Yes, this is happening. At 3 Years and 1 Month and 14 days Sober, I decided to pursue a new dream, which has only been possible because of Sobriety and Recovery.
I quit my independent contractor job, on Aug 19th, to focus on this blog and other ventures. To write about Sobriety and the journey thus far as it unfolds – at least that’s my outer story…
The real reason for starting a blog was just so I could generate enough income to cover my mortgage and living expenses, so that I never have to work for anyone ever again…I was inspired after reading several blogs about making money with blogs. I thought, hey why not…so here I am. Also, I wanted to give myself the time to work on other things that interest me, like a novel I’ve been working on sporadically for 3 years, …
What I didn’t realize though, was how much I would enjoy building the blog, how much it would tap into my creative abilities, with all the technical details *and* that I actually have a lot to say and love to share, considering the vast experiences I have had with alcoholism and recovery. You could read the details in My Story, but to sum it up, I am someone with 3 university degrees, grew up on 3 continents, in a dysfunctional alcoholic home and then in my 30s, after coming out, survived multiple alcoholic bottoms, relapses, including grand mal seizures, DTs, 40+ hospitalizations, 13 detoxes, a couple psych wards, drunk tanks, some arrests, a few overnight jail visits, and a DUI.
So, maybe, I have something to share, about how I got to being 3+ years Clean and Sober and Smoke Free, after all that and what I discovered about Life and Sobriety… that could be useful to some people…that isn’t based on a tried and true way, but an organic, custom built, self-managed approach that has worked for me and continues to work for me till today…and has produced some astounding results thus far.
So I am sharing the journey with you and I would love to hear your thoughts.
How did I Reach This Decision ?
- I really disliked what I was doing as a highly-paid independent government contractor (ouch, that sounds like a morbid sin)
- I got tired of the city I’ve lived in for the past 9 years that still reminds me of my past
- I am a loner with less than 5 close friends that I have outgrown
- I turned 3 years Clean and Sober in July
- I am in the best health of my life, and jog almost everyday
- I have an established daily practice of journaling, prayer/reflection and self-care
- I paid off all my credit card debt and cleared up my legal issues
- I have forgiven myself for my past and made some amends
- I qualified for a mortgage for the first time in my life at the age of 41
- I bought a condo on an island, with an ocean view, that I want to write and live in
- Besides my savings I have no other source of income
- I discovered writing is a serious passion of mine
- I wanted to write full time, totally Sober and see what happens
- I figured moving away and starting fresh is the right thing for me to do, now that I am quite comfortable in my own skin and with Sobriety
- I have been yearning to go solo and do my own thing, especially after experiencing tremendous growth and emotional freedom through a ton of healing work I’ve done over the past year and half (e.g letting go of shame, people pleasing, identifying my values and believing in my self)
- I would like to spend more time with my Dad who is 79 and lives by himself in India
- My only negative habit is Frozen Yogurt and Netflix, which seem to be curbed whenever I am engaged in my passions…
- I have not told anyone besides my life coach about my plan. This is the first, world wide announcement. In recovery circles this seems to be a big no-no, though nothing about my Sobriety/Recovery journey thus far has been ordinary, which has afforded me a different perspective.
- I am inspired by other people on the web who have taken on new paths as well, and
That’s what this blog is about… making massive changes and still staying sober and sharing the journey through this blog.
What are my Fears ?
Are you kidding ? I am petrified about doing this. I am currently visiting my Dad in India and I am having a hard time sleeping… So here are the main things that freak me out:
- My Sobriety – this is the most important thing in my life. What I plan to do is the biggest change of my entire sobriety and is similar to a change I made in my mid-twenties, but alcoholism got in the way.
- This time, I am hoping that Sobriety will power me through and
- I believe this would be the greatest test of my core principle, that I must be willing to stay sober no matter what happens in my life – job/no-job, broke or rich or healthy or not.. Sobriety under any and all conditions
- I just know that, as long as I have my Sobriety, I am doing well and
- I have now 3 years, 1 month and 10 days Clean and Sober.
- Fear that I am running away instead of confronting my current challenges
- Fear of being ashamed, judged and being inadequate.
- Fear that I’ll just abandon the project after a couple of months, which is a pattern from the past that I wish to avoid and I hope your interest will fuel my continuity in this endeavor.
What are some of the Risks
These are just some of the main risks I’ve thought about as I start this endeavor.. There may be more, which I’ll update as they come to mind.
- I may lose interest with it and give up, especially if no one is reading it – This is by far, the biggest risk of all the ones that could muster…once I lose interest, then there is nothing to be doneI have a history of being super excited about a new project, kick-starting it and then losing interest after a couple of months, after the world has found out about it and given me my dose of validation… I have found that this could be a trait of an ACOA (see Laundry List). So approach to addressing this is to commit to 6 months of consistent blogging in this area, give it my best shot and see where things are at in February 2017, based on user feedback. Hopefully by that time there could be a growing following.
- The isolation from blogging and living in a new small town, may be unbearable – Well, I have my daily practice, some AA meetings in the town I live in, my wonderful Life Coach and my AA mentor still available to support me and…I hope to have you folks to count on. So we’ll see.
- Doing it all by myself for myself may be too much of a challenge – One of my issues is that it can be challenging for me to do anything just for myself… I am more inspired to do something if someone is paying attention or can benefit from it. Well besides running of course. The fact that there is an opportunity to be writing for you, my readers, is so exciting and inspiring and scary, that I have been up late ever since I started this over a week ago, wondering what to write about and how I can help you guys and yet still keep sane… I realized that there is so much I want, and have, to write about and share with you. About my experiences growing up in a dysfunctional home, about alcoholism, Recovery, AA, other paths, racism, being a double minority, having multiple university degrees, travelling and how my perspective and values didn’t start taking shape till I started sobering up… I would like these goals to be accomplished – that is to have written about at least some of these before considering moving on from this project.
- I may not reach the monthly target income by the time my savings run out (6 months to 1 year) and I’ll have to go back to work, full time – Well, if that happens, then at least I know I gave it my best shot and that I would be returning to work having taken an enormous risk and the growth experiences from it, that could be useful to any progressive organization… Somehow, though, I doubt this will be happening. I survived alcoholism, I can do this, and you will be a part of the success. 🙂
So… if you feel inspired or interested, or have some tips from your experience, I would love to hear from you. I would also love to hear about any significant changes you are making or have made, including trying to stop drinking or smoking or other unhelpful behaviours… Please share your thoughts below.
Thanks so much !
The Zed Writer.