Day 5 – Talk It Out
Day 5 – Talk It Out
Something that took me a long time to realize is, when I have something on my mind, talking it out helps a lot. Before I got sober, I had no friends left. I had pushed everyone away at the end. I talked to my cats, but the problem there is, they can’t talk back. I would write in my journal, but that didn’t help because I only had my input. I didn’t have any other opinion or experience.
When I got sober I had a hard time trusting people, and I wasn’t used to asking for help. I thought I would be a burden if I asked for help, or said “I’m not doing well” when someone would ask how I was. It took time to realize I am not a burden on someone who genuinely cares about me.
So, I started small. I built a relationship with my sponsor, and went to him when I had something on my mind. It was difficult at first because I felt like I was complaining all the time. But when I realized he genuinely cared about my welfare, and genuinely cared about how I was doing, I could open myself more. Although, in the beginning I still held back. My sponsor would say “how are you?”, and I would say fine, or good. And then he would say, “how are you really?” Boom. He knew I wasn’t doing okay, even though I said I was.
It took me a long time to learn the difference between being a constant complainer, and letting someone know I wasn’t okay. A constant complainer complains about everything. Nothing is ever good. Letting someone know I am not okay is different. It is a fine line, but a line nonetheless.
Tonight, that point was reiterated. I had had a bad day at work. Someone neglected to give me the information I needed, stuff didn’t get done, and they blamed me for the error. Normally I would let this roll off my back, say this is not on me, and carry on with my day. But for some reason, it was eating my lunch when I got home. I couldn’t shake it off.
When I got to my meeting I ran into a friend of mine, and he said “how are you?” Instead of saying “I’m good”, while feeling torn up inside, I said “not so good”. He asked me what was up, and I gave him the gist of it. And that’s when the magic happened. He passed along some wisdom that his father had shared with him, which in turn helped me a lot. He also said I was there at the meeting, and that was good too.
Having a good support system has been incredibly important to me and my sobriety. I have real friends today, who care about me, and my welfare. I in turn can be supportive back, and help them when they need me. Having people around that I can go to and say “I’m not okay today, and here’s why”. I also get advice on a problem, or another perspective on something, that I didn’t previously see. But most importantly, having people to talk to, and a way to get the shit out of my head, helps a lot.
If you’re new to sobriety, be honest. Not only with yourself, but with others as well. Build a good support system of sober people that you can turn to. Be open to receiving help, and to seeing things from a new perspective. And, last but certainly not least, be willing to try new ideas or follow advice. Honesty, open-mindedness, and willingness are a small part of the foundation to good sobriety. But no less important.
Originally published January 10, 2017 – medium.com