for letting us behind the curtain a bit. :)

  60. David on March 17th, 2014 11:26 am

    Thank you for sharing Linda. Today is my 31st day. Not much to brag about to others but alot for me and I’m doing it for me and not others. I go to meetings every night (except Saturday’s) and I find them helpful. I’m taking my 30 day chip this Friday as I enjoy that group the most and want to share with them. Congrats to you. Hopefully I will post on my 266th day.

  61. Kari on March 17th, 2014 11:32 am

    My husband is in recovery (almost 5 years), and I have learned so much about him, addiction, and myself through his experience.

    He goes to meetings a couple of times a week. He is the very last person who says that AA is the only way – but the very first to say that AA is the only thing that worked for him.

    Last night, we got in the subject of meetings and he explained to me that meetings don’t keep him sober, but that meetings are the best place he knows to be of service. That being of service to others who are struggling with addiction is one of the two things that keep him sober. The other is working the steps, which sounds a lot to me like emotional spring cleaning.

    I think your writing about this very personal and intense topic is being of service, and in a very powerful and meaningful way. And I am very grateful and awed by that kind of service.

  62. Maureen on March 17th, 2014 11:48 am

    I truly don’t understand some people. Where do they get off criticizing you for not sharing what is an intensely personal thing? Jesus. I am actually amazed at how much you are willing to talk about, I think it is an incredibly courageous thing to put out there. I know it must help other people, with the same problem-to know they are not alone. It must give them hope.

  63. June on March 17th, 2014 12:04 pm

    Keep going, Linda! Sorry that some people are asshats.

  64. Rachel on March 17th, 2014 12:05 pm

    Post about it, don’t post about it – whatever feels healthiest to you. I appreciate when you choose to share, because I have no doubt that you have readers who benefit, and I am glad to cheer your successes, but it is not your responsibility to share. Your remission is more important than your readers’ curiosity.

    Congratulations on 266 days.

  65. ememby on March 17th, 2014 12:12 pm

    Sorry that people are intended and unintended assholes. But so glad you have the perspective you have. There is no recipe for success or failure – it is your life, thanks for sharing the part that you do and as much as you do. And above all, congrats on 266. Way to go!

  66. Cara on March 17th, 2014 12:42 pm

    Jesus. There may be people in your life to whom you owe conversations, honesty, etc. Strangers on the internet are not among them. My guess is that those people are angry with themselves or with someone in their life who is struggling with or succumbing to addiction. They think you’re not being honest (or forthcoming enough, I suppose) because they are looking at you to validate their feelings or experiences. They are not your responsibility.

    Also, I am trying to think of something difficult I have done for 266 days in a row. I can’t come up with one. So, celebrate it, claim it and here’s to 267!

  67. Kris on March 17th, 2014 12:48 pm

    Truth? I respect your honesty about your addiction. It’s a shitty, miserable, soul-sucking disease; and anyone who accuses you of “glossing it over” can go fuck themselves with a red hot cattle prod. They are the same kind of people who “just can’t understand” why someone like Philip Seymour Hoffman didn’t just stop using heroin. Idiots. Every last one of ‘em.

    At the end of the day, this is YOUR blog with YOUR thoughts and YOUR stories. You don’t “owe” anyone any explanation or rationalization. Write what’s in your heart. If it’s about your boys, awesome. If it’s about the books you’re reading, great. And if it’s about your addiction, we’ll read it and be proud of you and love you all the more.

    (Wooftie. This came across a little bitchy and I really don’t mean for it to. But I’ve had it with the douchebaggery of the internet over the last few days.)

  68. Kris on March 17th, 2014 12:59 pm

    Also, to David at 11:26 am:

    31 days is amazing; and although I’m a virtual stranger, I’m proud of you for staying strong and taking care of yourself. You can do this.

