Back to Blog
404 Error - Alcohol Not Found
What *has* been found:
More (distant) connections
More access to emotions
Fewer panic attacks
Less ignoring myself
Less unintentional spending
Fewer cancelled classes
Fewer forgotten conversations
Fewer broken things
Less wondering if
Fewer "didn't mean to ..."s
No more hangover poos!
I'm not great at maths, but I think, on balance, I'm quite happy with the way things are turning out so far!!!
lost: ALL instances of saying "oh god never again"
gained: the ability to smile like Wallace (and Gromit)
Back to Blog
So I've said similar things in other ways, but I really think this needs to be said, especially for anyone who has (only) joined a large Sober Community Tribe and who's not necessarily found anyone who sounds like them or looks like them. We are out there. We are here. We love you, and we're waiting for you. Come find us.
Hi, loves – from Day 390
Hope you’re all doing well on this Friday night. I just wanted to come and talk about something that’s been on my mind a lot recently, and that came up both in a podcast I recorded this morning (HAHAHA I AM TERRIFIED) and also in an episode of the new season of This Is Us (if you’re not watching it, drop EVERYTHING and go find it immediately). Community, change, comfort.
Randall (a Black character in This Is Us) says to his (white) therapist: “there are things that I don’t feel comfortable talking to you about. There’s stuff I put away when I enter your office, and … that doesn’t help me get better. And there’s nothing you can do to help me feel more comfortable, I just … I need something different”. I have to admit – I bawled when I heard those lines. They felt so familiar, and like words were put to a feeling I haven’t always been able to verbalise properly.
We often expect so much out of our safe spaces, our tribes, our harbours, our retreats. And so we should! We build them and invest in them and maintain them. We *are* them. And often … it can feel like they’re everything. I know I lived in my first sober support group for my first weeks and months, I lived, breathed and ate the tribe and the group, giving and getting SO MUCH. And we’ve had conversations (a lot of them outside the tribe, as those conversations within the space were closed off in order to not detract from the #1 purpose, accompanying people who want to change their relationship with alcohol) about how to make spaces more open, more diverse, more inclusive, more welcoming, but I think Randall’s point says it all. “There’s nothing you can do to help me feel more comfortable, I just … I need something different.”
There are lived experiences as a minority that just cannot be understood by the majority. There are multiple experiences that I can’t understand, and some personal experiences of mine that many/most others wouldn’t understand, unless they went through the same thing. It is not my job here to get others to understand my lived experience. There are things which I “park” before coming into the tribe. Elements of me and my life that I put aside – not because I don’t necessarily trust you all with them, but because bringing them up and out, as a minority lived experience, no matter how related to my problematic relationship with alcohol, that doubles my workload. It’s explaining (and often re-explaining, and sometimes defending) to people who will struggle to “get it” because it’s not their experience and it’s hard. This is not a “woe is me” post – I am lucky to have done a LOT of work in therapy and in my background as a coach. I know how to separate things. It’s annoying to have to, but it’s just one more annoyance, one more brick in the handbag to carry round.
The purpose of this post is to say to anyone who finds themselves in the quote – that they’re not getting everything they need from one particular source – di. ver. si. fy. Diversify your sources and your tribes and your safe spaces. If you feel safe and happy to do so, stay where you are for the good things that you’re getting there, but don’t hesitate to bring in help from other sources, to reach out to other spaces. I have needed, at times, to reach out to sober groups specifically for the queer/trans community – they’re not as big, they don’t have the same resources, I don’t have the same feeling of a huge loving family around me … but they also get the shorthand. I don’t need to add educational work to my interactions there.
Finding people to talk to who look like you, sound like you, have lived through the things that you’ve lived through … it’s not a bad thing. It’s good for everyone to be mushed up together, unless it ends up delivering one specific narrative (in order to be Successfully Sober you need to be money-driven, white, cishet, middle class, middle aged, fairly sporty or sporty-able, and anglophone. Yoga or marathons, that’s your diversity <== this is how A LOT of Sober Spaces tend to look from the outside).
