When Laura McKowen, the author of We Are The Luckiest, attended her first AA meeting, sick, exhausted, and filled with shame, an older woman came up to her and said, “No matter what, you can push off from here.” For many of us in early sobriety, there is one phrase, spoken at just the right moment, that sticks in our minds and guides our sober journey for years to come. It might be “Just do the next right thing,” “The only way out is through,” “Progress, not perfection,” or “One day at a time.” For Laura McKowen, “Push off from here” was the defining phrase.
In the author’s words
My path to getting sober was a scraggly, messy, off-the-page kind of process. Less like a line graph and more like a nest of hair drawn by a toddler….I thought this messiness was a failure on my part—that it should be easier, or that I should be smarter, more capable, better. In this way, so much of the harsh self-criticism and self-blame that made drinking so attractive in the first place was keeping me stuck. It took awhile, but somewhere along the way, I realized I would never be able to hate myself into sobriety. I had to love myself there instead, with patience and kindness, and push off from here became a simple phrase that embodied those sentiments….
…The phrase itself conjures images of a boat setting out from a harbor or a swimmer pushing off from the side of a pool. If the boat stays tied to the dock or the swimmer holds on to the edge of the pool…nothing happens. You can’t cling to what you know and grow at the same time. Or as author Brené Brown says, “You can choose courage or you can choose comfort, but you can’t choose both.” Pushing off means actually pushing off.McKowen, Laura. Push Off from Here . Quotes taken from Introduction. Random House Publishing Group. Edição do Kindle.
Push off from Here “met me” exactly where I am. Almost like one of those open-door moments. After traveling through chapters that inspire self-examination, unsettling feelings, and sudden “hmmm” flashes, I feel only gratitude. I enjoyed every painful, joyful, deep, and heartfelt page of Laura’s writing. I intend to revisit the nine sobriety reminders and questions posed again and again.
Join us in our Boom Rethink the Drink Community Book Club for a Dicussion of Push Off From Here, Nine Essential Truths to Get You Through Sobriety (and Everything Else) by Laura McKowen
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Open Your Mind to the Possibilities
Life is too Short to Waste it Wasted
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