Is it enough to remain anonymous?

23 Jul

3:00 pm

I have been thinking a lot lately about this blog, my anonymity, and the truth of my sobriety:  is it built on “lies” because I have remained for so long in the closet?  Do I need to come out to be “fully” sober?

For me, the answer is moving toward:

I need to come out FOR my sobriety.  I feel stalled, somehow.  Stuck.  I need to come out so that I can move forward in my sobriety.  Here’s the thing (something I discovered after a stressful morning, and then, sort of weeping out of frustration, face-down on my yoga mat–I give up!, I wanted to scream):  I “feel” like a fraud in most things.  I feel like a fraud in that, I tell myself, I’m not “really” a writer, I’m not “really” a good person, I’m not “really” sober.  I’m just pretending until I don’t have to anymore, until I can let my guard down and be my “true” self.  I think we all can relate to this feeling, and maybe it’ll take me the course of my entire life to “fix,” or at least comes to terms with, whatever it is that made me this way.

However, this desire to come out is based more on a desire to…move forward.  To fully commit to being sober.  To be able to say, This is me, and these are the things I’ve gone through–take it or leave it.  To be able to truly help others by, you know, being loud and proud.  Part of the biggest threat to an individual’s sobriety is the shame and stigma surrounding the addiction and addictive behavior.  Am I not perpetuating this stigma by refusing to put myself out there–primarily out of fear?

The answer, I believe in my heart (no offense to all the other anonymous sober bloggers out there), is yes.  I mean, I am sort of terrified of revealing myself because I worry that not only might I lose people, I will lose jobs, respect in the workplace, my entire career. Is that necessarily a bad thing?  I doubt it, but I’m not sure how it will all pan out.

Lately, I’ve been feeling like I need to get other people’s PERMISSION to come out–to reveal my identity to my fellow bloggers, and well, the rest of the world (i.e., all those friends, loved ones, family members, and coworkers who know bits and pieces about my sober story, but none, the full ordeal).  In a fit of self-judgment the other day, I realized that, NO, I don’t need anyone’s permission to come out, to take my seat at the table, so to speak.  I don’t need anyone to tell me how to do it.  I just need to take a deep breath, realize that my fears of losing people are unfounded (i.e., either I’ve already lost them, or they weren’t worth keeping in the first place), and embrace the truth.  My truth.  To shine a light on my truth so that…I can fully let it go and move forward in my sobriety and sober life!

I feel like my sobriety has only partial integrity by remaining in the closet.  I feel like I can’t keep being sober, fully, if I remain an anonymous blogger.

But, I’m not going to do it today.  Today, I just wanted to let you know that I’m still here, still working away, still being grateful for both the ups and downs, and still coming to terms with this period of plateau.  It’s all good.  It really is.

Will coming out be liberating and not that big of a deal?  Probably.  Can I do it on my own time?  Absolutely.

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22 Responses to “Is it enough to remain anonymous?”

  1. dpallee July 23, 2017 at 3:59 pm #

    I’ll have to disagree with you, for good intentional purposes; I don’t feel you need to reveal who you are and, in fact, feel that may be a detriment to what you offer. If some were to know the true identity behind the Drunky Drunk Girl this cold jade the opinion of the wisdom you provide, the insight you have witnessed. Stay anonymous and your message will be the focus of readers, not the faults they may find in the write-and you ARE a writer. If you went around telling people ‘yeah, I’ve been thinking about starting a blog, blah-blah-blah, that lip service means little. You have continued to write and bring your thoughts out there in prose, and that is a monumental task. Bravo, and keep it up.

  2. storminanewcup July 23, 2017 at 4:55 pm #

    I really love this! (Whatever you decide.) I only have 63 days (🎉🤗) and am still very much at the stage of telling people I *have* to that I am doing a 100-day reset – and honestly scrabbling for the language I will use after that – but I have been thinking a lot about the way that taking action to recover from addiction is lumped in with suffering from addiction and the stigma attached to the whole lot makes people too afraid to really examine their lives and make changes. Society desperately needs ESPECIALLY “high-bottom”/functional [alcoholics] to speak out and change the perception of both addiction and sobriety. In my anonymous opinion. Ha! Thank you for posting this!

  3. ainsobriety July 23, 2017 at 5:20 pm #

    I am not anonymous. Being able to post about my life has helped me a lot. I was anonymous to begin with, but at some point it just seemed like effort. I can’t say much changed…

    I talk openly in my life about my sobriety and my struggles with mental health. I have never encountered stigma…not that I could actually pinpoint, anyway.

    I’m a 45 year old professional engineer and I work in the oil industry. I am also a yoga teacher.

    I embrace being me. For better or for worse, it is part of my freedom.

    Do what feels right for you. Ask yourself what letting go of anonymity will bring you. Is it something you need? Do you anticipate anything will change?

    It’s good to hear you are ok.

    Anne

  4. SoberInParadise July 23, 2017 at 9:25 pm #

    I’ve been reading your posts for a while – I think since I got sober. And I’m a blogger…

    At times I’ve wanted to be loud and proud…I even bought a website and got started on a blog about getting sober as an expat in the Caribbean. But recently I watched a documentary about some DJ…DJ AM? About how he wanted to tell the world, to help the world and it probably contributed to his death.