Your narrative is your narrative. It is valid and valuable. It has its place in big tribes, and it has its place in littler ones, too. Do not be afraid to diversify your sources, to find an additional happy space where you *don’t* have to park a lot of yourself or your experience at the front door. Literally nobody is saying you can’t have both :D
And as a final point – the question of “getting help” comes up regularly. As if there is something to be ashamed about for needing a tribe, a program, a coach, a facility in order to change a relationship with alcohol. When a child is born, we don’t expect it to be able to do everything perfectly right away. When we’re teaching a new language or a new skill, we don’t expect the person we’re teaching to be able to do everything perfectly right away. When we’re recovering from an illness or disease, we don’t expect to be able to do everything perfectly straight away. We need help. We need time and books and training and advice and encouragement and space and love and support. It’s the same for getting sober, except with the added difficulties of multi-billion-dollar industries using every marketing trick in the book against us, societal norms, traditions and cultures working against us, and often many years or decades of our own ingrained habits and thought-processes working against us.
OF COURSE we need bloody help and support – it’s a miracle we’ve even made it to the point of recognising that! So please NEVER feel ashamed about bringing in outside help – it truly is a sign of strength, not weakness.
Have yourselves an evening and weekend that does you the most good.
Back to Blog
How’re you doing?
Feeling more tired than usual? Those tears coming more frequently, more easily? You’re not alone.
As a child, I used to choose important dates and holidays to really dig deep into various illnesses – colds, coughs, tonsilitis, mumps, lumps, bumps. And as a full-time teacher, it was every single half-term or holiday time, BOOM I would get sick. Like the body knows how to hold on *just* long enough to get us through what it needs to get us through, but then as soon as it can let go a little bit? The whole thing collapses.
For the last week or so, I’ve been experiencing a fairly nasty flare-up of long-Covid, struggling with fatigue, joint pains and aches.
This is actually super common. It’s known as “the let-down effect”, and is pretty well-documented in the following few articles (to only give you three, there’s loads more out there)
So what’s going on? Well, according to this article, during acute stress, the body releases key hormones – including glucocorticoids (like cortisol), catecholamines (like norepinephrine) and adrenaline – to prepare itself to fight or flee from danger and to trigger the immune system to step up certain types of surveillance. In the process, "glucocorticoids can reactivate latent viral infections such as herpes simplex 1 [which causes cold sores] and Epstein-Barr virus [which can trigger fatigue, fever, sore throat and swollen glands], for which symptoms are only obvious after a few days," explains behavioral neuroscientist Leah Pyter, an assistant professor of psychiatry at The Ohio State University Medical Center in Columbus. That's why the symptoms may appear after the stress lifts – say, over a weekend, on vacation or after an exam period.
Meanwhile, while you're under pressure, the rise in cortisol and other stress hormones can protect you against the perception of pain, which is helpful in the moment because it can help you reach safety in a dangerous situation without being hindered by pain, explains psychologist Dawn Buse, director of behavioral medicine at the Montefiore Headache Center and an associate professor of neurology at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. "After a stressful period has passed, the body returns to a state of normality and many of the systems that were activated calm down," she says. "This includes a drop in cortisol as well as other stress hormones [which could] set the stage to initiate a migraine." Similarly, that post-stress drop in cortisol could trigger a flare-up of other forms of chronic pain, such as fibromyalgia and arthritis.”
So while the stress is building (say during a tense wait to see how the next 4 years might look, politically speaking, for the USA and thus the rest of the world because #globaldominance), our bodies are handling it as best they can, in the ways they’re used to. Once that stress-point is reached?
It’s like we’ve all been holding our breath for the last 4+ years and now we’re letting it out, but in a context still of uncertainty, of danger, of newness, of othering, of division, of lots of people shouting at each other and themselves. Out of the frying pan, but realising that the whole damn kitchen’s on fire and the people in charge of the sprinklers are self-serving lunatics, unwilling to spend the peanuts it would take to ensure safety for all, in case it takes them away from counting their billions.
So what can we do? We can ease ourselves into the (relatively) lower-stress swimming pool gently, so there’s less of a shock to the system. In a similar way to how we (are supposed to) cool down after exercise, with stretches and bringing our heartrate down slowly, we can keep up some high-energy activities and reduce them slowly, gently – not running full pelt until we hit a wall, then stopping dead. We can be gentle with ourselves as well as encouraging ourselves outside and into the fresh air, moving in whatever way gets our heart beating as fast as it does when we watch the news. We can eat good food – covering all the bases of vitamins, protein, carbs, fat, sugar (is that a base?) and happiness. Wherever you find those things.
