We Have BIG NEWS!!!
I started blogging in December of 2012 suffering in silence thanks to a case of postpartum depression. I was having trouble leaving the house by myself, and struggling to connect with friends and family. I was afraid of how I was feeling, but more afraid to admit it to the people that know me as a “strong woman.”
With all the tools at my feet, the healthy coping skills I had learned in the twelve years I’d been sober didn’t help. I felt paralyzed by the fear and the sadness that I thought I knew better than to feel.
I felt broken and I felt alone. I felt like there wasn’t anyone that could possibly understand.
I felt like I did before I got sober.
I have always kept some sort of a journal to vent in or to simply let go of obsessive or unwanted thoughts. I thought about starting a new one. Instead, I started to blog. My posts were mostly about my kids; my frustrations in the form of humorous rants. I used my blog as an outlet for the pain, and felt encouraged with every comment someone left identifying or leaving an “lol.”
I blogged about my days so they wouldn’t run together, and sometimes just to crawl out of the sludge I was drowning in. I started reading other blogs and connecting with other bloggers. I read women like JD Bailey of Honest Mom, and Allison of Motherhood, WTF. They were writing honestly about depression, about hope, and they weren’t apologizing for any of it.
On May second, I celebrated my thirteenth sober anniversary. I wrote a post entitled, “I Got Sober Today”, and emailed both Allison and JD to work up the courage to hit “Publish.” They both encouraged me to trust myself and do whatever was going to work for ME. I closed my eyes and published the post not knowing what to expect.
The response I received was incredible. People left encouraging comments and I received an unbelievable amount of private messages and emails from women saying, “Me too!.” Some of these women were bloggers that weren’t public about their sobriety, but wanted me to know I wasn’t alone. Some of the emails were from women that were struggling with alcohol and wanted to know more about my experience. Why do some of us feel like we should hide or shy away from talking about our sobriety publicly? The stigma. My purpose became clear.
I started to come back to life. Even though I was still struggling to connect with people in real life, I was able to connect with these women online that totally understood how I was feeling. An amazing community of women began to surround me, and I began to believe in myself again.
Shortly after, the Sober Mommies blog was born and I received the amazing opportunity to work with other sober women to reach out to others all over the country. I have been so blessed and have met so many wonderful people with unique and beautiful stories of struggle and strength. Together we have started something indescribably powerful that is beyond anything I could have imagined.
It is because of these connections, that I have the confidence and faith to take yet another step. It is because of you that I am happy to announce the birth of Sober Mommies Incorporated!! This non-profit organization will support and encourage sober mothers in the Massachusetts area, like me, that might feel alone. I have filed the paperwork to become a 5013c charitable organization and look forward to working with and providing some financial support to other non-profits serving sober mommies. I am over the moon excited and it’s taking a lot of control not to be typing all of these things with a thousand exclamation points.
Please visit us at www.sobermommies.org to learn more!!!!!! Try not to judge us at first glance, the site is still in the works. There are many more wonderful and exciting things to come!
HUGE thanks to every one of you for your support, your cyber-hugs, and your acceptance and encouragement. NONE of this could have been possible without you.
Julie Maida has been in abstinence-based recovery since May 2, 2000. She is fiercely determined to advocate for and connect ALL women with the appropriate support and resources necessary to achieve their personal recovery goals. She writes about mothering with mental illness at juliemaida.me.