Your voices. Many voices. Consistent voices telling the same stories about how addiction works, and how denials only make matters worse.
I hear you. I hear from you. Mostly in private messages, but sometimes out in the open for all to see. I’ve heard how my story gives you hope. I need you to hear from me how your stories give me strength to keep going. To keep sharing.
To keep telling our stories.
And now, I want to expand the story into your voices. There is strength in numbers. If we are going to crush the stigma that makes high-functioning alcoholism so pervasive, it will take all of our voices.
This week, we introduce a powerful voice in the soberevolution. Her name is Barbara, and she is a survivor of the chaos and trauma of alcoholism’s wrath. Her story of how alcohol slowly tightened its grip on her husband is so eerily similar to mine that it shook me when I first heard it. Barbara and her husband were intelligent, well-educated independent thinkers. Alcohol enhanced their sophistication and exploration of the world around them. It enhanced their lives. Until it crushed their lives.
The difference between me and Barbara’s husband, John? I was lucky to escape. In John’s case, alcohol is finishing the job.
But Barbara survived, and she’s partnering with us to tell her story.
This week, we premier Barbara’s story by featuring her on the Untoxicated Podcast. What Barbara has survived is unimaginably horrific. The alcoholism quite literally took a chunk of Barbara with it. It is a story of incredibly generous sacrifice, but it is also the story of knowing when you’ve given enough.
Barbara gave more than enough. When it was over…when it was time…she knew.
Is it over for you? Will you know when before it is too late?
We will continue to feature your voices here on the Sober and Unashamed blog. In early February, we will share the voice of a woman who kept drinking because of the pain inflicted by the stigma of alcoholism. She kept drinking, until the drinking hurt worse than the stigma.
And Barbara’s voice will appear here regularly. She is a powerful voice for the people who love an alcoholic. She’s also a better writer than I am, and I’m honored to share her voice of empathy, passion, vulnerability and painful honesty.
All the voices we feature will be the voices of hope. As similar as are the stories of addiction, the voices of hope are equally unique and varied. Divorce was a huge part of Barbara’s salvation, while my marriage survived. There is no right or wrong answer, and that’s how alcohol likes it. If the answer is complicated, the enemy is harder to defeat.
That’s why the variety of voices is so important. In my voice, or in Barbara’s voice, or in one of the many other voices you’ll find here, we hope you’ll hear your voice – your way out.
We all need voices. We simply can’t make it out in silence.
We have assembled a variety of strong voices, and we welcome you to join. If you are a high-functioning alcoholic in early sobriety, your voices are in our SHOUT Sobriety program. If you are the loved one of an alcoholic, you’ll find your voices in our Echoes of Recovery. Please join us. We need your voice.
And please listen as Barbara introduces her voice, her story. Please listen to our newest episode of the Untoxicated Podcast.