We can ensure we get enough sleep. We can work on our breathing. Breathe in. Hold. Breathe out. Hold. Again. Slower. Again. Again. Again. We can do yoga. We can lie on a yoga mat and cry. We can watch our favourite people on TV and laugh and cry with them. We can talk to our favourite people in real life and laugh and cry with them.
We can recognise that very few people have ever been in such a situation. Putting it all on a curse from 2020 (I personally believe it all started on January 10th, 2016 when David Bowie passed away and let the demons come through) is temporarily helpful but ultimately not very realistic – people have predicted the kinds of calamities we have experienced this year for decades. Racial inequality and discrimination, gender bias, climate crises and emergencies, the rise of white supremacy, pandemics, corporate dominance, malfeasance, and irresponsibility... If we’ve not had to listen to those voices, we have been operating out of a place of privilege and ignorance. We have ALL had learning to do. We have ALL been stressed. And we ALL have work to do.
But that work starts with ourselves. We cannot pour from an empty cup, and we cannot expect to dismantle centuries-old systems of oppression by ourselves or when we’ve barely started the recovery process from a long, nasty, brutal battle. We need to look after ourselves in order to look after each other.
My commitments to looking after myself over the coming days: moving outside for at least 30 minutes a day (YES it’s annoying with a mask, YES it’s cold, YES I don’t have anywhere fun within the allowed 1km radius, YES it means wearing clothes I feel safe being outside in, YES I’m going to do it anyway), making sure I drink at least 2l of water (not sure the pot of coffee and numerous cups of tea do actually count towards it), doubling my breathing exercises to help my lungs recover and grow, muting the people and sources who bring me more anxiety than I need, turning towards those who motivate, comfort, support me.
What are you going to commit to?
Love, as always.
And, as always – if you are willing and able to support me via Patreon (a platform allowing individual artists, writers, activists to be financially supported through regular monthly donations starting at 1$) then you have my endless gratitude. You can find me at www.patreon.com/jowalduck.
Back to Blog
Have you ever tried to have a conversation with someone during a gig? Even if it’s just to tell them that you’re going to the bathroom (or going home, or going to the bar, or scared, or you’ve met the person of your dreams, or the someone in question is the person of your dreams)? It’s so hard. The music’s so loud, your hearts are thumping in your ears, the lights are blinding and contrasted with pitch blackness when not shining on you. It’s really frigging hard to hear yourself, never mind hear someone else. If you add a disability or impairment to the mix, removing or dampening one of the senses? Good luck with that.
I can remember, back in those old halcyon days of concerts and sweating and screaming into each other’s ears, spilling booze everywhere, feet sticking to the carpet which should have been removed at the end of the war, trying desperately to understand what people were saying to me. Add in different accents or languages, and I’d find it hilarious (or hilariously embarrassing) that I was just incapable of understanding. And, after another drink or two … incapable of caring. I just muddled through and we all made it and nobody died. It was all fine really, when you think about it. There were a few cases of mistaken identity, of mishandled conflict (I DIDN’T KNOW YOU WERE REALLY MAD I’M SORRY), of being lost and drunk and alone at the end. Of being scared and confused. Of scaring, confusing, annoying other people. Just writing these words is making my heart beat faster than it has done for a while.
It all worked out in the end though, right? Apart from those people who inexplicably stopped wanting to go to concerts with me. Until the pre-, post- and pendant- drinks became more important than whoever it was we were going to listen to. Hmmm.
Anyway. This is not a post about gigs (may they rest in peace and come back soon and safely). It’s a post about noise. In the last year and a bit, I’ve managed to remove so much of that noise that I didn’t realise I was having to shout over. Or rather, that my emotions were having to shout over. Anxiety and panic attacks don’t just develop by themselves, they’re there to tell us something. I couldn’t hear or feel the low-level malaise or stress, because I was drowning everything (out) with booze. Constantly in a state of either a little (or a lot) buzzed, or a little (or a lot) hungover, or in the awkward in-between land, trying to escape the memories of one, only to fall into the arms of the other.
