*** Submitted by Kristin, who is a regular contributor to Crying Out now
When I first read Ellie's blog, I thought she was a goddamn lunatic. I'm sorry Ellie but it's true.
She was talking about alcoholism like it was NO BIG DEAL. She just TOLD people she was an alcoholic as easily as telling them she was human. Clearly she had to be nuts. I mean, if you ended up having to quit drinking, that was something you hid like the shameful secret it was.
But Ellie talked about it like not drinking was just a part of her life. It was a choice she'd made, a choice she continued to make, a choice that made her life better.
How could that be? At the time, I didn't see how admitting to alcoholism wouldn't ruin your life. I was positive that if I said I was an alcoholic my life would crumble around me. I couldn't understand that alcoholism wasn't something I could simply steel myself against. I was sure I could just decide not to be an alcoholic and then try really, really hard not to be, and then I'd never be a full blown alcoholic.
And it was almost sort of that easy. All I needed to do was decide not be an alcoholic. Or rather, I decided not to be a functioning alcoholic anymore. And in order to stop being a functioning alcoholic, I needed to quit drinking cold turkey.
Which is how I found myself one hungover morning, lying in bed and choking on my tears. I had finally realized what I needed to do, I just didn't know how to do it.
And I remembered Ellie. I suddenly realized how brave and amazing she was to admit something so huge not just to herself but to the world. I wanted that bravery for myself.
So, I submitted a desperate post to Crying Out Now, quit drinking and made a discovery: there was nothing shameful in not drinking. I knew tons of people who didn't drink, I just hadn't paid any attention to them before.
It's good here. Not without hard times but good overall.
I just don't know how it would be without Ellie and her voice. Ellie's voice led me through the darkness even if I thought she was crazy at first. She wasn't crazy. She was just saying something I wasn't ready to hear yet.
Thanks Ellie. Again.