Zen: (noun) A Japanese school of Mahayana Buddhism emphasizing the value of meditation and intuition.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Nice to Meet You

Okay, so I'm staring at a blank screen most of the day, knowing that I want to write.  Feeling that I need to write.  Not having a freaking clue about what to write.  Not good.

Not good at all.

And then I read this from Running On Sober's brilliant site and I thought, "I think she's got it!" (My apologies to Professor Higgins.)

See, I've been having a hard time figuring out what I want my blog to be when it grows up.  I don't want to lose my sober (and maybe even not sober yet) readers, especially if by some miracle I'm helping them in any way, but I don't want to go on writing only about being an alcoholic and recovering.  I want to write about anything and everything that pops into my pea brain but I run into roadblocks sometimes because to write about anything and everything might give you a glimpse into who I am in "real" life.

It's something that's been rolling around in my head lately and it was resurrected yesterday from a blog post by Ellie over at One Crafty Mother.  (If you don't know Ellie you should. She's one of the founding administrators of Crying Out Now, the Bubble Hour, and Shining Strong, all of which serve to get and keep women (and men in some cases) sober and in recovery.  She's a beautiful person inside and out. Give her a read.)

ANYWAY, this thought has been about my anonymity and whether or not I should "come out".  I've never been shy about telling people about my "issues".  I feel that if I can give one person hope or help someone come to terms with their own issues, then it's worth whatever bullshit I have to take because I tattled on myself.  For instance, I'm like the poster child for clinical depression and the stigma attached.  I freely tell people about my depression and that I'm heavily medicated and what a difference it's made in my life.  I'm not a pusher of anti-depressants but I do believe that if you need help (therapy, medicine, yoga...whatever) then you should seek it.  I can't count the number of times I've been told over the last twenty years, "Thank you.  Because of you I found the courage to get some help."  One of those is worth a room full of rolling eyes and blank stares. 

Just ask - I'll tell you.

When it came to my alcoholism, however, I've been walking a very fine line.  Of course, while I was attending AA, "coming out" was not an option.  AA practioners hold their anonymity very dear...and I respect that to the nth degree.  I would never, ever do anything to compromise anyone else's decision about their anonymity.  Plus, some of them are so adamant that to even whisper a last name or place of employment would practically get you escorted from the building.  Nope...not going there.

In my gut though, I knew that for me to keep the fact that I am an alcoholic a secret meant I was ashamed; and at first I was...deeply.  But over time I became less and less ashamed and keeping my secret only served to reinforce the shame that I was finally, blessedly, albeit slowly, shedding.  So I began to tell people in my "real life" and, to my surprise, after the initial shock, no one really gave a shit.  Those who loved me still loved me.  Those who valued my work continued to value my work.  Those who couldn't deal with it?  Fuck 'em and the horse they rode in on.

But in my blog, my anonymity remains.  This is partly because it is the Internet after all.  What is placed out here, stays out here.  But also because I just wasn't sure if it was the right thing to do.  I'm a people pleaser at heart.  I don't want to offend anyone...or run anyone off...or risk hurting any one's feelings.

But it's getting harder and harder for me to think up fake names and not include pictures and be anonymous.  Many of you have become family to me.  As this blog evolves I want to share all of me with you and not just the drunk and ashamed parts.  Not just the secret part.  I want to feel free to share the entire, recovered, strong and happy part of me right alongside the funny, sloppy and ugly parts of me.

So here it is.  I'm Sherry.  I'm a recovering alcoholic.  I work for a major U.S. bank (let's not get totally crazy okay) and have been with Elmo (real name Bill) for over 30 years.  You already know my kids but you'll come to know them by name as I continue to write.  And the best thing is that if I want to include pictures...I will.

For instance - these two will turn 18 on the 27th and will graduate from high school in June.  Aren't they gorgeous.  I'm so proud of them I could burst.  Matthew is on the left.  Brian is on the right.

I'll share more pics as needed and with permission of course.

And this is me.  An over 50, overweight, recovering alcoholic, mother, grandmother, wife, banker/teacher, chocolate lover, Pepsi Max drinker, God lover and overall good person.

This is our latest addition.  She's getting bigger by the day.

Nice to meet you!



  1. I already know you but you still overwhelm me. I'm a little misty here. Damn, I can't believe how far we've come! Love you!

  2. Wow! I love this - getting to know more about you through this and your previous blog. What very handsome blokes there! And you with the wee one...wow. I was going to say something alone the lines of "that's not how I thought you would look", but then again two things come up: 1) I have no clue what people look like, even if you described yourself perfectly, I would still conjure up something totally different 2) who cares? But having said that, it's so great to see that smile!

    Blessings to you and your wonderful family!

    (Let's see Bill now...lol)


  3. Nice to meet you too!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm going to do a similar thing soon...I like the idea of 'no stigma' .. works for me anyway.. but I also understand how others don't want to be upfront. I told a new friend at the gym the other day that I don't drink 'because I couldn't control it'.. stopped short of saying 'I'm an alcoholic' because I think it sounds too dramatic even though it's TRUE!! Love to you foxy Mama.. btw you are not overweight - you look fabulous. Women over 40 are supposed to have curves!! Bet Elmo loves them... are you back on Myfitnesspal? xxxx

  4. Now I'll recognize on our BBQ date and won't run up and hug some random woman who looks awesome and cool. :) Not hiding who I am has been a big good thing for me since I got sober. I've been hiding as long as I can remember, so I didn't need to worry about not revealing who I am- cause for me that's what this is all about: being me!


    p.s. your sons are so handsome. And grown up! I have a long way to go. :)

  5. Sherry!! Love that you shared your pictures here. What handsome sons, and love the picture of you holding the tiny little one. You are gorgeous! So nice to put a face to the words. I agree that I think of you all as my sober family. While we couldn't share last names at meetings (though did anyway), at least we got to see each other. In blogging we don't always see who we're talking to and I like this much better. I too find I'm feeling less shame about having to give up drinking as time goes on. Thank you for sharing with us.

  6. SHERRY!!!! Hey pretty lady!!! I don't know why in the world I pictured you blonde? Maybe that serene yoga pose gravatar photo looked blondish to me? No matter, because now I can picture your smiling face when I think of you.

    I've been dallying with the idea of pictures too, ever since bbb made her gravatar her own photo. I guess that's part of the process of slow growth and change and evolution... we get more and more comfortable in our own skins. It's like "who the crap cares if I drank or not, it's not who I am *now*, but it made me who I am today." And in a way, that's pretty cool. I'm really understanding that grateful, recovering alcoholic thing now...

    Love love love this post! And thank you kindly for the mention. You're wonderful!

    ~ Christy