This weekend I have been in New York City for the She Recovers event which I’ve been looking forward to for more than a year. As somebody who is recovering from alcoholism, community has meant everything throughout the life of my sober journey.
For seven years I have sat at home on my computer typing away here on SoberJulie.com, hoping to help other people and also growing in my own journey. Each day of those 7 years have led me to today…to the moment which finds me bursting at the seams in a hotel room in New York.
This weekend as I stood in a room with 500 women I have been overwhelmed many, many times by the feeling of validation. This validation wasn’t only for my efforts of writing here on the blog but for the many pains and struggles and joys that I felt in sobriety.
I think there are various reasons why this feeling of validation came about but if I were to verbalize to you what the most amazing benefit of this weekend has been for me it’s truly the people…the feeling of community.
Preparing to come here I wasn’t actually nervous at all, I was excited! I wasn’t concerned about what I would wear I wasn’t concerned about the surface things which normally would bother me for some reason I knew in my heart of hearts that this would be about more than anything surface. That’s really not a shocker when you think about it…I knew I would be surrounded by women who face the s*** in their lives; women who have gone to battle with so many challenges and we would all be here…together in one space… irrelevant of our differences…we would all be seeking to continue further on our journey to live our truths.
I wasn’t disappointed…from the very first conversation I had to the last hug goodbye the main thread of my experience has been the powerful connections I have been making. Everyone I met here was willing to be present in the moment.
Over the weekend there have been many difficult, painful conversations, loving hugs and gasps of joy. In corners of the building, down hallways and right on stage we have seen 500 women sharing of their hearts, of their pain and of their successes. These are deep conversations that are happening here and they no longer have to be hidden! As someone who has been trying to help break the stigma associated with alcoholism, this is an amazing thing.
My hope today is restored. Even as I mourn the loss of friends from addiction and alcoholism in the past few weeks…I am focused on that hope today. Thank you so much to Dawn, Taryn and the She Recovers NYC event team! Your hard work paid off…and I am grateful for the safe place you birthed here.
Please use your voices, please find your community and know that we CAN and DO recover!