Being sober isn’t a competition

Today, I received my first 1 star review for one of my books on Amazon. Within the review, they stated that my 6 years of sobriety (it’s actually 7 now) was merely a blip, and that I would not be sober until it was at least 60 years. Attitudes like this are incredibly dangerous.

Early sobriety is complicated and messy. At times you are clinging on for hours or even minutes at a time. Setting yourself goals and hoping that you can stumble painfully across the finish line. For me, those early days were spent in a psychiatric ward. One might think that’s a safe place for someone getting sober, but trust me, there isn’t a lot that doesn’t make it’s way past security checks in those places.

Drugs and alcohol were readily available.

I remember celebrating one year of sobriety. A friend and I went to London and saw Lindsay Stirling perform live. It was a huge moment in my life, I had managed to go 365 days without getting drunk or high. Had someone like the aforementioned amazon reviewer spoken to me then, they way they have today, it wouldn’t have gone well.

When someone is getting sober, they need support. It’s likely they have done things they are not proud of, they probably wish that life could be as simple as switching of their emotions with a drink or a pill. Invalidate a person at the wrong time and they might just throw it away.

When you’re a sober addict, you live with the knowledge that your brain will find any excuse to go running back to its addiction. It doesn’t just go away. Anyone claiming it does is lying to you. Telling someone they’re not sober enough is gambling their life. This doesn’t just apply to length of time as a sober person, I have seen people be told they can’t be sober because of medicine they take or the way they have separated themselves from the harms of addiction.

Quite frankly, if you are sober, I don’t care how you do it, I don’t care how long you’ve been doing it; I’m proud of you. Even if sobriety has been an on and off affair; I’m proud of you. Perhaps you’re just thinking about it but haven’t quite started; doesn’t matter, I’m proud of you.

Every time a person makes the decision to heal themselves, the world becomes brighter. We are the cycle breakers. We are the one’s who stand proud and say “this suffering ends here, I choose to live”.

So, people like my Amazon reviewer can take their crappy opinions and keep them to themselves. I am proud of everyone fighting this battle.

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