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‘You Blew Me Away’, Penny Hardy, 2011

Last week I did something unexpected: I said “YES!” to Belle’s invitation to be interviewed for her podcast series.

unexpected because I am very committed to my anonymity here, which I value so highly because it allows me to be open and honest and heard without judgment in a way that is sadly rare in real life. unexpected because I set great store by finding exactly the right word or phrase to convey accurately what I am trying to say, and the idea of not being able to go back and change or take away or add one word got my perfectionist knickers entirely in a twist. unexpected because the idea scared the holy crap out of me and it would have been so much easier to reply with an airy “tickled pink to be asked, but no thanks”.

instead I asked more questions how it would work. I talked to my dear husband about how he would feel about it, more-than-half wanting him to veto it so I wouldn’t have to decide.

instead he told me I should do it if I wanted to, “because why would it matter if anyone you knew heard it? you have nothing to be ashamed of.” which made me cry, quite hard.

and just in return for that gift I thought I ought to do it. so I did.

I came across the above image of Penny Hardy’s sculpture a while back and have been waiting for an opportunity to use it to illustrate a blog post. and this is it, because that is how I felt going into the podcast – resolute and strong, but prepared to be open and vulnerable. did I mention utterly terrified? oh, that, too.

I think I sometimes assume – I am sure incorrectly – that my blog readers all know Belle’s work. if you don’t, I can highly recommend that you visit her blog and see all she has to offer, including her new book and the many sober supports that she can provide.

one simile that Belle uses of herself is a lever to help others achieve sobriety. another might be that she acts as a catalyst – something that can help precipitate or accelerate a change. she has been a huge catalyst in my own recovery and I am immensely grateful to her.

Belle has kindly agreed to make the podcast available, for a short time only, completely free to readers of this blog. so if you’d like to listen to me you can follow this link, which will Β work for a short period of time, perhaps a week or so.

in the 30-minute podcast I talk, amongst other things, about my drinking history, why I thought I wouldn’t be able to stop drinking, and what has worked for me in the process. also, I say “um” quite a lot. I can live with that, as it turns out.

the title of this post is a saying derived from the words of a character in an E.M Forster novel. when listening to the podcast myself I was immensely struck by some things I said with great conviction that I hadn’t known I believed until I said them. which is one thing that I would have edited into the podcast if it had been a blog post – that a huge advantage of communicating your thoughts to others is that it enables you to clarify what you actually think. in fact, sometimes it’s the only way to find that out. my podcast has therefore given me, myself, food for thought, which is something I never even expected.

if there’s anything in the podcast which hits home for you, or if there’s anything you’d like to know more about, please do let me know in the comments. I really would love to hear any feedback you have. except don’t tell me I say “um” a lot. I already know that Β  πŸ˜‰

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