  69. Donna on March 17th, 2014 4:11 pm

    Linda: I haven’t read the rest of the comments yet but I hope they’re a version of mine — I’m just appalled that someone has the nerve to take you to task for not talking more about addiction. YOU OWE US NOTHING. You were and are amazingly open and honest about your alcoholism – for those of us who have read you for years, it feels like you have honored us by sharing this part of your life. But if you hadn’t, it was your choice. We all have secret parts of our lives. Nowhere is it written that we have to bare all, ESPECIALLY to the Internet. Reveal what you like, and carry on being strong.

  70. Kate on March 17th, 2014 5:11 pm

    When you share, we should be both honored and humbled for that gift. But you owe us nothing and need to decide when and what you want to share. Be well.

  71. D on March 17th, 2014 6:06 pm

    My husband is at 7.5months of sobriety. It has been both hard and rewarding for him. He doesn’t talk about it much. Yet.

    Quite frankly it’s none of my business until he is ready to share about AA, Rehab and the things he has learned along the way.

    Congrats you.

  72. April on March 17th, 2014 7:24 pm

    You don’t owe us anything, but thank you for your honesty. It’s a cliche to say you’re brave and strong, but it’s also true.

    Congratulations on making it this far, and I hope those numbers on your app keep ticking higher and higher.

  73. Kristin on March 17th, 2014 8:16 pm

    I don’t think you glossed it over. And I don’t think it really matters what any of us think, anyways. It’s your story and your blog. You can tell it in the way that feels best to you. But for the record, I’m still rooting for you–even though I don’t know you!

  74. Kristin on March 18th, 2014 7:23 am

    Thank you SO MUCH for sharing. You are so incredibly BRAVE.

    p.s. Fuck anyone who says you haven’t shared enough. You give them an inch and they want a mile. That’s their problem. Don’t even give ‘em another thought and keep doing what you’re doing.

  75. Laura Broder on March 18th, 2014 9:04 am

    Thank you for sharing. It’s progress, not perfection, and I read a lot of progress in this post.

  76. Trish on March 18th, 2014 10:55 am

    And this post is why I keep coming back and reading….checking your site every day though I get the emails telling me when you’ve posted. Your honesty is refreshing and vulnerable and that’s what is attractive. I always learn something from you and something from your readers. Today, Stephanie’s comment hit home because I too love an alcoholic and while I thought I was empathetic I’ve never ONCE thought of HIS monster he has to deal with all.the.time. I always think of the monster that is created by the drinking.

  77. Jillian on March 18th, 2014 12:41 pm

    Congratulations.

  78. telegirl on March 18th, 2014 3:09 pm

    I so agree with everyone. You owe us nothing. I would read your blog if you were talking about how paint peels from a wall, because I’m sure it would be hilarious and/or insightful. I think the problem is that with all the reality TV, blogs, etc. people just want to hear about the drama. I think it makes them feel better about themselves because they can see they aren’t the only ones messed up. Screw them. We’re all messed up in one way or another but not all of us insist on focusing on the negative. I enjoy every part of your blog and admire so much about you, not the least is how honest you are. You are admired. Only post what you feel like posting.

  79. LizScott on March 18th, 2014 3:31 pm

    Well, you certainly don’t owe me any explanations or even discussion, but I like your writing and I like you, so I’m always glad to hear how things are going. And even gladder that they’re going well.

  80. julia on March 18th, 2014 4:06 pm

    Congratulations on 266. I am rooting for you, so hard. It is great to see that you’re doing well. Keep going.

  81. Dawn on March 18th, 2014 6:29 pm

    Isn’t the point of recovery to live all those other parts of your life more fully? You are, in so many ways, doing it right. Like every other commenter above, I really appreciate the many things you do choose to share.

  82. Laurie on March 18th, 2014 9:58 pm

    You got sober a few days before I did (249 here, had to check my own app to see) and I scrolled through your Twitter feed because I saw Kalisa talking to you about it, and everything felt so crazy and unbearable then here that you were another light on the internet whom I imagined might be going through something similar. Except I ate cupcakes, a lot of them, and slept a lot.

