Today’s blog entry is from Danielle Marr.  Danielle has been a member of Café RE since June 2023.  Danielle taught our most recent Ditching the Booze: Writing a New Narrative Course and was one of the teachers in our REstore Dray January Course.  She is an active and supportive member of her Café RE OG group!

Do It Scared

By:  Danielle Marr (Café RE OG)

Last fall, I committed to teaching Ditching the Booze: Writing a New Narrative, a 5-week course inside of the Café RE community.

As I reflect on that experience, there is so much coming up for me. I was on day three when I reached out to the team to see if they would be interested in hosting a writing course or workshop and the timing could not have been better. 


It was one of those serendipitous, Big Magic-type moments where something inside of me said, “do this,” even though it didn’t make sense at all. 


I had three days of sobriety – who was I to try to lead a group of people in a course on sobriety? 


But I jumped anyway.


 It was almost like I was taken over by some unknown source of energy that made me hit send on that email. And, as it turned out, there was a gap that needed to be filled. 


The person who normally hosts the fall installment of the Ditching The Booze course had told Paul the day prior that he was unable to do so this time around due to life circumstances. As Paul was working on an email to Kerri with ideas of alternative course suggestions, my email asking them if they were interested in the idea of a writing course landed in her inbox.


So, we went for it. More than 250 people registered. 

Taking a Big Leap of Faith Doesn’t Always Make Sense In The Beginning


I prepped as best I could, and I ran the course every Monday for five weeks. I did it, like…pooping my pants, holy heck, what have I gotten myself into, scared. 


And I did it even though I knew I would be leading a group of people in something that was so new to me. A group of people, half of whom, had more than a year of sobriety under their belt. 


But the thing was that, even though I didn’t have much sobriety time under MY belt yet, I believed so deeply in the work. I believe so deeply in the power of writing your own story. And I knew, through hearing so many other people’s stories, that service to others is an amazing way to contribute to your own sobriety journey. 


I told myself again and again that if I could help even just one person take the next tiny little step on their recovery journey by learning how to unpack and write their own story, all of the fear and doubt I had in myself would be worth it.

That didn’t make it any less terrifying though. 


I have never had the confidence or self-trust to consider myself a teacher or a leader.  I’m sure that was somewhat apparent to the participants in the class. But, the thing is, there is only one way to grow and that was a beautiful opportunity for me to work on my growth. Leading writing workshops and courses in the recovery space is something I want to do a whole heck of a lot more of moving forward. 

When You Allow Yourself to Take The First Step, The Rest of The Journey Gets a Little Bit Easier


I led one of the classes for the January REStore course.  I was able to tackle it from a place of experience, and a little bit more confidence. 


But the first step was doing it scared. 


Doing it without knowing how it would land. 


Having sweaty palms and a racing heart, but showing up anyway. 


I was able to do that because of the amazing support and faith that both Paul and Kerri showered me with leading up to and throughout the course. And the feedback that we got on the course was, to put it lightly, phenomenal. That last call will go down in the books as one of my most powerful sobriety moments thus far. 


The thank you’s, and the beautiful, brave souls speaking up to say how much they had been looking forward to Monday nights all month long, among other wonderful acknowledgements truly warmed my heart in a way I don’t know I can ever fully express. 


I started thinking about some of this after we got off that last call.  And while I didn’t say it at the moment, I knew I needed to write about it. 


Because it is such a beautiful representation of what it takes to quit drinking in the first place. 


When we are so wrapped up in addiction, and we’ve been living a life consumed by that substance for so long, we don’t know what life is going to look like when we quit. 


And that is an unbelievably terrifying prospect. 


From the fear of what will happen to our bodies and what the withdrawal process will look like.  How we will fill our days and who will want to spend time with us.  It’s all such a big, hairy, scary unknown. 


You have to do it scared to get to the other side. 


Leap Without The Net & Trust That The Person You Are About to Become Will Be There to Catch You


You have to leap without the net. And then hope the version of you that you are about to become will be there to catch you. (Along with a truly amazing sobriety community if you happen to be part of something like Cafe RE). 


You have to have so much visceral trust in yourself and the reason why you are doing it. 


So, my message to anyone reading this is that if something is calling to you in your heart – whether it’s taking the leap to quit drinking or putting yourself out there by joining a community and opening up after months or years of self-isolation, or even applying for a job – do it scared. 


Take the leap and trust that the net will appear. 


Know that it might not go the way that you expect it to go. 


That there will be hiccups.  Moments of two steps forward and one step back.  And you will probably feel like you have no idea what you are doing. But if it is something you know so deeply in your heart is going to be worth it, even if wading through the darkness of the unknown seems like the most terrifying prospect in the world right now, try anyway. 


The time will pass one way or the other, but if you try, and you really give it your best effort, you will be proud of yourself. You’ll know that you did what you could with the resources you had available to you at the time. You’ll know that you showed up for yourself in ways that you’ve never done before.

You can so totally do this. Even if you’re scared. 

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