Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Spirit Sisters

Finally, my first sober jewelry.  Thank you, Kathy. I love you!
I read a post on the mmabsers board this morning in which the member asked, "Who was the hardest person to tell that you were giving up drinking."  I thought about this and I thought back to how ashamed I was when I first started this journey, how I hid my first steps.  I lurked on the message boards, I cruised the sober blogs (I did this for years before I ever took my first step, or maybe that was my first step) always looking over my shoulder to make sure that the cap'n couldn't see what I was doing.  
There was another post on another message board the other day in which the member posted, "I don't want to be an alcoholic. Is that wrong?"  I had to laugh a little, this is what I replied to that post.

There's a funny metamorphosis that happens as you recover, at first you come in all ashamed, lurking on the message boards, afraid to post, hiding what you're doing on the computer from your SO, acting like your drinking when you're not around friends, ordering fancy fake NA drinks so nobody knows that you're confronting your problems.  Then as you get stronger, the shame slinks away and all of a sudden you are so proud of what you've accomplished, because it's a big f'ing deal, that you find yourself wanting to tell the carry-out boy at the grocery store that you're a recovering alcoholic.  Alcoholism is a disease or an addiction, not a badge of shame, depends on what you do about it.
Shame is one more barrier that alcohol throws up to keep us in its prison.  Break through! Break through!  You will be amazed at the number of people that are holding sledgehammers on the other side ready to help you and fight for you.  Ready to be so damn proud of you.
This is a letter I received from my sister, Kathy, the day before yesterday.
Sometimes I think about you and I cry---like right now, because I'm sitting here thinking how I admire your warrior spirit towards all your personal causes.
I think you're strong because you are kind and generous.  I think you are strong because of your gentle soul.
You are unique, brave witty and a gift.  I'm grateful to be your sister.  Although we do not call one another best friends, we are sisters.
I often mourn my absence from your life over the years and not being there for you in dark times.  I hope you know it was never intentional.  It has been my great loss.
You have told your stories in such a brave way and made me want to be brave even when I think I no longer can or want to be.
Enclosed is a necklace that I wear to remind me of you and the sister who truly embodies its message.  I hope when you wear it, you will think of us as "spirit" sisters on the same path to getting to the other side of all our fears.
Much love...kathy.
Break through to find your spirit sister or brother waiting for you on the other side and holding out a hand to pull you through.
Love you, sis! 


  1. This is SO incredibly touching! Wow! Thanks for sharing this. I'm really happy for you!

  2. Very cool, Kary. I'm so very proud and happy for you.

  3. So very touching! What a beautiful letter and gift.

    And what you say about stigma - well, we can go on about that for some time, can't we? But suffice to say most of us are pretty quiet about the whole deal early on. Shame, and all of the things attached to it, keeps us in the silence. We get to work, but we don't trumpet it often, unless it is to those closest in our circles.

    But we open up more, help and reach out more, and then the stigma starts to dwindle. I am at that point now where I really don't care who knows. So there is a freedom to it. I am not shouting off rooftops, but if someone were to ask, i would be honest with them.

    Wonderful post - thanks for sharing :)


  4. Gah! The fear thing is something I've really been thinking about lately. How I drank because I was afraid, and how I still live with fear in many ways. I am walking steadily towards my freedom, and without being sober I would have been jailed and afraid forever.

    Beautiful jewelry and letter.

  5. Nice!! Great letter from your sister and great message in this post. I think we get so secretive and filled with shame from our drinking, that when we first quit we do the same (if we can...those folks who take the rehab route don't get quite as good a chance to hide things as those of us who are able to avoid that). It took me months to get up the nerve to start being honest about my alcoholism even to family and close friend--but what a sweet load off of my shoulders that was. "We're only as sick as our secrets" is an AA slogan that belongs in the world at large IMO.

    I happen to agree with your sister--you do have a warrior spirit!! Rock on, sober warrior!!

  6. Holy shit...what a beautiful post.

    You rock...and your sister pretty good too.