    The view from here is so much better. I am a chronic internet oversharer, and I haven’t been that way with this. It’s different than anything I’ve ever gone through, impossible to describe and yet often all I want to talk about at the same time. No one who hasn’t gone through it (assuming the person who complained wasn’t an addict, who knows, really) can really get that, I don’t think. If I hadn’t have made this choice over dying myself, I’d never have known how trippy and great and weird and heavy and freeing it is, by turns.

    I get what you say about relapse. Early on, a woman I respect in recovery looked me in the eye and said that didn’t have to be my story. I appreciated that. But it’s the cautionary tale I hear entirely too often, and I hope I never forget how close I am to the first drink that could tear everything good I’ve got going for me today apart. My very best to you. You sound great.

  83. Jenn@MommyNeedsCoffee on March 18th, 2014 10:50 pm

    I’m proud of you. Keep up the good (and sometimes hard) work one day at a time. Thank you for sharing your 266 days. Believe me when I say it truly is the friends who are earlier in sobriety that help keep *me* clean and sober. I just hit my 14 years. Together makes a difference. You’ve got a friend if you ever need one!

  84. Jon on March 18th, 2014 11:56 pm

    Ain’t it grand that the wind stopped blowin’?

  85. Lucy on March 19th, 2014 4:27 am

    I do love you Linda! You are an incredible lady. Thank you so much for your honesty. We are behind you every step of the way.

  86. Lola on March 19th, 2014 6:47 am

    Oh man I love you so much. I don’t suffer from alcoholism, but from depression….and its the same sort of desparate feeling…the wondering of how many days can I go without crying and wanting to see some sort of progress. Some days easier and some days stronger. Thank you for putting your struggles in words. I know its difficult, especially when you have those saying negative things, just know it helps some of us who get to remember we aren’t alone. And if you can get better, so can I.

  87. Suebob on March 19th, 2014 6:48 am

    I quit drinking…let’s see…346 days ago. I did it with the idea that I’d get a better life, and that I was leaving myself the option to go back and start again. Every time I think about having a glass of wine, something happens – either someone I know quits and inspires me all over again, or someone who is drinking has something horrible happen.

    This week, my BFF’s SIL died. She was a lifelong drunk who left a trail of wreckage. Her malnourished body shut down so badly that her skin began coming off in sheets. She inspired me too, but in a different way. I’m glad to wake up every day and not need a drink. Sometimes I want a drink, but I never need one.

    Keep adding up those days. You’re worth every single one.

  88. Suebob on March 19th, 2014 6:48 am

    I quit drinking…let’s see…346 days ago. I did it with the idea that I’d get a better life, and that I was leaving myself the option to go back and start again. Every time I think about having a glass of wine, something happens – either someone I know quits and inspires me all over again, or someone who is drinking has something horrible happen.

    This week, my BFF’s SIL died. She was a lifelong drunk who left a trail of wreckage. Her malnourished body shut down so badly that her skin began coming off in sheets. She inspired me too, but in a different way. I’m glad to wake up every day and not need a drink. Sometimes I want a drink, but I never need one.

    Keep adding up those days. You’re worth every single one.

  89. MassHole on March 19th, 2014 7:23 am

    We need you more than you know.

  90. Ashley on March 19th, 2014 11:20 am

    Congratulations, friend. You truly are inspiring :)

  91. Pat on March 19th, 2014 12:15 pm

    Linda I hope you have read every one of these supportive comments. I think it’s amazing what you are doing and you don’t owe us any more info than you want to share. The father of my 3 boys is an alcoholic that never got his life in order and lost his 3 children — I cannot imagine choosing alcohol over your children! he’s been gone almost 20 years now, popped back in a few times before going off the rails again. He missed his babies growing up, and now is losing out on the wonderful, kind smart generous young men they have become. Congratulations to you for choosing the conquer this and being there as a wife and mother for your beautiful family. You are the winner here; but I know it’s not easy. xo

  92. Angella on March 19th, 2014 12:37 pm

    I love you, friend. I’m proud of your openness. And I also will dick punch anyone who tells you that you’re “glossing over” your walk. But you know that. xoxo

  93. Mary Clare on March 19th, 2014 4:32 pm

    Woot! Your hard work is paying off. Congrats on getting to where you are. Thanks for writing about your struggles.

