Someone recently commented that I was attention-seeking in my blog. I have been worrying about this over the past few days. I like writing here because it helps me process my thoughts, and keep track of my sober days. But attention-seeking? I had never thought of it in that way, and it troubles me.

Anyway, Day one today and I feel determined. I am 100% fed up with the cycle of drinking that I’ve been stuck in, and I am climbing out and heading to a better place. That makes it sound like I’m dying…

My sober journey is so imperfect. Way back when I started this blog, I had a vision of how it was all going to be; it has not gone according to plan, and I feel as though I am finding (and losing) my way slowly slowly slowly. Primrose posted a short video about self-compassion on her blog today (takinganewpath) and it made me realise that I need to be gentler with myself. I’m so all or nothing.  I was listening to The Bubble Hour earlier, and Ellie was talking about how hard it is in early sobriety to be kind to oneself, not to give up if you slip up. So many times in recent months, I have given up trying because things haven’t gone ‘perfectly’. I need to move forward with greater self-compassion, and respect for myself, I think.

Oh no – now I think that sounds self-centred! Attention-seeking, even? Or just seeking?

21 thoughts on “Self-compassion”

  1. I don’t know how you can work to make yourself a better person without focusing on yourself. I would not worry about it. This is your blog. If you draw my attention then that is on me not you, lol. You are out here in the blog world so obviously some people are going to be drawn to you and some maybe not. Your blog seems to be like most people trying to come to a place of sobriety and well being. If you are attention seeking then so am I and a thousand other blogs. Have a great day one.

  2. Day 35 Sober! And let me tell you, it took decades to get to this point. Back in April I started a journal of my alcohol intake and my feelings about it all. I hated seeing the amount I drank daily, the times I made a fool of myself, the times I blacked out, but there where times when I tried very hard not to drink and made it! I felt like such a loser, reading the times I kept falling down to drink again and again, but somehow the daily writing worked out. Then back in November I found the blog. “Sober Mummy was a Secret Drinker” and that took me to a new level of effort to stop drinking. And here I am now, 35 days without taking a drink. I still can’t believe it’s true. I know I have a long way to go, but for now, I am okay. You will be too, just keep trying.

  3. The one thing that requires an all or nothing view is sobriety. We accept we won’t drink again and we let go of the possibility. We stop debating if it is the right decision. We surrender to the fact that alcohol is hurting us.

    The rest is finding kindness and gentleness. Self compassion might start with going to a treatment centre and taking time to really start this sober journey.

    The kind and loving choice is never to drink. It is always to ask for help.

  4. As an aside, but writing a blog we open ourselves up to both support and criticism. If you know and respect the person who made the comment, perhaps he or she is actually offering you some advice that you realize you need.

  5. I advise that you see a good therapist to decide if you want to drink or not. If you end up deciding not to drink, a therapist can help you achieve that goal. If you decide that drinking is the path you want to continue on, at least you will have a better understanding of why you drink, and what you get out of it, and what you risk with your current drinking habits.

  6. Every aspect of your life is at stake with your decision. Once you cross over the line into addiction, moderation is nearly impossible. Annie, remember you are seeking sobriety not perfection. Part of self compassion is sometimes doing the “hard thing” because we know that is what’s required to accomplish what is needed. Let go of your worries about what other people think… it will rob you of your energy, time.and joy…we can never control what people think nor should we want to. You don’t need others to validate who you are. You have so many blessings in your life and you have a sweet, gentle spirit about you that people are drawn to. Sometimes we have to hear what we need to hear and not necessarily what we “want” to hear. Strength for today .. hope for tomorrow.

