Posted by: VoiceinRecovery | September 24, 2010

Honesty in Cravings

I have this nagging voice in my head that says -“you can’t post a blog unless it is meaningful, will reach people, is organized, is wonderful, is heart wrenching, yadadadadadadaa.”This voice is paralyzing. I kept thinking that I could only post things on here if they were recovery oriented, inspiring, or insightful. I think I forgot what ViR is all about. It is about being a voice in recovery. That doesn’t mean ALL about recovery, but about the life inside the recovery. I can tweet openly and honestly and don’t worry about everything I say. I just say it.

I sit here in a struggle. Something happened in my personal life and I suddenly found myself craving a drink. Or more like as many as it would take to knock me out. The truth is I had a flashback of the warm buzz of a shot and how it numbs my body. I wasn’t getting to the numb place through my own breathing and thoughts, and went straight back to what I know works. That is a scary place to be. I honestly laid in the closet for an hour in this head space. I had two voices working. My recovery one and the disorder one. Neither was strong because I was tired. But the fact that the voice came at all for alcohol was uncomfortable.

I decided I had sat there long enough and went on twitter to share my voice. I have discovered in my drinking, eating disorder, cutting, and whatever other self harm behavior, that HIDING is the problem. If I didn’t share with others, then I wasn’t being honest, and it wasn’t helping me to be accountable and find ways to be safe.

In recovery I know what works for me, and that is why I created ViR. I knew that the inner voice alone and scared was dangerous. For me, sharing my struggles, my past, my urges and cravings were a huge part of what helped keep me safe. It did not matter how far I was in recovery, I became able to share with others my feelings. I am able to say “I ate too much, and I am NOT allowed to go to the bathroom.” I am able to say “I am struggling with my body image, and don’t feel comfortable in my own skin.

With alcohol, this came up fast. Normally the thoughts fly out of my head. Or my recovery self overtakes the thought. I do not share my urges to drink. I do not say “I wish I could just have one drink” on twitter. I do joke with others saying, sure I will have a beer, but I do not openly share cravings because I don’t have those cravings often, and I easily dismiss them if they do come up. I like to be strong in the alcohol recovery, perhaps because of the stigma it is a weakness to drink. I honestly don’t know. I don’t even miss drinking, because I like sleeping, like my healthy coping skills, like knowing what I did the night before.

These are tweets I sent right after I forced myself out of the closet:

Actually craving a drink (or 10) First time In a long while. Been struggling for an hour. (no: I won’t drink). I’m ok. Just icky feeling

I probably shouldn’t have tweeted that (that’s the voice saying I shouldn’t ‘need’ support or be honest. That I need to be all together)

I laid in my closet for an hour. That’s too long in the head. So I tweeted to get out of that space. I don’t need to hide it or in it

I hate it at times. Having cravings and urges. Just like anyone else who struggles. I don’t like the voice saying I have 2 always b strong

I do however recognize those cravings won’t last. I can focus on healthy coping skills & let it pass.

I feel really honored to be supported by people here on Twitter. I always feel loved & always feel I can share & not be judged #grateful

So I will admit tonight sucks. My inner voice is a bitch. It’s ok to struggle. I will get through it & know it will get better.

Hiding and not sharing my struggles is the dangerous place for me. So tonight I share, to be accountable open & honest. This keeps me safe

As I sit here and re-read this all I realize just how far I have come in my own recovery. My recovery is constantly learning and growing and I am grateful for my voice. Sharing struggles is exactly what ViR is all about. It shows that recovery isn’t black and white, that life isn’t black and white. I have great compassion at times for myself, and I couldn’t have said that 3 years ago. I write now, knowing I am safe, sober and grateful that I found my voice and feel comfortable enough to share it with others. I knew I wouldn’t drink, but that doesn’t mean I have to suffer and struggle alone. I can and will ask for support. I will not let the inner bitch run amok.

It is within hiding and silence that our struggles thrive, it is within honesty, accountability and sharing that our recovery can thrive.

Thank you all on twitter who continuously are amazing and inspiring. Your support and love amazes me and push me further in my own recovery.

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Responses

  1. you are amazing for sharing all that you do, both in your blog and on twitter. your strong support system is a nothing more than an extension of your strong, amazing self.

    • Thank you so much Steff – you are always a constant support! I really appreciate you 🙂

  2. thank you for sharing this .
    it is so brave. and such a good model for the rest of us, who might sometimes have the same exact voice in their heads, telling them not to reach out.
    keep going.

    • I tell my mentee all the time to reach out and ask for help – I need to do the same for myself 🙂 Those lessons are a journey but worth me fighting for! Thank you for reading and sharing 🙂

  3. “It is within hiding and silence that our struggles thrive, it is within honesty, accountability and sharing that our recovery can thrive.”

    Those words above that you wrote truly touched me.

    There is so much truth, vulnerability yet strength in those words.

    I would love to quote you and use this as a platform for a future post on my blog. So often, we as women are afraid to share our pain, our suffering, our hurts but it is not until we speak the truth outloud that it no longer holds control over us.

    You are so brave, beautiful and wonderful. I am a better person for knowing you via twitter.

    Have a wonderful day.

    xoxo Heather

    • Heather – thank you so much for providing support last night and reading today. I would be honored if you would quote me! I have to say I woke up feeling a little naked from sharing, but know that it was the right thing for me. It is a journey and being honest is the part I have to continue to go back to when struggling.

      Thank you for your support!!

  4. I completely agree with everything you said. All the writing I’m doing, the articles I’m sharing (with your help!) are helping to keep me accountable and attuned to where I am on my journey.

    I’m so proud of you for reaching out; it’s not an easy thing to do. May I repost this on Writing for Recovery?

    <3, Sarah

  5. My twitter account has been annoyingly wonky of late and so I have missed most of your tweets about your experiences this week.

    As always, I am in awe of your absolute honesty. You are such a real and genuine person for sharing your true self at ALL times. It’s something I am certain most people do not do and that makes you a shining light in the online and real world community indeed.

  6. You should never feel bad about telling the truth, and your post helped me so much. With 15 years of recovery, I get so tired of feeling I have to WELL all the time. It has been years since I’ve craved a drink, until a few months ago and life got so hectic. I remember thinking, “Oh…this is how people relapse.”

    Today I’m fighting another addiction (food) and feeling so much like I did when I had 2 weeks off alcohol. Your post helped me just for today.

  7. Your honesty is amazing! Refreshing to hear someone talk so candidly about struggles. Thank you!


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