Removing the booze can feel like it brings anxiety – it doesn’t. It lets us feel the anxiety that was already there, the anxiety that was already trying to talk, to tell us something. Fearing the anxiety itself is giving it more importance than it needs or deserves (this is coming from an anxious wee beast of many years, who still experiences and navigates it now … just on a less cataclysmic scale ... I FEEL THE FEAR OF ANXIETY AND I EMPATHISE AND I LOVE YOU) – it’s literally there to send us a message. What’s it trying to say to you?
Mine was saying “you’re not who they say you are. You’re not who you say you are.” It was telling me to explore my gender identity (and literally within two days of doing that without alcohol dulling everything or to run to for comfort, I knew I was non-binary trans, and started there and then the long, thorny route of transitioning socially, publicly, professionally, physically, emotionally). It was telling me that the question “what if there’s more to life than this?” had an answer, and it was a positive one – there IS more to life than how things were. There are different connections to be made, there are different projects to develop, different people to meet, different ways to learn, to laugh, to love, to live (and not all of them fit on a Karen’s cushion).
Over the last 10 days, I’ve been feeling more and more tired, and responded to that with naps. I even did a post about it – the pleasures of guilt-free sleep and naps when living an AF life. And then I developed a sore shoulder and neck, which I put down to getting old (:D) and not being regular enough in my yoga and stretching practice. And then over the weekend, boom. Pretty bad joint pain pretty much everywhere. Oh yeah … the delights of long-COVID, back again. Fuck, I’d forgotten about that.
Since being diagnosed with Covid back in April, it took me a few weeks to recover back to about 80-90% of how I was before the virus, in terms of stamina, energy, strength. And every few weeks I’d have a relapse. Crushing fatigue, cramps, joint pains, aches, body just not my own. It would last a few days, I would be forced to rest and recover, and it would gradually go away again. My last relapse was in September, and I don’t think I’d gone two full months without one, so I’d been lulled into a false sense of security. I’m lucky – I never needed to be hospitalised, my lungs are recovering (still doing daily lung exercises), my heart rate is improving again, and these relapses are temporary inconveniences. It has been and continues to be so much worse for so many others who are afflicted with Long Covid.
I am lucky that my work – as a coach, teacher, writer – can be done online or remotely, that I can shift sessions around, that I can postpone writing, that I can generally go to bed when I need. (I’m also lucky in that I have wonderful people supporting me through my Patreon – I would be delighted if you were able to chuck a couple of quid in the proverbial pot too, please visit www.patreon.com/jowalduck for more details and/or to sign up - no pressure, ever!)
I’m lucky that I had quit smoking before lockdown, before I got infected. I’d given my lungs nearly 5 months to start repairing themselves after a nearly 20-year smoking habit, before gifting them with Covid. I’m lucky that I haven’t had booze in over a year, and am now able to better understand what’s going on in my mind, feelings and body. It may still take me a while to notice and adapt to what’s happening – we were not taught Emotional Intelligence and How To Recognise The Signs Your Body’s Trying To Send You as children, and I boozed my way through the next nearly two decades, ignoring as many signs as possible – but I know I get a much clearer message now, with less screaming, shouting and URGENT URGENT URGENT-ing necessary from my body in order to actually make me able to hear, listen, and pay attention. I’m better able to hear what’s going on with me physically, mentally, and emotionally - and better equipped to respond appropriately. I’ve responded pretty appropriately to this relapse – although I tried to do too much on my first day of improvement, I took the hint from my body (crushing tiredness and instant return of the aches and pains and cramps) and rested, and have taken it easy again today. The coming days will bring further improvements.
What are you excited about hearing from your body? What are you nervous about? What can you do to prepare for the signs and stories that are coming your way?
I’m so grateful for this community. Thank you for being here.
Back to Blog
You know what one of the best things about life without alcohol is? Feeling tired, and doing something about it with no guilt whatsoever.
Guilt is such a fucker of an emotion anyway, and serves little purpose, if any. When I was drinking more booze than was good for me, I used to feel like I wasn't allowed to 'indulge' my tiredness, like it was all self-inflicted. And a lot of it was - remove the sludge and drudge of alcohol and hangovers, I generally recharge my batteries much fuller now, with less time. Feel bad for having had fun and booze the night before? The easiest way to forget about that is to have more wine and 'meh' times on the sofa.
