“I’m celebrating 32 years of sobriety!”
I recently did an interview where they asked what character traits I had transferred from my addiction into my current career as a writer and author. Two of those traits are persistence and risk-taking.
Persistence helped me push through the 12 years after I started writing my children’s book to the day it was published — 16 years after I got sober. Persistence also kept me drinking, for 12 shame-filled years after I knew I had a problem, making it seem like a negative trait while I was active.
I also persisted in chasing men back then, which only made me look desperate and needy. Childhood trauma can do that to a person. I persisted in your typical risky behaviors as well, like driving while intoxicated or going home with strangers I’d met at bars (even hitchhiking at 2:00 a.m. to get to one of them 20 miles away).
My risk-taking was dangerous back then, but when I got sober and started writing, it allowed me to own my voice and create a style. For someone who barely made it through college, creative writing felt like a tremendous risk.
But I had so many feelings I needed to process, the words seemed to fly from my fingertips onto the page. And I didn’t let rejection of my work stop me. I persisted, and as a result, I’ve gotten numerous essays published, plus a memoir about my journey to sobriety, which includes lots of my risk-taking stories, along with how I recovered and healed.
And of course, my 32 years of continuous sobriety is a result of my persistence.
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