    At this moment, I feel what happened to him wouldn’t happen to me. He got into a plane accident – and started his spiral downward…isolation…and then drug relapse. It is speculated that he didn’t ask for help because he was a very public sober guy.

    It’s a scary scenario. I’m not sure that negativity would help me grow stronger or if, too intense, it would cause me to isolate.

    Keep posting. Always something that REALLY gets me thinking.

  5. findingasobermiracle July 23, 2017 at 9:35 pm #

    I agree with you — something feels right about being open with sobriety, and not giving in to the stereotypical stigma associated with it. But also like you, I am “coming out” a little at a time. No hurry, just when it feels right. It took me a year to post a photo with my blog. That was huge! And I only used my real first name after about 9 months. Only a few people know I even have a blog. However, when you write your book, you will need to do author interviews, so there you go.

    Good luck with whatever you decide. 💕

  6. nanc nanc revolution July 24, 2017 at 12:39 am #

    I personally have been very open about my sobriety.
    1. I work in an industry surrounded and plagued by alcohol and alcoholism and I hope that being open about it helps anyone. Let them know that you can get sober and still work in the industry.
    And 2. For my son. I want him to know that addiction is a real thing and if you are suffering you can get help and your life isn’t over.
    But those are my own personal reasons.
    If it feels right to you to “out” yourself then yay! Shout it from the roof tops!!!! But if you think it’s going to cause you anxiety or anything like that keep it close to your heart.
    Whatever you decide I know I’ll be here reading along with your journey.

  7. Katherine July 24, 2017 at 7:33 am #

    Yes we all share imposter syndrome! I can tell by your writing here however, that you are no imposter when it comes to words!

    I hadn’t even thought about the anonymous thing, frankly. But if it bothers you…

    All my friends who got sober, and there are many, because my work is related to the music industry, thrived after Sobriety and publicly declaring it, but I think the people in your life who know you don’t drink are proud of you and understand you needed to do it. It’s a positive in every sense.

  8. furtheron July 24, 2017 at 10:22 am #

    Years back I thought I’d invented Imposter Syndrome – then I was told it’s name and that loads of people have it… shattering!

    I tried being anonymous and was just Furtheron for a long time. Then a confusion over life, what the blog was about, something important to me… etc. Blah – I exposed myself.

    I’m generally quiet open about my alcoholism in the real world, my thinking is my being open has led to more people asking for advice, help etc. than I believe have ever been a problem so I continue to be open.

  9. not too late at 48 July 24, 2017 at 12:51 pm #

    Hey, I am very newly sober ( 8 days), and scrabbling about trying to find my own support network. One of the things I have found almost by accident is the BFB Facebook page – a members only group which offers support and encouragement from others on their own sober journey. Thing is – you sign in through your FB account, your photo is there, you are outed from the outset. I’ve kind of adopted an ostrich approach of thinking 90% of the contributors are in the USA and I’m UK, but is entirely possible that I could get ‘outed’ which is quite terrifying. Also, like yourself, and other bloggers I am enjoying, I was a ‘functioning’ drinker – I hadn’t hit rock bottom, and conversely I have impostor syndrome getting support from people who’s rock bottom was a lot lower than mine! I think, that until society embraces sobriety, the media and industry are going to work really hard at maintaining the desperate alcoholic or boring killjoy stereotypes of non drinkers, and so we need to keep writing and challenging those sterotypes. Also – because this is HARD – we need to connect to others to help us through the process, and for many due to domestic or personal reasons this is a lot easier to do online.

  10. losedabooze July 25, 2017 at 8:46 am #

    I have been very open about my issue with alcohol and sharing here and there via Facebook with friends and the public which includes my workplace – for the most part everyone is very supportive. I also have my website where I post my blogs… I figure this is ME – where I am right now – not completely sober but working on getting better! And in that if anyone finds fault then they have an issue – not me lol.

  11. freefallingintoasoberlife July 25, 2017 at 10:26 am #

    It’s funny, because when I first quit drinking and started blogging, I was all about anonymity-and frankly, it’s not like I’m famous or anyone would really know who I am. But I stayed anonomys as well as not telling anyone that I’d quit drinking or was blogging. And then, slowly the need to keep quiet about it all just went away. Now I don’t tell everyone I know what’s happening in my life, but I also don’t have any hesitation in saying that I no longer drink. As a matter of fact at the grocery the other day they were giving out samples of wine. When I was offered one, I just said, “Thanks, I quit.” It just came out-no big deal and I went on my way. As time has gone on and the longer it gets since I quit, things have just evolved-to where I don’t even think about it any more.
    You do what feels good for you.

  12. StephenD July 28, 2017 at 1:07 pm #

    Being open: let it come natural. Natural is usually best for anything revealing or a new try. If there is (inner) pressure or (outer) pressing, then no, next time, time out.
    Stigma: comes and goes, like winnowing wheat from chaff. What’s bad there is the ‘pros’ who normally deal with we former drinkers and should know better, at the DMV or with doctors, then difficulties begin. but, we get to walk away, at peace, knowing our freedom.
    Anonymity: sometimes a cloak is good, as a preacher wears a robe, which keeps the hearers attention on the message and the God, not the man, and his suit. On the other hand a real person, overcome real life, kick ass.
    Food for thought.

