While staring into the abyss that is my facebook newsfeed, I saw this essay — it is an honest and emotionally raw account of a breakup between the sober author and the partner she was with before and throughout the beginning of her sobriety.
I recently got out of a relationship that was all wrong for me. There are very obvious, and significant differences between the author’s story and mine. However, the core of the article spoke to me, it shook my perspective when I read it, making clear another perspective on my bigger journey that I hadn’t seen before.
After reading the article, my first instinct when I read this article was to re-share it on facebook. just before hitting the “share” button I hesitated. I hesitated to share this article because even though I love the article and totally identify with the author, I was afraid that it would be assumed that I was posting it in order to upset or provoke my ex, whereas that couldn’t be further from the truth. I know that her reactions/emotions aren’t/weren’t my responsibility, but I still harbor the instinct to protect her interests over my own. I know it’s messed up, but there it is. So I didn’t share it on facebook.
I thought about it, I read it again. I sent it to a friend. I got advice. I was reminded that my facebook was mine and I reaffirmed to myself that I was not responsible for what she thought. But sharing it on facebook still did not seem right. So I’m writing here instead…
I found an article on my newsfeed the other day that helped me to see some recent events in an entirely new perspective. The Life-Changing Day My Addict Partner Left Me — not so surprisingly it’s about the breakup between the sober author and the partner she was with before sobriety. This is by no means a one-to-one comparison with my experience, there are obvious and significant differences, but reading it was awesome. it was like someone turned the light on. I already knew that my relationship ending was the right thing, I had known that for longer than I am willing to admit, but to see all of this from the author’s perspective, while also being able to clearly view her situation with the objectivity that you can never see your own relationships with… it was liberating.
Most of what I took from the article had little to do with her change in relationship status. Beyond the breakup, this essay was about this author’s journey through sobriety, facing all the dark corners, the ones you know are there and the ones you find along the way. growth. growth through the introspection made possible for me by my sobriety. Reading her story, I was able to see her perspective.
That momentary glimpse of another’s perspective is what I hope to do for even just one other person. So many times for me in recovery, in diabetes, in anger, a moment’s glimpse of another perspective was enough to make me stop and think — maybe it didn’t stop me from doing, or feeling, but it changed my actions into choices, which, for me, was a turning point.
For better or worse, getting sober has changed my life. I thought I would be living my same life, only without drinking, but that’s not it, it’s much better than that. I don’t have the author’s hindsight, I don’t know where I’ll be in another five years, but I’m looking forward to it.