We BLAK. We SOBA.
Greetings everyone! First of all, I’d like to welcome you all to my blog, #BLAKSOBA. “We BLAK and We SOBA” and it’s a wonderful thing. Secondly, I am truly thankful that you decided to take the time to come check out what we have going on here Third, after you so kindly ingest my two cents, I'm going to ask you to go over to my website: www.craigccheatem.com to have a look at the bigger picture. This blog is yet one entity of a larger, three-part construct. However paramount and vital, sobriety isn’t my only goal. I decided to create this blog to highlight, celebrate, support and encourage African American’s in sobriety. It’s also a way for me to remain vigilant and conscious about enlarging my Spiritual life while pursuing other dreams. My intent is to host a safe place for us to speak freely about our experiences, trials, triumphs and hopeful futures in respect to being Black and being sober.
To be quite honest, this blog was supposed to be posted with the launching of my website on September 1st, 2020. However, the other two entities demand just as much or more attention as this one. I have my hands full. I’m an addict. I guess I’ve gotten used to juggling the various entities of my life. The only difference is that now, I juggle said, “entities” to serve the people as opposed to serving solely my habit and myself. With that said, I intend to encourage others sober, Black writers who’d like to tell their own story’s to be my guest(s). I believe in “We”. I would like to hear stories from other sober people and how they’ve recovered and/or are recovering. This blog is open to those who are struggling and can’t seem to get it right. This blog is for the veterans with multiple years clean and sober. This blog is for the newcomer who may be trying to get sober for the first time or the newcomer who’ve been around for a while but haven’t been able to make that simple yet uneasy decision to quit for good. This blog is for anyone who has struggled with drugs and/or alcohol and has found a new way of life. Although this blog concentrates primarily on Black and other people of color in sobriety, it is definitely open to all races of people. Addiction is no respecter of persons. It does not discriminate. Addiction defies all social construct; racism, classicism and/or gender identity. It doesn’t care who you are nor who you think you are. If you are or were anything like myself, “…we had but two alternatives: One was to go on to the bitter end, blotting out the consciousness of our intolerable situation as best we could; and the other, to accept Spiritual help.” (Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous pg. 25).
In my own personal blog entries, I will reference the Big Book of AA quite often because it was the 12 Steps that freed me from the bondage of myself. I’m currently 3 years and some change sober and I can’t begin to tell you in mere words how truly grateful I am but I swear that I will try. In this space, we will not knock, criticize nor shame anyone as to which road they chose to get clean and sober. The point is that we all are headed in the same direction, regardless of the vehicle. This blog is a space where we can learn from one another. The motto, in reference to how we treat and/or address one another is: “If we can’t say anything good about someone, then we act like we don’t know them.” I put it this way for the simple fact that if we do not really know someone, then how could we have any type of valid judgements about him or her? Even if we can say something valid, if it's harmful, I ask that you keep it to yourself. So there’s that. “Blak Soba” is a place where we will do all we can to respect and protect feelings, views, successes and failures. Drugs and Alcohol is the enemy, not the people who’ve fallen victim to them. Not only as an African American but as an American, it’s very difficult to not fall victim to the allure of the highly regarded institution, that is alcohol. Alcoholism is an insidious yet subtle foe. Many of us knew long before we thought about quitting that something wasn’t right about our relationship with drugs and/or alcohol but we feared being viewed as different from our peers, whom seemed to be fairing well. It was fear of being different and/or separate from our friends and families that deceived us just as much as the substance itself. As human beings, we tend to compare ourselves to those who we surround ourselves with.
Being Black and sober can be difficult and a lot of times disappointing when attempting to keep ties with the general population of our Black communities. Many of us are forced into exile from our past environments all together, especially in early recovery. I couldn’t tell you how many times that I tried and failed at returning to the hood “a new man”. It was something about those familiar people, places and things that would always convince me that I was o.k. or just like everyone else. From my “day one” friends and even my family members, some untreated, functional addicts and others normal in respect to the physical effect that substances has on real alcoholics and addicts like myself. Everyone seemed to be going on with life the same way as they did when first found out that I had a problem. They hadn’t changed at all. In hindsight, why would they? When living is acceptable, there’s no need to change. It took some time for me to understand the selfishness of my delusional expectations. In hindsight, clearly I’m the one who needed to change and if I expected to have any kind of success at a bearable life; one that I myself could accept, then I would have to change for good. In this entry, I won’t go into the H.O.W. of it. I don’t want to hold you guy’s hostage on our first chat. I basically want you to get an overall feel and gist of this journey. Again, I’m sober for 3 years and some change, 2000 miles away from my original habitat, Chicago, IL. Yes. Hood, USA is an option here in LA as well. However, I’ve chosen to distance myself from it. I’ve gotten comfortable by the beach but if you check out my website, then you know that I’m going to have to get out to our people if I want to have any success in my other endeavors or be of service to our people. I am not fearful but I do speculate how I will be received. Being uncomfortable around the people who you once were the most comfortable is one of the strangest feelings that I’ve ever felt.
I guess that’s it for this first blog entry. In closing, I hope that I was able to keep your attention and/or have built enough intrigue for you to return. Writers: I hope that I may have sparked your insight as well as your pens to the point that you’d hit me up at email@example.com to find out the 5w’s of being featured here on #BlakSoba. Friends, family, passers by, everyone: don’t hesitate to go to my website, www.craigccheatem.com to see the results of my sobriety and what it has sparked me to reach for. I also have #BlakSoba merchandise on the #SHOPCCC section on my website. The proceeds of the merchandise and all other funding methods will all go towards the opening of my new venture, “Disco Kitchen”, also explained on the website. 10% of all proceeds will go to the “Grassroots Law Project",
www.grassrootslaw.org/ advocating justice for people of color. We need change. We need lawyers. With that said, I hope you all are fairing well in these uncertain/unfamiliar times and I look forward to your comments, questions, shares, likes and dislikes. Holla at ya boy!