It's like swimming, we both know it gets easier when we use our arms and legs.

But sometimes, when you take two ordinary things and put them together at the same time and in the same place, there's nothing ordinary about them at all. - Charlotte's Web

I thought I was most likely the only person in my particular type of recovery while at the Casual Blogger Conference. I was surrounded by my Mormon friends, who I figured didn't struggle with alcoholism since part of their faith requires abstinence from booze. Of course that's a naive thing to think, and it's not that I believe all Mormons are the same, I don't. It's just that in my insecurity, I assumed I was the only one completely tuned into the fact that there was no alcohol being served at the conference events. Of course, this was good for me and I'm not drinking, so why think about it? Well, because I'm an alcoholic and part of my brain is always rolling over thoughts that I don't necessarily intend on thinking.

Our first night in Utah, there was an event at the hotel for the conference. My roommates and I attended, and as we walked past the hotel bar to get to the party, I shivered a little, keenly aware. That bar passed through my mind about twenty times in the hour we spent close to it. And I thought this very thought: I am the only one here thinking about this. I hate it.

When we got back to the room that night, I pulled open my laptop and stretched out on the bed. I opened my email and started ticking through the messages from facebook and twitter and even a PR pitch from a company that wanted me to blog about a knife/corkscrew you can keep in your car so you can open your wine at picnics or while you're on the go. Seriously.

Then I opened an email from a stranger/friend, someone I had never met before. And I sat stunned and in awe of the grace that rolls like a cool breeze through uncomfortably warm and sticky moments and hours and days.

Her name is Jenny, and she wrote to tell me that she'd had a hard night. That she was at CBC and she had been so focused on the bar during the party, that it had been really hard. She too had felt alone. She made it through the night without drinking, and when she got back to her room, she checked the conference agenda and came across a link to my blog. She read about my addiction and in that moment, she was less alone, and so was I. Neither of us had ever been alone in what we were feeling and it's no coincidence that Jenny stumbled across my words and felt connected and comforted. Not because of my words themselves, but because of the kinship we share in our common problem.

Jenny and I met the next day and chatted throughout the conference over twitter. We cheered each other on. Every time I ran into her I felt less alone, and I hope she did too.

Jenny blogs at Like Swimming. She's funny and smart and creative and good. For real, you should follow her on Twitter, she's hilarious.

Recovery from addiction is exceptionally hard work, so if you have a moment today, please go cheer her on.

I'm honored to call her friend.


Also. If you haven't yet, you have until 5pm (central) today to enter the {Gussy} giveaway!

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