I’ve blogged previously about not knowing how to help others whose sober journey includes relapse. and Mishedup left a brilliant comment on my post, to which I haven’t previously responded. she said, among other wise things:
‘But I have also had the experience of having been thanked, in an AA meeting, for saying that I had never relapsed after quite a lot of relapse stories…the person was staring to feel “oh, it’s ok to relapse, no big deal, i’ll try and then so what”…that type of thinking. She appreciated knowing it’s not a necessity to drink again, to test those waters.
It’s another way my experience can be of service to others, as can yours.’
and that re-framed it so helpfully for me, and removed that guilt and helplessness I was feeling. because we never know how our lives and our words can affect others. perhaps all we can do is follow Mary Oliver:
‘Instructions for living a life:
Tell about it.’
and what I can do, as well, is when I come across powerful writing from someone who has been down Relapse Road – with all its twists and turns and points where the path just dwindles away into nothingness on a scree hillside – is to point my reader towards that writing, and let others’ words speak for themselves.
one such is this brilliant piece from Laura McKowen at I Fly at Night. please go and read the whole post! her words are simple yet so evocative…
Laura also guested on the most recent Since Right Now podcast, where she epitomised vulnerability as true strength. I was astonished to learn that she is ‘only’ (HA!) nine months into sobriety. perhaps her wisdom is that of an old soul… so you should definitely go and listen to all of that podcast, too. bossy, sorry!
for example, she had an interesting viewpoint on whether we should write about things other than sobriety on our erstwhile sober blogs. she made the comparison with early parenthood – when we are in those first few vulnerable days, then weeks, then months of either, our worlds are, necessarily, consumed with taking care of this fragile creature. but as time moves on, they become a vital part of our lives, but not our lives’ focus. we live with them, not around them. which for me was a very helpful analogy.
you also don’t want to miss her describing what it feels like when you need to write 😉
the image at the head of this post was created by the artist Berndnaut Smilde. it is a real indoor cloud, created with ‘frozen smoke’ under exact conditions of temperature and humidity. see more of his work here.
and I will use those images as a reminder that even the most stubborn of clouds over our heads… can turn out to be of our own making.
love and clear skies to you today! Prim xx
PS – just realised I’ve passed the 20 months sober mark a few days ago and didn’t notice 😉