Monday, November 11, 2013

Crying Out Now

This blog, Crying Out Now, is powerful and raw and honest and a godsend.  I found it via this article at HealthLine on the 15 Best Alcoholism Blogs of 2013.  Another of the 15 I loved (I haven't had time to look at all of them yet) was Life Without Beer Goggles, which is well written and funny, and I love anything that is both of those things.  I would read that one just for laughs even if I didn't have alcohol issues.

Crying Out Now is an entirely different kind of blog, a communal blog for women to share their stories about addiction and recovery.  The posts are mostly anonymous.  Maybe all anonymous; I haven't read far enough back yet to be sure.  I really related to this post by a woman who wanted to stop drinking, but hadn't made the commitment yet, in part because

I've gone to some open AA meetings with my husband and was blown away by what I saw and felt. 
I am terrified to suggest to him that I may stop drinking: I'm not sure I want to make that commitment.  
I don't want him being a watchdog on me if I change my mind or fail…
Boy, can I relate.  I went to my first AA meeting not too long ago, haven't told many people yet.  Four, to be exact, aside from the people at the meetings.  One of those people is a close friend who has a close relative who is in recovery.  When she asked me the other day if I had been to another meeting, I admitted that I sometimes wondered whether I would have to make that a lifestyle choice, whether I might not someday be able to be a social drinker as I was during most of my life.  The disapproval and judgment radiated from her like the white hot heat of the sun.  She was careful about what she said, but I could feel it.  The watchdog.

The fact is, I will probably be better off if I commit to a life of sobriety, but that has to be my choice.  I will probably do it, but I don't want to feel as though people are watching and judging and insisting.  But perhaps that is the price of a sober life?  People judge; they can't help it.  As a species, we are Homo Judicans.

I visited the blog of one of the founders of Crying Out Now.  Ellie is a smart, beautiful, brave woman who has survived cancer and addiction.  I have only just begun to explore her blog, One Crafty Mother,  but have already found wonderful posts on motherhood, cancer, alcoholism and recovery.  I particularly liked a recent post about motherhood and alcoholism in which she writes:

Moms talk all the time about deserving their wine at the end of a long day - whether they work outside of the home or not.  You don't have to look further than Facebook to see women talking up their hard earned glass of wine.
I have realized how true this is since my first AA meeting.  I cannot count the number of times I have been advised by a friend or acquaintance or coworker to have a glass of wine and relax, than I deserve it.  In retrospect, I realize I used to prescribe the same thing, both for myself and for friends.

Ellie's post references Ann Dowsett Johnson's new book, Drink:  The Intimate Relationship Between Women and Alcohol.  I haven't read it yet, but I plan to.  Johnson was the guest last night on The Bubble Hour, the podcast that the hosts of Crying Out Now produce.  The newest episode link isn't posted yet, so I haven't heard it, but plan to when it's up, as well as exploring some of the older podcasts.

I am grateful to have found Crying Out Now, a site where women can share their thoughts and fears in anonymity and safety, hosted by women who empathize rather than judge.  I have not shared my own story there yet, but I may.

By the way, the fact that I have reluctantly admitted that I have a problem does not mean that I can no longer appreciate the humor of posts like this one from Illustrated with Crappy Pictures, a blog I only just discovered (I guess I live under a rock) and the 2013 Best Parenting Blog according to The Bloggies.  Yes, it is a part of that "mommy needs her wine" discourse, but it is also funny, and in my book, funny makes a lot of things okay.

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