Now, when I'm tired (and let's face it, we're navigating a pandemic, widespread financial uncertainty - thank you to my Patreon supporters please join my Patreon I love you -, changing political landscapes, climate crises and urgencies that are just being wilfully ignored because they're too scary to accept, isolation, lockdown, some of us have had covid and are still fighting through its aftershocks, some of us are terrified of catching it, losing our own health or family members - who ISN'T tired?!), I know it.
I know it's tiredness, not a hangover. I can usually tell if it's stress, overwhelm, anxiety or purely physical. And do you know what I can do? I can take myself off social media and all my screens (not a punishment! a treat!), and I can take myself to bed. I could do that when I was boozing too, of course, but it wouldn't be restorative, it'd be for survival. And accompanied by guilt, heightened anxiety, and a load of boozy sweats. Delightful, no? (And I haven't even started to talk about the booze shits, they were just mentioned for the delightful punny reference to Angela Lansbury's cult classic. You're welcome.)
Bin the booze for a bit, see how much better bed feels. You don't even have to sleep, there's plenty of other things you can do there that make you feel good (and which should also not bring about any feelings of guilt).
#sober #soberlife #sobriety #recovery #soberliving #soberaf #addiction #alcoholfree #soberissexy #wedorecover #mentalhealth #sobermovement #addictionrecovery #soberlifestyle #recoveryispossible #steps #sobercurious #onedayatatime #sobrietyrocks #transandsober #transisbeautiful #afaf #zesobercoach #sobercoach #queerandsober #queeraf #transaf #noboozenovember2020 #noboozenovember
Back to Blog
I've compiled this resource from things that have helped me, and others, in preparing for and navigating sticky, emotionally-charged moments and situations WITHOUT turning to the booze, which of course was my go-to for many, many years.
If you think anyone you know might benefit from it, please give it a share.
Text version below.
See you on the other side, beauties. Look after yourselves and each other!
Tips to prepare for an emotionally-charged situation without alcohol.
Check in with yourself *very* regularly. Remember those alarms every 30 minutes to remind yourself to drink water as well as alcohol on a boozy night? Set a regular reminder to check in.
How are you feeling? What are you feeling? What is that telling you? What do you need? (Hint: the answer isn't alcohol!)
Prepare gentleness. Is that food? Phone off and a movie? Changing your bed and taking to it like a Victorian widow? Yoga? Cuddles? Reading a book? Building a castle on Minecraft? Tai Chi outside? Stroking something furry? Looking after your plants?
Bring in backup. Alcohol-free alternatives. They don't have to taste the same, this is not a fancy tasting party. And they're not exactly the same anyway. They only have to hit the spot just hard enough to get you through to the other side.
Come back to now. Listen to your thoughts, remember that *now* is the only time where we have any agency and power. You can't change what you said that summer night 14 years ago. You can't pre-fight tomorrow's battles. You can only be here, now. Be here, now.
Call (out to) community. There are some brilliant, powerful groups out there. Sober communities to be found at the click of a hashtag or a 'join' button. Even if you've never really reached out before. Won't it be nice to remember today as the day you reached out and changed your life, rather than the day you fell down the rabbit hole, soaked in booze, and broke your pride and your promise and your posterior?
Be kind. Kind is not the same as nice - it's not just empty words. It's powerful ones, loving ones, ones that see and address the human and the humanity. You're human. Be kind.
Remember that alcohol is an accelerant and a depressant. Do you need any help in stoking the embers of anxiety, fanning the flames of stress, misery, outrage, othering? Do you need any help in feeling out of control, overwhelmed, sad and scared? No? Then don't add to it.
Remove temptations and traps. If you've got booze lying around, get rid. If you won't 'waste' it, then give it to a friend either as a present or for safekeeping for when you really have changed your relationship to alcohol and can drink in moderation successfully like everyone else [endsnark]. If you don't trust your friend, lock it away, mail the key to yourself, and find some new friends. Same for your wallet or credit cards. Make it harder to cave. If you know a bar / group / person will tempt you? Make your excuses and remove yourself from the situation. Remember this is for times of exception - you don't have to do these things in normal times. You're getting battle ready.
Know that you are loved. You are strong and brave and worthy and seen and needed. This too shall pass, and YOU shall remain. What version of yourself do you want to find on the other side? Go save that one.
Back to Blog
(et une annonce en français après, bien sûr !)