  7. I believe that you really, really want the peace that sobriety brings Annie. I think that sharing your ups and downs, successes and failures with the blogging world is far from attention seeking. It is a plea for support through doing something that is very difficult. If it was easy none of us would be here. We’d just effortlessly staying sober. Don’t take unhelpful comments to heart. Your presence on here in both your good and bad times is appreciated by so many who are sharing your struggle x

  8. I agree with overcoming! Don’t let what others think get to you. I’m glad you’re still here and still trying. I am too – day 3 now, and I’ve signed up for 100 days. It’s going to be tough because I’m going through a lot at the moment. But I’ve decided it’s time to practise some self care. I worry that you are working too hard – are you teaching? Please make sure you take care of yourself, I see every day how hard that job can be xx

  9. Annie, don’t be put off. This is a tough path to follow. I have had a couple of rougher days but had the luxury of just being able to go to bed, listen to the radio and read these blogs. I don’t think we come here to be judged – I can do that in spades and am far more ruthless than anyone out there. You have my support whether this is your first day one or your fifty first. The main thing is that you keep trying and figure out what works for you. Its probably too simplistic to say don’t drink but I find that distraction helps or just take yourself away from the situation if you can. I couldn’t chuck all the booze away when I started this thing a few weeks ago now but I am slowly pouring it down the sink and giving it away and avoiding situations where I might be tested – so far it seems to work and in parallel, I am working up my next set of strategies for Easter hols and when the sun shines in a rather more predictable fashion than of late. Good luck, stay positive and ignore the sceptics.


  10. I would cautiously say that if the comment struck a chord with you, check in and see if there is some validity in it. I went back and found the comment and I would say it is challenging not combative. I agree with Anne ainsobriety that by blogging we get the good, the bad and the ugly. Take a moment to yourself to see if the comment can help you somehow, no need to blog about it but just see if it resonates, my latest post was all about me misinterpretting something that was said to me. I struggle on this journey too so I can empathise, but sometimes our harshest critics have the hardest truths to tell.
    For the record I M neither agreeing or disagreeing with what was said.

  11. Annie, don’t be discouraged by comments. This is something you really want, so you have to keep trying. I understand how you feel though. I have spent my whole life worrying what other people think of me and I am finally learning, very slowly I might add, that it doesn’t matter. Overcoming put it so well, “it will rob you of your energy, time and joy”. Don’t give up. A x

  12. I only know you from what you’ve written, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen you write about why you drink. I can’t help feeling that until you dig into that, preferably not just on your own, but with a counselor, or group, you’re going to continue to go in a circle. Without understanding yourself and why you keep doing this to yourself, you’re likely going to keep repeating it. Digging into the why is hard. It makes us uncomfortable and vulnerable. Not drinking is only a small part of recovery. The time to ask yourself why you drink is during sober stretches, when your mind is clear of the substance. And I think that’s exactly why it’s difficult. Difficult emotions can come up when we start digging into our motivations and can make it easy to want to drink to soothe that discomfort. The tendency might be to just white-knuckle it and not engage in introspection precisely because it feels so triggery to do so. So we try not to think about it. We stay super busy and distract ourselves until one day we have a moment to stop and think, and then it all comes rushing in… so why do you drink?

  13. Part of the whole sober journey is becoming self aware, and sometimes it’s not very comfortable. One of the problems of writing a blog, and commenting, is that you do lose something with the written word – the tone etc, so it’s easy to misinterpret comments (and posts!). I would re-read the comment and see if there is advice there that could be useful. i agree a lot with Sober Geek here. Putting down the bottle is only the start xxx

  14. Don’t let anything anyone writes on here trouble you. No one is forced to read your posts. I love reading your posts, I’m cheering you on on your good days and supporting you on the not so good. Write what you want, when you want. Act on advice or ignore it. Stay strong, and keep trying something new, you will succeed. Noddy x

  15. Annie..I think that worrying about what people think is natural when you’re addicted, it’s a diversion…a way of taking the attention off of your addiction. Ultimately, who cares what a stranger thinks …what matters is that you’re living addicted to alcohol. Sometimes it’s hard for me to read your blog because it’s scary to watch someone slide further into addiction…but that’s the nature of addiction…it makes us think “it’s really no big deal” or that “the kids don’t know”…and the thing is Annie your story isn’t remarkable or different at’s the story of every addict everywhere. I was there. I was trapped. I lied to myself. Its a shitty shitty place to be. Most people who get addicted stay that way and live a half-awake chaotic life or worse. But some of us find freedom too…I have fought hard to be free. I promise you that if you can get away from drinking for an extended time and be very honest with yourself that you will find a life that drinking could not allow you to live…I wish you the peace and freedom of surrender. You are special to me…we started on here around the same time….Keep going. Sometimes the “miracle REALLY is around the corner”.

