From the Tao of Pooh

Motisfont Christopher Robin and Pooh playing poohsticks creditThe E.H. Shepard Trust reproduced by permission of Curtis Brown Group Ltd

“Promise me you’ll always remember: You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.” ~ Christopher Robin to Pooh

I’ve been writing and rewriting cover letters and resumes for the past month. I’m leaving a job where I’ve been involved in sales for the last 15 years and I have to say it’s been challenging figuring out how to sell myself.

So many of us who have had issues with alcohol (or have issues with addictive behaviour for that matter) are uncomfortable coming to terms with and expressing our worth. We feel ashamed and broken and tend to focus on all the ways we don’t measure up. So imagine my quandry: How do I convince a new company that an alcohol abuser with residual psychological issues from past trauma and poor choices is the best fit for their open position?

By coming to terms with, and believing, that those things are only a part of me and do not make up the whole of me. They are not ALL of who I am. So I sat down with a blank piece of paper and started taking notes. I thought about the strengths a journey like this allows us to develop:

Courage and Resilience
Compassion and Benevolence
Discipline and Analytical Skills (you know, the overthinking!)
Honesty and Accountability

And you know what? I started to feel better about myself. I could do this. I forced myself not to give in to doubt and I called up a few trusted friends. I asked them what they considered to be my assets. I was humbled, grateful and touched by what they had to say. Sometimes our friends see us in ways that we can’t, especially when Ms Doubt and Mr Self Sabotage walk next to us so often, whispering tales from our negative core beliefs.

In each person who has found the courage to admit the truth and tackle their addictive behaviour there are reserves of strength we should not take for granted. We are resilient because we won’t give up. If we falter we will try again, simply because we already know how to begin. We begin again, because we have to, carrying what we’ve learned every step of the way.


On February 6th 2014, four days after I stopped drinking alcohol, I started this blog. My two-year soberversary is fast approaching and my January posts, inspired by fictional philosophers who’ve inspired me with their bad-ass thoughts, is a way of celebrating my journey. I hope, in turn, to inspire you on yours.


  1. Beautiful! I’m ‘only’ 16 months in but I am already starting to enjoy the company of ex-addicts more than those of normies because they (we?) had to learn so much extra. However, as you I have trouble putting myself out there and being judged. I feel like I am hiding something, I need to work on that before I return to the real real world. In my job now my background does not matter. Or maybe, maybe I should not want to be with people whom I expect to look down on my struggle. There is another point to think about. Hmmmm….
    Going to re-read ‘The colour of your parachute’ from whatshisname again, the last time I did that it gave me beautiful insights and confidence in my own skills. This one. Check if out if you feel a need.

    Hope to read how you are doing. My best ever application tips were these:
    – Never only have one application outstanding because if you were to not get invited for the one, it takes a whole lot of picking up of self to do to write another letter. While when you have another application out there, there is still something to look forward to. 🙂
    – Applications are like a relation; if it does not match, don’t try to make it so. Not only the company needs to check you out. You (i!) also need to check out the company. So it is way more 2 way than we think.
    – Apply during certain hours in the morning and take the afternoon off to do stuff that makes you happy otherwise it is very easy to lose contact with what makes you (me) happy and this I found always shined/shone (?) through my application.

    And, well, with the way you write, I think you can write beautiful personal letters which really make contact through the text. 🙂

    Wishing you well.

    xx, Feeling

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