Hear ye, hear ye! I’ve done a lot of thinking (who, me?!), and have made a decision which feels right for me, at least for the moment. I have set up a Patreon account – it’s something I’ve been thinking about for a while now, and a few people have suggested it as a way of ensuring some financial stability for me, and allowing me to focus on writing, sharing, and supporting others. I will continue to support and love and write to everyone to the best of my resources, time, and energy. It doesn’t matter if you’re a Patreon supporter or not, if you’ve pledged 5€ a month or 1€ or 10€ or 100€, I will always support you with what I’ve got, in the ways that I can.
This will help me in so many ways. One of the biggest problems I’ve had with the concept of coaching (since before I trained to become a coach, even) is that it still remains a service and support primarily available to those who can afford it, or who have employers who are willing to pay for it. Yes, it’s an investment, and a MASSIVELY worthwhile one, but it’s not always available to everyone, and that’s a problem for me. I know that I am deserving of being paid, I know that my time spent coaching one-to-one or in little groups is deserving of financial compensation, I know that investing money in a project / adventure / service means we’re more likely to invest emotionally and intellectually as well – I know all this. And yet, I also know that I want to reach as many people as possible and help spread gentle strength and kindness and self-awareness throughout all the lands. Doing outreach work and educational work takes time and experience and learning. Being able to spend time talking and writing and sharing and learning and doing and growing and thinking and being, and less time trying to make sure I can pay my rent – this will make an absolutely gigantic difference to my life.
I’ll continue to coach people one-to-one and in small groups, and will bill for those sessions, when appropriate. The Patreon is a way for me to be supported by others for the other things I do – I don’t want to put any of my work behind a paywall (apart from when my book gets published, I’d like you to buy that please ), and I don’t want to resent the time I spend with people which is not compensated financially (because it is compensated in so many other ways!). I want to be able to spend time learning how to reach more people, I want to be able to spend more time in the support groups for people changing their relationship with alcohol, I want to work more on deconstructing and fighting against the fatphobia and inherent normative standards (in terms of body, age, race, gender, physical abilities, sexual orientations) particularly prevalent in the world of sobriety and self-development. I want to be able to work more in French and spend the time it takes to write in both languages. I want to be able to support my trans siblings in their ventures. I want to be able to take the necessary time and training to make my work accessible to all, to work with other minorities in their field. I want to be able to focus on the connection, rather than the compensation – the making, rather than the marketing.
Having more stable finances, through schemes like Patreon, will help me to do this. I’m not doing tiers at the moment, because I don’t feel super comfortable with that ranking – anything you can afford to give to support me and my work, I’m grateful for it. No pledge is too small, and of course you can modify, pause, or stop it at any time, if it’s no longer appropriate for you, or you no longer wish to provide that level of support. No questions asked, no hard feelings, ever. I’m too much of a (Nosecco-type) socialist to get rich from this, and I’m not looking to lie back on my chaise longue quaffing wine and eating lemon drizzle cake (although … if the wine was alcohol free, it might be quite nice for a few days …), this is a way of ensuring I can spend more of my time and energy focussing on the right things. The world needs more warriors for the gentle good, as well as the outraged and outrageous.
My sleeves are rolled up and I’m ready to continue working – if you’re prepared to support that in whatever way, whether you benefit from it personally or know that someone else does, or just want to spread some good around the world – I thank you from the bottom of my heart. o<3 (my heart + its bottom)
Une annonce !
Oh là là là là ! J’ai beaucoup réfléchi ces derniers temps (qui, moi ?!) et j’ai pris une décision qui me va bien, au moins pour l’instant. J’ai créé un compte Patreon – c’est quelque chose auquel je pense depuis un moment, et plusieurs personnes me l’ont suggéré comme une façon de m’assurer un peu plus de stabilité financière, et de me permettre de plus me focaliser sur mes écrits, le partage, et le soutien des autres. Je continuerai à soutenir et aimer et parler avec toustes, avec ce qui m’est possible en termes de ressources, temps, et énergie. Peu importe que tu sois Patron·ne ou non sur Patreon, si tu contribues à hauteur de 5€ par mois, ou 1€ ou 10€ ou 100€, je te soutiendrai toujours avec ce que j’ai, et ce dont je suis capable.