  16. Poo-poo to anyone who comments here and isn’t 100% supportive. It’s ridiculous and mean-spirited to call someone trying to get sober, with the help of a community, attention-seeking. Is the person who talks at a meeting attention-seeking? Nope. Support-seeking and support should be why people are reading and commenting.

  17. Hi Annie,
    Long time – no read. Second time I come back after a long long time and find a post where you worry about being called an attention seeker.
    You and I e-mailed about a year ago and I explained why I unfollowed your blog: I had the idea you and I had a bad dynamics going of which I thought they were not helpful to you and confusing to me. We started our attempt at sobriety almost at the same time if I remember well. You would easily take in everything I said and yes, that pleased me for a while, in hindsight I think it just blew up my ego. I step into a dominant mother role easily which is why I unfollowed you because we did not seem to get out of that. And haha, here I am, stepping right back in. Or not, not sure. Sorry for that – this is the flavor of the dish I serve – this is how I am today. Work in progress. 😦 / :-).
    We blogged and replied avidly but after a while I felt like you were latching on onto my story and compared and in that comparison you, well, to me, acted as if you felt inadequate. In the act of comparing and latching on you seemed to lose your own feeting and as a direct and logical result; your own ability to act in your own life. That is dangerous.
    In the past year I have ever so now and then read your posts and to me it seems like the more you lose your feeting, the more you latch on and ‘play nice’ / adjust your manners to please others. I find that very difficult to watch / see / (project onto you?) It hurts to (assume?) that you are losing yourself. I assume that other people call this behaviour ‘attention seeking’ – which choice of words, I guess, says a lot about those who issue them too. 😦 It is easy to forget that it takes two to tango.
    And I can only guess that me dropping in and writing this reply very possibly hurts you. Thing is…. no decissions or determination can exist or be maintained when you are not your own person. When you do not stand on your own two feet and realise where and what you are. In my, not so humble opinion you are drawn away from your core easily and that makes perseverance almost impossible. Add to that a little alcohol and bam! away goes the real Annie. 😦
    When you learn to find your own feet (more) you will find that you are in a shithole, dealing very badly with alcohol and on a daily base risk yourself, your family and all you have in your life.
    You will also find that you are a beautiful person entitled to be loved by herself, her family and friends FOR WHO SHE IS. NOT for who she thinks she needs to be and not drowning what she thinks she should not be.
    Standing on your own feet does not mean you are alone. Well, ok, sometimes it does, thing is, in the end you will feel more lost and alone when you do not. That is a harsh truth of this world. It is also very beautiful natural boundary setup by the Universe to make sure that we all, at some stage want to learn to adult. 😉 🙂
    I’m not sure if I am on the mark but I put it in here anyhow: I’m guessing your experiences at school have very much washed away this feeling of you being able to be who you are out of you, and I am very, very sorry for that. It is a cruel world with a lot of emotionally deprived people who try to transfer their own pain to others. But I am thinking that it is time to stand up now, cut lose and tell them: I am Annie and I will take care of myself no matter what you think. I will not let you talk me into ruining my life any longer.
    Believe me, at the moment I write this there are 7.400.531.438 people on the world and of them 7.400.531.437 people are all so caught up that they won’t even really notice if you just start liking yourself for who you are. 😉

    And… here I am again, ‘telling’ you what to do. Not sure if this is in any way helpful. Hope it is Annie. Sending hugs and love and not a soft but in this case a firm shoulder to cry on. Well, hugs, dear Annie.

    xx, Feeling

  18. I wholeheartedly agree with you! Self-compassion will be a great tool for you! Every day is a new day; please don’t be so hard on yourself. Your honesty in your blog is a gift you give each of us every day we read your posts. And others can easily choose not to follow you. I am reading Brene Brown’s book “The Gifts of Imperfection.” I think you would like it!

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