Hello! I’m new here, so let me introduce myself. My name is Kate. I am a benched sinner. To me that means I’ve made friends with my demons. I do not need to deny, defend, or fear who I was and who I am becoming. My story is a trial by fire, and it’s made me into a phoenix. That’s how I define my journey. I’ve explored every form of self-destruction, delved into the dark and the light side, and come out with wings.
The road to healing has been littered with the expectations of others as well as their guidance. But don’t get me wrong! That approach has helped me for years! And in the beginning, I would not have made it if I hadn’t played by the rules – without exception. I came so far by working the programs and working with the people in them. The Big Book is an amazing resource that has guided me step by step – built me into a stronger, better person. It brought to life my character flaws so that I could address them and make different choices. But, like every great work of literature, the growth doesn’t stop when you finish the book.
This is where I find myself. I engage with people, places, and things, like Benched Sinners, because I believe in the cause and the people behind the cause. I’m always on the hunt for resources to express myself better and feel more authentic in what I’m putting out into the world. This is all with the goal of quenching that hunger for more. I feel seen and fulfilled celebrating the full spectrum of myself. It’s a self-perpetuating system. First, I worked hard for recovery and now recovery works hard for me. This journey has led to my ability to build a recovery that is a beautiful place for me and that allows me to ask for and accept support. I get to explore the strength it gives me by sharing my growth with others. And I continue to grow as others share their journeys with me.
My recovery had started to feel performative. and I am still hungry for more – more growth, more solutions, more revelations, and more understanding. Now, it’s about me defining how I want my recovery to manifest in my day-to-day life. I do not feel genuine by continuing to follow in the footsteps of others. So, I’ve taken off on my own path which is informed by some of the wisest, kindest people I’ve ever known. There were times that I felt I was hiding my own darkness. Now my darkness walks beside me. I know the rules, I try to build on them to make them my own. To me this means that I’ve looked at my self-destructive habits, really looked at what I was getting from those behaviors, and found new and healthier ways to heal and manage the wounds behind these behaviors. This has led me to build a recovery that is genuinely and wholly me.
This has taken me to some extreme places. I’ve made mistakes, learned from them, and continued to do the next right thing. My dark side does not have to be destructive – it can be my teacher. I’ve learned to channel my need for adrenaline into safe (yet still terrifying) activities. I express myself through my writing, my clothing, and my affiliations. I jump into cold water lakes and pools, go on treasure hunts, read at open mics, sing karaoke – anything that I can think of to give me that excitement in a safe, fulfilling way.
It’s not a path that I suggest to everyone. It’s just where I and am now, and it works for me. Now. But I’m evolving and things will change. This isn’t the easy way. It actually requires more of me. So don’t lose hope! The beauty of this cycle is that what you put into it, you’ll get out of it. It’s the law of karma! So from my heart, I wish you the strength and the drive to never give up. We do recover. And I’m so blessed that ya'll are part of our community because this isn’t a ME process it’s a WE process. Welcome to the bench.