several days ago, while I was in the middle of a completely different activity, the following thought came into my head from nowhere:
“I need to shut down the blog.”
and having pondered it, and talked it over with a dear friend, that’s what I’m going to do.
but sober blogging has been an enormous part of my recovery, and the support I’ve had from you lovely readers has kept me going through some tough times, so I didn’t want to just evaporate. also there is a teeny bit of me that doesn’t want anyone to think I’ve started drinking again, or that I’m thinking about it! so to be clear – still sober, still intending to stay that way.
maybe the contemplation of the 2,000 days today crystallised that thought, perhaps? a need to mark it, to use it as a jumping off point into life after sober blogging?
when I had that thought I asked myself why I needed to shut the blog down. and here are my answers in more or less the order they came to me:
- it feels vulnerable having all that stuff from my early recovery out there for anyone to read – in the same way that I wouldn’t leave my teenage diary on a park bench.
- the primary reasons for blogging were as a conduit for sober support and a means of writing out my thoughts and feelings so I could work out what they are. I haven’t written a blog post for almost four months, and very little in the last twelve months. I don’t need it so much as a form of support now, because I have built new support systems through being more honest and open with those around me in real life (some of whom I have actually met through sober blogging).
- my recovery feels deep-seated and secure, so I have very little to air about it. and I don’t want to use the blog to write about any other non-recovery issues I am going through. over the last twelve months I and my family have hit some pretty major potholes and unexpected bends in the Road of Life (all of which are now resolved, or resolving) and I have not felt the need to use the blog to write about them.
- I also used to blog because I felt driven to write to support those others earlier in sobriety than myself. the online recovery world has changed hugely since I started blogging in November 2013. whereas there used to be blogs with blog-lists on the side bar so bloggers could all interlink with one another while writing long think-pieces of posts, I suspect that those at the coal-face of new sobriety are now using faster moving platforms like Instagram. so I both feel less of an evangelical urge, AND there are fewer new people to whom I feel accountable coming to read the blog.
so I have worked out that what has been driving me to keep the blog open is the doorway it provides to my peers in recovery. and if you are reading this, that’s probably you! because those links have been so precious to me. a roll call of bloggers-I-have-known going through my head now and getting quite emotional… but I think it is time for me to leave this party and see what is next for me without it.
I’m not deleting the blog. I will be setting it to private, I think, soon. which I think of as closing the doorway, but not permanently bricking it up.
my sober email address will stay open (firstname.lastname@example.org). I do still follow sober blogs and may continue to comment. I also still listen to Belle’s podcasts and go to her meet-ups, so perhaps might see you there?!
I wish you all the very best. recovery saved my life and helped me build a new life that I can be proud of. thank you from the bottom of my heart for helping me get here.