When I think of sobriety, I automatically think of alcohol and those that overindulge in it. Just so I wouldn’t stay closed minded or remain stereotypical to the word I decided to look it up. In doing so I took a likening to Wikipedia’s definition:

“In a treatment setting, sobriety is the achieved goal of independence from consuming or craving mind-altering substances. As such, sustained abstinence is a prerequisite for sobriety. Early in abstinence, residual effects of mind-altering substances can preclude sobriety.”

For the past couple of years, I have been going through what I’ve become accustomed to calling my “hell years.” It feels like someone put me in the hot seat, chained me down and turned up the heat to inferno and said “now function”. Talk about no air. I felt like I was suffocating in my everyday life. I did not have clarity about anything or the direction that I should go in. I didn’t know who to talk to, where to go or even who to trust. I knew all the right answers to all the obvious questions but those answers never really set comfortable with me. I later came to realize that for me it was easier being someone else than being myself. I’m not even sure that I intentionally did it. It was just something that began to happen in my early years when I figured that I didn’t like who I was or how things were going in my life and how for whatever reason at the moment I didn’t feel like I could change it. As a direct result, I unconsciously became a people pleaser. I did what everyone thought I should or wanted me to do without question. My inside voice was on mute…silent…DEAD!!! It wasn’t until I got to the point where clarity was a figment of my imagination and chaos, clutter and confusion was my everyday norm that I knew an evolution needed to take place.

I was busting at the seams trying to hold in my cry for help. No one was paying attention, they didn’t feel compelled to say anything or I had become that good of an actress in becoming somebody I wasn’t, that I fooled everyone else including myself. I had so many questions and no answers to accompany them. What I thought or knew to be true I know second-guessed. I felt open and vulnerable and didn’t like it. Vulnerability for me equated to weakness and I never want anyone to know when I’m in that state. However, at the moment there was nothing I could do to prevent it from happening. Vulnerability overtook me like Chicago wind in the winter time. I felt helpless. Nothing could prepare me for what was to come except truth and honesty.

Now as I’m emerging from my “emotional hell” truth and honesty are becoming my best friends. I am getting to a place where I’m peeling back layers and uncovering wounds that I’ve covered up but never fully allowed to heal. I am being honest with myself about what it is I truly feel and why I’ve felt that way. I’m facing the giants that for so long caused me to cower before them. I’m trying to come up with different approaches on how to view vulnerability. I’m learning that there is a softness that is attached to being vulnerable and that softness doesn’t have to be looked at as a bad thing or weakness. That softness could be there to make me more approachable or show me how to become more feminine or delicate when it comes to certain things, situations or people. I’m trying to embrace the positive side of vulnerability and proceed forward from there.

As of now my sobriety isn’t coming in the form of 12-step programs or AA meetings but by sitting down with self or professional help and attempting to connect the dots or bridge the many different gaps. I’m taking time to figure out where all my voids are and beginning to fill them accordingly and healthily. I’ve turned my inner voice back on and given it the microphone and megaphone that it has desperately longed for.

My goal is to become “drunk” off honesty and intoxicated with vulnerability. So watch out if you see me in the streets; our collision just may change your life. Besides they say a drunk man tells no tales. They speak the truth that’s hidden deep down inside that the sober don’t have the courage to say.

So, don’t be mad at me. I’m just sayin…