The Most Powerful Defense is a More Valid Offense

Three weeks ago, I wasn’t sure I’d survive the craziness of my upcoming week. But I did. Not only did I survive, but I passed with flying colors. There were so many tests, not only those I had prepared for but also a whole host of others I never even saw coming.

QW on NBC CT

As I emerged victorious, I flashed back to the day I overheard a random tween describe the job my son was doing in a hockey game. “That goalie is standing on his head!” I wondered if anyone realized as much as I did, that I had been standing on my head, too.

Last week, things got even more hectic. But I was ready. Let me be perfectly clear. I am not complaining. Although I am just now coming down from six weeks of sheer madness across the board, it is all good. As a result of my sobriety, I have been afforded the tremendous opportunity to up level not only personally but also professionally. And, my business is flourishing. Not just flourishing. Blooming in the most brilliant colors, none of which I ever imagined because, no matter how big I thought my dreams were, apparently they were not in Technicolor.

All of the craziness has been a result of my job. And, I wouldn’t change a thing. My schedule challenged me to make sure I was doing my most delicate and precise carving, creating large pockets of time to fulfill obligations to my clients and strategically designed moments to make sure my family had everything they needed from me. In the end, the house looked like a tornado hit, and there were not a lot of clean clothes for anyone to choose from. But everyone got the pieces of me they needed most. And, that’s what matters more to me than a clean house. (In confidence, I tell you the disastrous house and piles of laundry make me feel like I can’t breathe. At all. They make me twitch. A lot. But you didn’t hear that from me.)

Toward the end of last week, some troubling issues that had recently begun brewing bubbled to the surface and suddenly required immediate attention. While one year ago my son’s after school injury was the greatest test of my sobriety to date, this most recent challenge blew it away. No question. Without going into specifics, let’s just say it became abundantly clear that there will be certain adults in my children’s lives who do not understand or respect my effort to not only remain sober but to also recover out loud. People to whom my recovery from addiction makes me less credible and less valuable. I can’t say I’m surprised, but I am wildly disappointed. The day after a wonderful article came out about me, life in our home was thrust under a microscope by someone who should absolutely know better … someone who had the tools to do it … and to do it quickly and easily … and to do it to excess … and to cross boundaries.

I have always said my greatest worry about sharing my story was whether or not it would have implications on my business, and in turn my livelihood, should the professional job I do to support my family ever be questioned. However, what I did not foresee is that, in reality, my greatest fear is how my recovering out loud out will inevitably impact my children in some way, shape, or form. For the first time, someone validated that fear.

Yet, given the chance to let fear sabotage my sense of self and the courage of my convictions, I forged ahead — way outside my comfort zone! — and did my first live television interview as a sober blogger. (I still can’t believe it!!!)

While I naturally (I think? It’s natural, right?) had many “Damn, I really want a drink” moments in the past week, the funny thing was I knew full well fending off those thoughts and those perceived desires was the only way I would conquer what I described as a living nightmare at the time. Once again, my efforts to live sober are empowering and enhancing my entire existence, making it ever more clear that I am doing the right thing. And that kind of validation is so very beautiful.

Though I never got near alcohol, I also did not reward my successes in the healthiest way this week. I never do. It has always been a huge challenge for me. Definitely a topic for another blog post.

In the meantime, I need to be done standing on my head for a little while. My feet need to feel the inside of my sneakers. My legs need to feel the weight of carrying my sugar-infested, over-caffeinated, carbo-loaded body for a walk. My head needs to find clarity again. And my body needs to feel the blood — as opposed to pure adrenalin — coursing through my veins.

12 comments

  1. First of all, let me say that I think your story, and the interview is inspirational. How brave. It is an uncomfortable place to be in. There are lots of people who struggle alone with the stigma of sobriety (how many double standards we have as a society!) and hopefully if we all can manage to do what you did, it will go some way to dispelling some of the shame. It must be hard, after taking that leap, for you to be challenged and attacked. I’m so glad that it didn’t stop you from going ahead with the interview. Sadly there are small petty people in our worlds who are insecure enough to be rattled when they see bravery and courage, rather than uplifted and inspired. I have such a lady in my world. I feel badly for her. I feel badly for the person in your world. Go for lots of walks this weekend. xxxx

    1. Thank you, Jackie! As nervous as I was, I think I really enjoyed the interview experience in the end. Can’t wait to slap on my sneakers! I hope the weather is as gorgeous where you are as it is here today!

  2. Congrats on surviving – no, make that THRIVING – so well during the past few weeks. I find your story to be nothing short of inspiring. Thanks for bravely sharing, Laura.
    Sarah

      1. I really believe you’re shining a light for others and helping them to be stronger and see an attainable future path. Keep going!

  3. You are so strong, so brave and so my hero! Keep on keeping on and let the nonsense be the white noise it deserves to be. I am insane of you Laura as are so many others.

    1. Oh my gosh – thank you! Turning the nonsense into white noise is exactly what I need to do – that way it won’t keep me up at night! XO

  4. I am so glad I found your blog!
    I loved your interview!!
    I agree…why do we need to glorify drinking?
    I am sorry you are not being supported by someone.
    That is stinky!
    Big Hugs!
    xo
    Wendy

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