Yo! My name is Vanessa and I am sober! I am loud and proud. I chose to “come out” one my 2 year anniversary of recovery. This meant I posted on Facebook that I was in recovery, forever. Everyone that knows me knows this. It has never been a secret. If you know me or have even met me, you know nothing about me is really a secret. My life is open. I don’t like to hide things. Especially things I am proud of like my sobriety. I don’t say I am an alcoholic most of the time. I am, but I think sober is the positive part.
Yes, I am an alcoholic and drug addict. I am in recovery. I will always be in recovery. My brain has changed. I am no longer like “other people” or “normal people.” I can’t have just one drink. It would eventually kill me because one would never be enough. Never. I could be sober 20 years and still not be able to have a drink. I think it is important to start looking at life differently. I don’t feel like I am missing out on drinking. I feel like I am gaining a whole new perspective. That is why I brag about my sobriety. I think people should try it even if they haven’t been diagnosed with alcoholism.
I am not anonymous because I feel like this gives me the best chance for success. I know I have to stay sober to live. The more people who know, the more support I have and the better chance I have. I have received a pretty good response from being out and proud. Some people don’t get it or they feel sorry for me. That is ok with me. I feel sorry for them, too. That they need a drink to find happiness. I don’t need anything. Some people can relate. You never know who is struggling. Really, I am serious. You never know. I love wearing my Party Sober gear to let people know, too. Most people know someone who have experienced addiction. They get it to some extent. If they want to hear more I am happy to share. That is my whole goal with being open about my sobriety, helping others.
Don’t get me wrong. There is a place for being anonymous in meetings because there are people who are not ready. As a whole, our society may not be ready. That is sad. I hope we can start to get that this is something beyond our immediate control. It isn’t as simple as, “Well, just stop.”
I feel like I missed so much when I was drinking. Even when I wasn’t wasted or deep in it. I was at the bar or wanting to do something “fun” instead of enjoying the little detailed moments that were right in front of me. I say I am a sober living enthusiast because that describes my true feelings about life now. I can truly feel each moment and remember it. Nothing clouds my view. Sometimes I have difficult moments, but I am able to process them and move on to something positive.
I am not anonymous because I have nothing to be ashamed of. Alcoholism and addiction are proven diseases. I live one day at a time. I take care of my mental health and my physical health. I am strong. I am a survivor. I am proud of who I am. That is why I am Vanessa and I am sober. (But still super fun!)