Brown Girl in Recovery recalls how her time as a child athlete has helped guide her sobriety journey as an adult.
By Brown Girl in Recovery
Hello there. I am Brown Girl in Recovery, sharing my fourth column with you lovely readers about my experiences with alcoholism, mental health and ultimately, sobriety. Since this month’s issue is devoted to sports and the important role they play in our lives, I want to pause and take a moment to honor that.
I’d like to share an impactful phrase from a show I love that is all about football (aka soccer in the U.S.) but is also about life in general: “I believe in hope. I believe in ‘believe.’” This popular phrase from the incredible show Ted Lasso can be applicable to many facets of our lives: sports, school, career, relationships and personal challenges. The show has so many incredible takeaways that are relevant in my life as a sober person: perseverance, trying, believing and realizing it is okay to rely on others to help us out.
Growing up, I played soccer for several years. I wasn’t quite good enough to play in high school or college, but I enjoyed the sport immensely. I think part of it was because my dad enjoyed soccer so much—he was a phenomenal player. He coached my team for a few years as well. Watching Ted Lasso as a grown-up allowed me to reflect fondly on those memories, and also realize I learned a lot during those formative years when I played soccer. I learned how to keep trying even though I wasn’t the best player and that in order to be successful in soccer, you need to have a good relationship with your teammates.
Now, as an adult and a sober person, I still have to practice daily on doing my best and trying, whatever it may look like that hour or day, and know I am trying to the best of my ability in that moment. And in order to stay sober, I need to have good relationships, whether it is with my sponsor, husband, family or friends. Because at the end of the day, I can’t do this—life, sobriety, just being—all on my own, no matter how much I may want to at times.
For my next column, I will dive into my move back to Austin for love in my mid-20s, the end of that dream and my rock bottom at 31. I hope you come back to read about, not just my struggle, but how I got through it and how life is now in my late 30s. Until then, I hope by sharing my journey and reflections thus far I am able to give other Brown women a space to reflect, perhaps nod along and feel less alone, and realize life is going to eventually be okay.