Coming Out Publicly About My Sobriety

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Personal anonymity can be such a controversial topic. For me, I think everyone who met me knew that I had a problem with drugs and alcohol, so why should I worry if they know that I’m clean and sober?

Of course, that’s just my experience. I’ve never been in the corporate world or had any position where someone’s prejudice might affect my career.

Today, for the most part, it just doesn’t come up. I don’t hide it, but I don’t have a sticker on my forehead saying “Recovering Alcoholic.”

My biggest issue with anonymity was with my participation in the Society for Creative Anachronism. I love medieval reenactment, but was a little anxious about how prevalent alcohol was. A couple friends and I started a group called “The Empty Chalice,” a clean and sober household within the SCA (you can find us on Facebook).

The point, much like in this reblogged post about ‘coming out in sobriety’ was to be a safe haven for others who may be seeking recovery. It’s also a place for people who just don’t like loud, drunken debauchery (not that there’s anything wrong with that).

Bottom line for me: If you drink, go for it; it doesn’t bother me. If you want to stay sober, I will do anything I can to help.

Walking in Sober Boots

Coming out publicly about my sobriety has changed my life. I wish I could tell you that I’d planned it out, that I gave it careful consideration, that I’d done it with a complete understanding of what I was getting into, but I can’t. That would be a lie.

I maintained another blog for several years that had almost no focus (surprise, I was a complete mess drinking all the time…) and one day, I just posted that I’d been sober and going to meetings as a way to get the word out to my friends. Over the next few weeks I posted a few more times and thought a lot about whether to keep these posts as part of the old blog or to start a new one. When I had the clarity that I had a lot to say about my journey, and that my journey would be…

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One thought on “Coming Out Publicly About My Sobriety

  1. Thanks for sharing this story.

    I found after being sober for several years, being “out” about my sobriety became a nonissue. In the university classroom where I taught, at some point during the semester, often my being in recovery would come up – usually in the context of noting that there is redemption. For students who might blow an exam or do poorly, I noted that during my first try at college I had an 0.7 GPA before I got tossed during my first UG career. When I went back as a serious student 15 years later, I maintained a 4.0 GPA through a PhD. I said that when I demonstrated I was a serious student 15 years later, my earlier failures were not held against me. In fact through my doctoral studies, I was very well supported with grants and fellowships. I then will casually note that one of the other big differences when I came back to school is that I also had quit drinking. I have had a number of students who needed the same redemption as I had gotten ask me about that process.

    I was also fortunate to mentor a good number of AmeriCorps youth over the years, many of whom also had checkered pasts.

    Like you with the SCA, when I was many years sober, I was faced with the challenge of starting new projects in the highland Andes of Peru where drinking was very much an important part of the culture. Because I developed credibility for my work, the not drinking has never been a problem and on more than one occasion, the ubiquitous Inca Cola or Chicha Morado is put at my place on the table!

    Liked by 1 person

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