  94. Lisa S. on March 19th, 2014 10:42 pm

    Gosh, Linda, how DARE you choose to express yourself in a public in a way that reflects your own judgment and life circumstances! Why aren’t you following the recovery narratives other people think you should write? Dance, recovering monkey, dance!

    (You don’t owe the world stories or explanations. We’re lucky to have you.)

  95. Victoria on March 20th, 2014 8:31 am

    I don’t know what to say that doesn’t sound cheesy or overt religious, but Amen. And blessings. And hugs.

  96. Erin on March 20th, 2014 9:15 am

    I am so thankful that you have shared this – as the child of an alcoholic (who I *think* has been sober for about 4 years now after a stint in a rehab facility) it is so helpful for me to hear about your experience. My dad isn’t a big talker so I don’t know much about what he has gone through. So, thank you.

  97. anonymous on March 20th, 2014 9:54 am

    this is giving me such incredibly useful insight to what my husband is struggling with in his battle with alcohol. you are a gift..thank you (and CONGRATS)

  98. Leah, agirlandaboy (@agirlandaboy) on March 20th, 2014 1:41 pm

    Much love to you, and thank you (always) for sharing yourself here.

  99. Joanne on March 20th, 2014 7:48 pm

    Hang in there. You’re great!

  100. Willa on March 20th, 2014 8:17 pm

    Man, people can be lame. It has been a great privilege to read about your personal struggles and triumphs with addiction. I’m sure you have helped so many people similarly struggling and those who have not experienced addiction by shedding light on the fact that abuse and relapse happen to real people worthy of love (aka ANYONE/EVERYONE!), and can be followed by recovery and sobriety. As you say, addiction will always be a part of your life but you are not defined solely by your struggles or failures, on your blog or in life.

  101. jessica m on March 21st, 2014 9:59 am

    I am a long-time reader and, for some reason, have only commented on your blog once or twice in YEARS.

    After reading this I felt compelled to reach out, if only to express my deep gratitude for your willingness to share. You are brave. You are stronger than you think. I am moved every time I visit your writing. Thank you.

  102. -Jen on March 21st, 2014 3:23 pm

    I am horribly behind on my blog reading, but I wanted to leave a comment on this post.

    Congratulations on the steps that you’ve taken! 266 is a long time, and I hope you get to see many, many more days.

    It’s strange to me how people feel that you owe us part of your story. I will forever be grateful that you’ve shared any part of you with us. Your writing is a joy and a privilege to read.

  103. Janet in Miami on March 21st, 2014 3:25 pm

    I’m with everyone else. Who ARE the people who think they can say something like that to someone. We aren’t our sicknesses, our weaknesses or our failures, or any one thing. We are an amalgamation of everything that happens to us or that we do. We aren’t defined by one thing. So, you express yourself about a lot of things – so what?

    Speaking of spring cleaning …..

  104. Kris on March 21st, 2014 4:02 pm

    I read you all the time and never comment but just wanted to say that I really enjoy reading you here and that you have my support from all the way in Quebec. It’s nice that we live in a world where someone can be helped by taking and a stranger far away can be helped by listening.

  105. Sarah on March 22nd, 2014 4:58 pm

    You are the bravest person I don’t know! It’s your story to share; however much or little you choose and I think it’s one of the upsides to this new, socially connected electronic world in which we live that strangers from all over can lend their support when it’s needed.

    Thank you for sharing your journey; I’m so happy for you that it’s helping. Keep your chin up.

  106. Allison Zapata on April 2nd, 2014 8:00 pm

    You are a lovely person. Sending virtual support and fist bumps. xo

  107. meslek kursu ankara on June 6th, 2014 5:01 am

    thank u for share

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