The Wine Bitch killed The Wine Witch (and Cheryl Strayed kicks ass too)

I started reading sobriety blogs when I started searching for community. I mean an alcohol-free community, one that I hope I can learn from and turn to for advice or inspiration when the going gets tough. And tonight I can say one thing:

That shit really works.

It’s Monday (and who loves Mondays?), but I didn’t sleep well last night, work was particularly stressful, and I’m still clawing my way back from being pretty down/blue/sad this weekend. Not the best foundation to start a week without alcohol, and when I got home tonight, the wine witch was whispering loudly in my year.

Fuck her. Why can’t she just see I’m not interested in hanging out with her anymore and leave me alone?

Cheryl Strayed talks about being brave and real.

Cheryl Strayed talks about being brave and real.

I had tickets to Cheryl Strayed tonight with a friend, but after I scarfed down my fine dinner of cheese, hummus and crackers, what I really wanted to do was just chill on the couch with my dog. Instead, for some reason I sat down at my computer and refreshed the page of one of the blogs I had just bookmarked yesterday, The Wine Bitch. She had a new post today, celebrating six months being alcohol free and it inspired me. I felt the wine witch’s ass get kicked off my shoulder and I was renewed. It was powerful. This is how this works!

Cheryl Strayed was also awesome. Strong, authentic, “a little bit inappropriate,” as she would say (and did). Anyone who knows her story (from her book Wild) knows she did a lot of heroin and had sex with a lot of strangers when she was grieving the death of her mother. And one of her messages tonight was, The only person who can take you out of where you are to where you want to go is YOU. We have the power to be the authors of our own lives.

Man, that was the message I needed tonight. When I am so in my head that my own voice is slamming around in my skull like dozen Rachel’s in a hall of mirrors, THAT’s when it’s easy to lose grounding. That’s when my feet can leave the ground and I lose perspective.

And then there are women like Cheryl Strayed who remind me what strong, driven women (who also ask for help) can accomplish. There are women like The Wine Bitch (and so many others) who keep focus and balance, and then one day of strength turns into a week, which turns into six months and then six years and beyond. Tonight I was reminded that keeping that grounding with the community is so critically important in quitting drinking. Surrounding myself with as many other voices besides my own as possible — virtually and in the real world — will be key.

And being honest and brave and real, every single day.

It’s the only way.

I left the theater feeling great, and on my way home my phone beeped to tell me a couple of people had commented on my last posts. Words of encouragement from real people who know exactly how I feel and have, or are, going through it too. What a difference it makes! (thank you!)

- Cheryl Strayed

– Cheryl Strayed

Cheryl Strayed’s new book is called Brave Enough and is filled with wonderful quotes of inspiration. This one, from one of the first pages, seemed particularly appropriate tonight.

There will be some blood, but it will be worth it.

Rachel.

7 thoughts on “The Wine Bitch killed The Wine Witch (and Cheryl Strayed kicks ass too)

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