  13. Lily 🌷 July 28, 2017 at 4:49 pm #

    I remain anonymous (at the moment) because I am a doctor, and at least initially I was afraid of my regulatory body imposing a suspension on me whilst they investigated my alcohol abuse – in case I was a risk to patients. I know I never drank at work, never ever – but they might not have taken my word for it. I have also disclosed extremely personal things about my children, and my ex husband and ex partner, that would be difficult and probably unfair to directly attribute to them by dropping my pseudonym.
    In real life I am increasingly open about my sobriety and the reasons for it. I don’t dwell on it ( usually) but I have no issue saying ‘I don’t drink because I used to drink too much” . Now that I have so much time under my belt and feel confident I can remain sober for the rest if my life, I am quite proud to be a non drinker … and quite happy to say it… I think a blog is a deeply personal some for many people, and to remain anonymous is just fine …

  14. Off-Dry July 29, 2017 at 10:47 pm #

    I came out in slow concentric circles, topped off by a Facebook post to ~800 friends and colleagues about 2 years ago on my 2nd soberversary. NONE of my coming-out fears came true. None of them. Not personally, not professionally. The opposite in some ways–being publicly sober helped to kick-start a writing career that had stalled out in my late 20s. (It is a little weird that people halfway around the know I’m sober just by reading my work, but that just comes with the territory of writing on a personal topic–if it weren’t alcoholism, it would be something else.) I’m glad I took my time, but I’m also glad I finally went public–it’s been so liberating. That said, you don’t owe your name OR your anonymity to anyone! It’s all about what’s best for you and your emotional health. But for me it’s led to MORE acceptance, freedom, and human connection, not less. xo Kristi

  15. Sandy Nichols August 1, 2017 at 11:13 am #

    I stumbled across your blog and admire you so much. As a 72 yr old I look at your journey and so proud of you. Have you considered that your frustrations have nothing to do with being sober but more about being bored and stuck in a rut about life decisions. Write down 10 things that drive you to anger or frustration. Then look at your list and I will guess you have listed most things only you can change, not your partner. (From experience…and it changed me into a proactive lady) rooting for you!
    Sandy

  16. dealingwithalcoholdependency August 1, 2017 at 12:05 pm #

    As a fellow anonymous blogger I understand your position and each person has to make that decision based on conviction and how they feel. For me the anonymity is a way of being able to be ironically more open and honest than I ever could be if I “came out”. Interesting issue though.

  17. TechEbook August 5, 2017 at 6:43 am #

    I’m generally quiet open about my alcoholism in the real world, my thinking is my being open has led to more people asking for advice, help etc. I came out in slow concentric circles, topped off by a Facebook post to ~800 friends and colleagues about 2 years ago on my 2nd soberversary.

  18. jimenobaeznarvaez August 5, 2017 at 7:39 am #

    I’m generally quiet open about my alcoholism in the real world, my thinking is my being open has led to more people asking for advice, help etc. I came out in slow concentric circles, topped off by a Facebook post to ~800 friends and colleagues about 2 years ago on my 2nd soberversary.

  19. timothyjcharles August 17, 2017 at 7:03 am #

    I came out in slow concentric circles, topped off by a Facebook post to ~800 friends and colleagues about 2 years ago on my 2nd soberversary. I came out in slow concentric circles, topped off by a Facebook post to ~800 friends and colleagues about 2 years ago on my 2nd soberversary.

  20. arsenios August 21, 2017 at 8:20 am #

    I’m generally quiet open about my alcoholism in the real world, my thinking is my being open has led to more people asking for advice, help etc. I came out in slow concentric circles, topped off by a Facebook post to ~800 friends and colleagues about 2 years ago on my 2nd soberversary.

  21. Triin Morrow August 22, 2017 at 2:37 pm #

    Hi there anonymous 😘
    Thanks for sharing your feelings and experience with sobriety. I do appreciate it, you can probably imagine how much.

    I hope you don’t mind me sharing my comment with you as i am still working towards sobriety.

    Unfortunately for me i have shared my problem with anyone who has asked believing this was what i needed to (“help”) me tackle my problem.
    WRONG!!!!!!!!

    I also would like to remain anonymous now but its too late, i have to see it through from here.

    All i want you to know is that…. Don’t do it!
    This is a cruel place where once you give yourself up for whatever reason, it won’t matter what you do or how hard you try you will always be the …..

    Your friends and family will always love you but they will never understand and the community you try so hard to impress will always have ammunition against you.
    Don’t Underestimate how far that ammunition can travel.

    Still working towards sobriety with hatred following me.

    Me X

    P.s. I am still hard working

  22. sobriety1989 August 22, 2017 at 8:17 pm #

    I understand people’s anonymity is very important and i respect that. But I am pretty open about my sobriety.. i have to be careful because sometimes norms look at me like i have two heads! casualties of having a huge sober network haha
    http://apple.co/2vO3onk

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