Do you wonder who else is reading recovery blogs besides yourself? Question if you are unique among the group or normal as anything? Curious what their worries and concerns are? Me, too! I have been analyzing the survey results with great interest.
As of this writing, 274 readers took the survey in just 2 days – a much larger sampling than I expected. Thank you all for taking the time and sharing your experiences.
Without further adieu…the results!
Question 1: Which statement describes you best?
96 of 274 survey participants indicated that they are either wondering if they have a problem or wondering what to do about it. In case you don’t hear this enough from people in recovery, I repeat: YOU ARE NOT ALONE! Each of us feels like the only person in the world to sit at our keyboards and search, “How to quit drinking alcohol” but here is proof that there were nearly 100 others just like you in the last few days – and that’s just the ones brave enough to answer the survey!
6 of 274 respondents were just here to learn more about what addiction is like. To you I say THANK YOU for your caring interest. Whomever you are here to support is a lucky person.
172 of 274 that answered the survey are in varying stages of recovery. My guess is that many of you draw on blogs like UnPickled for ongoing support, and I hope that these stats illustrate to you how important your comments are to other readers (i.e. the 96 above who are still drinking and looking for help). Whether you have 3 days or 3 years, you give hope and guidance to those mustering the courage to begin.
I started this blog to document my journey, but I was so inwardly focused that I did not consider for one moment that anyone else would follow my trail of breadcrumbs. It is ridiculous to think I was the last alcoholic who would ever get sober, yet that’s what my self-absorbed attitude amounted to. Those who came up behind me have helped me just as much as those we went before – we are into a current of support that carried us when we need it most.
The readership here represents such a continuum – many came here initially as seekers and keep coming back for new perspectives and information while sharing lessons and encouragement in the comments section. Many start their own (amazing!) blogs and use the interaction as a recovery network. Many slip in and out – still trying, still deciding, still drinking in many cases; to these folks I send a long, strong, two-armed hug of compassion and understanding. (You know who you are. I am hugging you, feel that?)
Question 2: Evaluate your relationship with each of the following:
This surprised me – alcohol seems to be the main struggle here without a lot of cross-addictions or complications. It is not overly surprising to see that food represents concern for a large number of us, with 117 noting concerns about food and 21 respondents acknowledging an abusive relationship with food. Some of this may be attributed to using food to soothe the transition away from using alcohol, and in some cases may be true co-morbidities (using that word makes me feel like a bit of a poser, but it’s a good word!).
By the way, a wink to those of you who commented, “Stupid question – it’s pretty hard to abstain from food.” I knew you’d zing me, cheeky buggers! For the sake of time and space, I let you figure out the intent of the question. The survey was also a bit confusing for those who are on antidepressants or anti-anxiety meds, however no one noted abusing prescription drugs and that was the real gist of the question.
In the comments, a number of people share the same concern for the time spent on the internet and/or watching Netflix. Other worrisome activities listed include sex/people pleasing/relationship-based, anxiety, nail biting and/or skin picking, caffeine and/or sugar, anger and resentments, anxiety, working, exercise, and using pills for sleep.
Question 3: What surprised you as you learn more about recovery?
Top 10 Answers
How good it is/ happiness (54)
I’m not alone/ there are others like me (43)
How difficult it is (25)
Seeing true reality of situation (21)
Changes in thinking (20)
Feelings of freedom, self-esteem, authenticity (15)
That I was in denial (11)
Variety and scope of various pathways (10)
The online community (7)
How long it takes; that it really is a lifetime choice (7)
Question 4: What is your biggest concern currently?
Top 10 Answers
Relapse/fear of failure (51)
Getting started (32)
Social stigma/acceptance (25)
Feeling low/anxious/unhappy (15)
Marriage/family relationships (14)
The idea of “forever” (10)
Other addictions/eating behaviours (9)
Other drinkers in life (6)
New relationships/finding a partner (5)
Question 5: If you could be granted one wish for yourself, what would it be?
Top 10 Answers
Happiness and/or success in sobriety (46)
Inner Peace/Balance/Calmness (35)
Self acceptance/self confidence (29)
To have no desire for alcohol (27)
To be able to drink “normally” (22)
To have quit sooner/change the past (8)
No anxiety/stress (7)
Sober friends (7)
Do these results surprise you? Do you find yourself in line with survey participants or does your thinking differ greatly? Please share!
By the way, the survey site was only free for the first 100 responses, which I mistakenly thought it would well suffice. In order to access all of the data, I had to pay $29 for a month of extended services. The good news is this gives us all of December to play with surveys, so if there is more information you’re interested in seeing, let me know. For the next 30 days, I am the Queen of Quizzes and at your service!