So I’m kind of a “challenge-all-social-norms, alternative-lifestyle-embracing” sort of girl, and probably mostly not everyone’s cup of tea. And that’s okay. I actually think my unique blend of quirks and weirdnesses are the exact parts of my personality that drew me to this online recovery support group that I’m a part of now like a homing beacon.

And when I first found this community of special humans, the recovery space they shared — online thought it may have been — just felt like home to me. Probably more than my own familial home growing up ever did, honestly, even though I love my family with all my heart. I mean, the amount of acceptance and love in the words I’ve seen shared in this space, between total strangers on the internet, is just, like… an uber-supportive, all-encompassing, spiritually touching approach to sobriety that I’ve never been exposed to before (and I worked in the recovery business for several years, so that’s saying something).

Anyway, now that I’m a part of this community of special humans… as tends to happen in support groups, I find that I’m often re-introducing myself to the group, whenever there are new people that come into it. And since I think it could be an interesting thing for me to witness how my own introduction of myself to others — especially in relation to my recovery — changes over time, I’m going to record my latest re-introduction posts here, going forward. So here goes…

Hey there, y’all. I’m Trish. I’m a relatively recently divorced 9/11 military veteran, have been leading an ethically non-monogamous lifestyle for the past 6 years or so, and am a newbie full-time RV dweller (by choice) who is about to migrate from Southern California to Arizona for the winter.

I’ve struggled with alcohol for about 20 years, with my divorce and subsequent issues probably bringing that more to the forefront over the past couple of years than in the past. I’ve also struggled with eating disorder issues rather sporadically throughout that whole time. The eating disorder stuff was really bad for part of my early 20s, but I thought I had totally kicked it, until I started purposefully trying to incorporate periods of sobriety into my life over the past few years. And then, surprise surprise, the eating disorder behaviors reared their ugly head again.

I’ve actually spent the past few months with my therapist working through how all of that mess is tied together with my tendency to subsume my own desires for those of my romantic partners, and have basically been learning to stop repressing my feelings so much, so that I won’t feel as strong of a need to turn to consumption of anything (food or alcohol) as a numbing or distraction agent.

That’s definitely a work in progress, but I’ve started practicing… IDK… “conscious vulnerability,” I guess is what I would call it, with trusted friends and family thus far, and it’s been… well, way more positive of an experience than I expected. I’ve read a lot of Brene Brown’s stuff (“Daring Greatly,” “The Gifts of Imperfection,” etc.), and I guess it makes more sense to me now how sharing the story of my softer and more vulnerable parts has made me feel strangely better. But dang, it sure doesn’t make sharing that stuff any less scary.

Anyway, that’s all I’ve got for now. Sharing is hard, y’all.

For context on this post, and links to related journal entries from this particular piece of my life's journey, see My Sobriety Journey, Journaled.