You remember Kelly? you met her when she was on day 10. Today she’s on day 31 and she sent me an update.
I actually wavered a bit on whether to post this or not. y’all, it’s impossible for me to share on the blog all the emails i get like this… for fear of ego-boosting (and other shaming techniques).
But as Cat Girl (day 82) advised me this morning, the traditional sober world “hates any kind of perceived self-congratulation. *STAY HUMBLE. Stay down.* D’you know what, I have spent long enough down, secretly hating myself, listing my defects of character in my own head, I really don’t feel the need to do it all over again. Now, I feel like getting out of the sewer. Getting up. Being proud of myself for what I’ve achieved here, the power I’ve exerted in saying no to drinking.”
So fuck humble.
And anyway, Kelly’s email isn’t about me. It’s about her. And can you see how strong she is? How great she feels? That, my friends, is too good not to share. Get ready to cry:
Good morning Belle, I just recently stumbled on your “tiny gift button” on your blog. I could feel your angst as the words were literally cringing out on the page. However, I see it as something you are doing for those of us who really want to do something for you in return for all your goodness.
For me (without exaggeration or high drama) you have saved my life. Now you could have been very well put into my path by those pesky angels I’ve told you about, but you are the one that writes back to me each day and the all the other 100s of people. You blog everyday sharing your thoughts or share the thoughts of your penpals. You inspire other problem drinkers with common sense, you step forward courageously with your no nonsense, straight forward, telling it like it is wisdom and you virtually hug each of us with compassion, kindness and support.
So, to me, you definitely are on my Christmas list and deserving of a special treat. You have been a friend extraordinaire and without you, I may have very well fallen back on my drunken butt and into a hell hole of no return.
It is such a simple exercise but for whatever reason, I feel accountable to a woman I’ve never met, a woman I don’t want to disappoint or let down (even though I know you wouldn’t see it that way) and hell bent on keeping a promise I made 31 days ago. Maybe I was just ready to be accountable and stop lying or maybe, just maybe, I never found anyone who had the exact recipe with their words and actions, that I felt I could trust and do this really hard thing.
All this to say is that I will be pushing that tiny gift button in the coming weeks and hope you will treat yourself as you are so deserving. The song “To Sir with Love” has been playing in my head and I think there are parallels in all of this. How do I thank someone who has been instrumental in saving my life? Words are great, tiny gifts are lovely, but the best way I can repay you is by living my life well each and every day. I’m doing this humbly but with my head held high. I am no longer dragging my face into the sidewalk with shame. I cannot grow into the future if I hold onto the past.
Watch me grow Belle! Hugs, Kelly xo