Ça va tellement m’aider. L’un des plus gros problèmes que j’ai eu avec le coaching (depuis même avant ma propre formation de coach), c’est que pour la plupart ça reste un service et soutien réservé à celles et ceux qui ont les moyens de le payer, ou qui ont des employeurs qui sont prêts à payer. Oui, c’est un investissement, et un qui peut BEAUCOUP apporter, mais ce n’est pas toujours à portée de toustes, et cela me pose un problème. Je sais que je mérite d’être payée, que mon temps passé à coacher en tête-à-tête ou petits groupes, ça mérite une rémunération. Je sais que, souvent, plus on investit de l’argent dans un projet / aventure / service, plus il y a de chances qu’on investisse davantage au niveau émotionnel et intellectuel – je suis bien au courant de tout cela. Et, je sais que j’ai envie d’atteindre un maximum de personnes, à promouvoir la force douce et la bienveillance et la (re)connaissance de soi partout dans le monde. Faire de la sensibilisation et des campagnes d’information, ça nécessite du temps et de l’expérience et de l’apprentissage. Pouvoir passer du temps à parler et écrire et partager et apprendre et faire et évoluer et penser et être, et passer moins de temps à essayer de m’assurer de pouvoir payer mon loyer – cela fera pour moi une différence gigantesque dans ma vie.
Je continuerai à coacher et former les gens en tête-à-tête, et en petits groupes, et je facturerai ces séances de travail en tant que telles. Pour moi, cette aventure Patreon est un moyen d’être soutenue par les gens qui apprécient ce que je fais – je ne veux rien mettre derrière un paywall (sauf mon livre, je veux bien que vous l’achetiez quand il sortira svp), et je ne veux pas en vouloir aux gens que je soutiens pour le temps passé qui n’est pas rémunéré financièrement (parce que ça l’est tellement, par d’autres biais !). Je veux pouvoir passer du temps à apprendre comment toucher plus de monde, pouvoir passer plus de temps dans des groupes de soutien pour les gens qui veulent changer leur relation avec l’alcool (et en développer et créer, carrément, pour les francophones), je veux travailler davantage sur la déstructuration et la lutte contre la grossophobie et les ‘normes’ standardisées (en ce qui concerne le corps, l’âge, l’origine ethnique, le genre, les capacités physiques, les orientations sexuelles …) qui sont tellement prévalentes dans les mondes de la sobriété et du développement de soi. Je veux pouvoir travailler davantage en français, et passer le temps nécessaire à écrire dans les deux langues, de façon inclusive et accessible. Je veux pouvoir soutenir mes adèlphes trans dans leur travail. Je veux pouvoir prendre le temps qu’il faut et les formations nécessaires pour rendre accessible mes travaux, pour travailler avec d’autres personnes de milieux minoritaires dans leurs champs de compétence et d’expérience. Je veux pouvoir me concentrer sur la connexion plutôt que la compensation – le ‘making’ plutôt que le ‘marketing’.
Avoir plus de stabilité financière, à travers des plateformes comme Patreon, m’aidera dans ce travail. Je n’ai pas créé de ‘niveau de soutien’ pour le Patreon, parce que je ne suis pas très à l’aise avec ce concept de classement – tout ce que tu pourras contribuer afin de me soutenir et soutenir mon travail, je te serai toujours reconnaissante. Il n’y a aucune contribution trop petite, et bien évidemment, tu peux modifier, mettre pause ou annuler le montant de la contribution à tout moment, si cela ne te convient ou intéresse plus. Aucune question, aucune rancune. Je suis bien trop ‘gauche caviar’ (d’aubergine) pour devenir richissime grâce à ce projet, et je ne cherche pas à m’allonger sur mon transat à siroter du vin et manger des tartes au citron (quoi que, si le vin est sans alcool, ça serait chouette, quelques jours …), c’est un moyen pour moi d’être sûre de pouvoir passer une majorité de mon temps et énergie sur les bonnes choses. Mes manches sont bien retroussées, je suis prête à continuer mon travail – si l’idée t’intéresse de le soutenir de quelque façon que ce soit, que tu en bénéficies directement ou connaisse quelqu’un qui le pourrait, ou si c’est juste l’idée de m’aider à étaler un peu plus de bon, de bonne, de bonté et de bonheur dans ce monde (et de le faire, quand même, en maitrisant plutôt pas mal la langue maternelle de Céline Dion …) – je t’en remercie du fond de mon cœur. o<3 (mon coeur et son fond)