One of the most amazing and unexpected things I have gained from my blog is friends. Lots of them. From different walks of life, at different stages, with a varying degree of addiction, but most with the same end goal .. to be free from the clutches of alcohol.
I always knew I was going to go public but for some reason, I hadn't even anticipated people reacting to me, to my writing, taking inspiration from me and in turn, inspiring me. I didn't realise what a community my page would become, that people would be so interested and care so much about my fairly insignificant life.
I didn't really think about how far the blog would go at all. I mean, I thought a handful of people from my local area might feel similar but I didn't imagine having followers on the other side of the world.
One of my favourite follower stories started on Twitter. I just don't get Twitter. I never have. I hate all the hashtag malarkey, the thought process, the lack of characters. As you know, I like to talk! But once I realised that people were interested in my story, I was determined to tell it to as many people as possible.
Somehow, I'm not quite sure how, I became in touch with someone in New Zealand. They are anonymous, so for the first few months, I wasn't even sure if they were male or female. They posted glorious pictures of where they lived and faithfully followed me, always encouraging about my writing and posts. It was strange because I wanted to know more but was scared to ask. The online world is a strange beast .. you feel you know people but do you really? I will name my new friend Kiwi.
This week, Kiwi accidentally posted their name on my blog. I now knew their identity. They were mortified, I was secretly pleased. I promised to maintain anonymity but it felt better for me that I finally knew a bit more about my friend.
We are at similar stages of recovery and Kiwi has started writing too. It's incredible that exactly the same struggle is going on in the sunshine on the other side of the world. I love the fact that I wake up as Kiwi goes to sleep so we rarely post at the same time but wake up to hear about each other's day. It's funny how you start to rely on strangers for support and miss them if they go quiet. It certainly makes me ponder how many people I wouldn't have met or messaged or forged relationships with, if I hadn't started this journey. Quite unbelievable.
If you would like to read Kiwi's blog, here's the link