38 Weeks Sober

Today I am 269 days sober!


I was always told I was a different child and it only continued into adolescence where I was consistently misunderstood. People didn’t get me. Nobody could understand how somebody could be so resistant to conforming. I even ask myself that question sometimes. The answer is simple. I don’t know how to be anything other than myself. I have come to the realization lately that I have led a very lonely life because of my choice to be so. My eccentricity puts a wedge between many people in my life and I reinforce that wedge by building walls up around me. I do it out of fear. More specifically a fear of rejection. Having experienced so much ostracizing for my failure to stay within a set of norms, I felt that nobody would be willing to listen if I decided to come out from behind my walls and say something. So I stay behind my walls. I have control of myself that way. I can turn inward, take matters into my own hands, and work through my life without feeling the pressure of others trying to lead me in one direction or the other.  It actually serves to protect me from harmful, hateful, and oppressive ideas and beliefs about how I SHOULD be living my life.


Anyways, from all this reflecting I was reminded just how independent and in control of my life I have been. I have been making decisions for myself for the entirety of my existence that I believe best served me. Even during the course of the 4 years of drinking and occasional pill popping, the decision to keep drinking and not seek help was a conscious choice. At that point in my life, I truly believed that was the only way I could live my life. It provided me the relief and comfort when people could not. Whether I predicted that the outcome of that time would be the present day circumstances I am in or not, it’s a choice I do not regret. Without all the self-destruction, trials and tribulations, and loneliness I don’t think I would have gotten here.


So even though they were obviously bad choices, I made them anyway. Why? Because I was convinced people did not know what was best for me. I will admit that my sobriety did come with a little force from loved ones and friends. However, as the days passed and my mind became clearer I came to accept they were right, which absolutely killed me. That being said, I am still confident enough in my ability to make choices to make the final executive decision concerning my well-being. I am not someone who can be controlled. I am not somebody who gives in to others easily. I will never subject myself to something that will compromise my core principles and being. 

I want to be able to let my guard down and feel supported in the choices that I make. I want to be able to make a choice and not have to explain myself to somebody. I hate having to live in constant vigilance about doing something that would completely shatter the fragile relationships I have with people. As an eccentric individual, it should be pretty obvious I won’t follow conventions. Don’t tell me what I do is wrong without knowledge of my perspective and background. Even if you do have that knowledge, can you really believe that you know what’s best for me? I am a firm believer that we all will do what is best for us. We all have the agency and capability to exercise our independence to take control of our life and live it accordingly. Instead of dictating what each other should be doing, we need to be encouraging the independence of individuals to decide for themselves.


I will stay behind my walls for the time being. In a time as fragile and precious as this I MUST and WILL make every choice independently concerning my well-being. Not because I am afraid of being rejected, but because I am okay with being rejected. I am not phased by whether people agree or disagree with me anymore. It will be a lonely road, but in the end all we have is ourselves. So why let people influence you when they will cease to exist in the coming days? I have spent so many years alone that I have become quite accustomed to it. I find a peace in being alone and isolated within my thoughts. It’s a space that nobody else can inhabit except myself. I can be whoever and whatever I want there without feeling invaded upon. It is here that I draw upon my sources of strength to persevere and hold firm in my decision to embrace myself for what I am. Forever alone and beautifully misunderstood. 


Going My Own Way:

Taylor James


One Comment

Add yours →

  1. LaDonna Underwood April 15, 2017 — 11:46 pm

    Only 96 more days. I am proud of you!


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