So Long And Thanks For All The Fish…


If there’s one thing I am learning to do in my life, it’s to let go of the things that no longer serve me.  But it’s not always easy.  I have always liked clutching onto things, grasping at stuff that clearly no longer did me any good.  These days, ego or pride or just good old fashioned tradition will have me hold onto things long past the expiry date.

There is always some fear in letting go.  The fear of the unknown always encases me when I feel the urge to release myself into His will.  I don’t like it because I can’t control it, and that’s the point.  I am not to control it, but just obey it and have faith that all will work out in the end.  Call it mad, but given the choice in holding onto something that will come with some pain or letting go and being free, I will often continue to hold on, to give the semblance of control.

I mention this because I have been getting some not-so-gentle nudgings about this blog.  I have in the past taken breaks – something that is common amongst bloggers.  I have also had moments where I wanted to walk away from it.  But something always brought me back.  It felt like there was unfinished business.  I heeded those thoughts of returning at those times and they always worked out.

Me and my sparring partner, as we battle the demons of rage.  And also swap tuna casserole recipes.
Stand your ground…I smell something funkier than your mother’s fermented duck egg soup.

Lately I have felt different.  I have been struggling with publishing stuff here. I wrote about that in my last post.  What I have come to see since writing that and digesting it all is that the reason I can’t write here is that perhaps it’s time to let this blog go.  Perhaps I am not meant to continue writing here.  It feels that I have said all that I have needed to say here on Message In a Bottle.  To be honest, I don’t have anything new to share.  Sure I can update people on the wee things that occur in my life, but in the grand scheme of things, I have hit a stasis of kind here and I don’t enjoy the idea of repeating myself.

So let it go I must!

The great thing about this is that I know it’s the right thing to do because there is an authentic peace about me in doing this.  I have no regrets.  I have nothing to prove, to myself or others.  I am completely at ease with this decision.  There is no unfinished business here, no marks to hit.  I have had the pleasure of experiencing so much more than I ever imagined in doing this blog.  Way more than the initial journal-like scribbling I used to hack out a couple of summers ago would lead me to believe.

I have spilled lots of blood on these pages, had some incredible comments made here by astute and wise folks and made some wonderful friends who have really helped me out when I needed it.  What I have really enjoyed is watching newcomers write and blossom as they’ve recovered.  Some of the people I started following and reading when they first got sober are now some of my heroes, as I watch and learn from them.

Oh Lordy Lordy...what was that witches brew?
Sweet swirling onions rings man…just spit it out!!

The sober blogging world, and blogging world in general, is a fluid and fluctuating one.  Some blogs (people) have come and gone, and sadly some have gone back out.  Some continue to struggle.  Many bloom and inspire others. Non-recovery bloggers are amazing people who I admire greatly and have taught me more about craft, responsibility and accountability.  And life in general.  I’ve learned from watching how you guys comport yourselves, how you respect one another, how you treat yourselves.

I believe that God speaks through others, and in that fact, I have heard Him loud and clear through you all.  Every single one of you out there have taught me something.  Even when I didn’t want to accept it.  And for that, I thank you all for what you have done for me.  My family thanks you.  You have shown me the beauty and strength of humanity and the humility to see that I am an neither lesser or better.  We just are.

I am not going to shut down the blog.  I will keep it open for anyone who wants to flip through the files, so to speak.  I just won’t be adding any more content to it, unless something absolutely mind-blowing comes across my spirit in which I am compelled to share.  I will, however, continue to read and comment on other blogs…just not as much as I used to.

My ego.  Wouldn't *you* do what he says?  Hunky, yes?
Stay cool, ya hear?

As for the next chapter in my life – I have no idea what is going to happen.  I just know that to move forward, I need to let go of this rung to jump over to the next one.  There will be writing, no doubt.  I may even explore the idea of a completely different kind of blog with different content.  I am not sure.  But I like the idea of not wondering about what I will post next, or responding to everyone in a timely matter, or even checking for notifications.  I like the idea of just being free and going where I am guided. But I will write.  And run, bike, work, live, play with my kids and stay connected to Creator.

So thank you all.  Thank you so much for allowing me to share, and to have you offer your strength, experience and compassion.  Thank you for opening yourselves up to me and everyone else.  Thank you for passing on your insight and wisdom.  Thank you for being there.  Thank you for believing in me when I didn’t have faith.  Thank you for not being a glum lot.  Thank you for your kind words.  Thank you for being the spirits that God created to shine above all.  Thank you for YOU.  Because I am a better person with having you all in my life.  And will continue to have.

If you’re new and struggling, remember that you are never alone.  Ever.  Seek out and reach out.  There is someone always willing to lend a hand.  And make the changes necessary to rid yourself of the illness.  It’s a killer, and make no bones about it, it takes work and change to live a new life.  It doesn’t come though osmosis.  You are worth it.  You are really worth it.

man in prison

And for the rest of us, we keep on keepin’ on.  Continue to share, to speak your truths, to carry the message of hope.  I will do likewise, in my meetings, and in other ways.  It’s what has worked for me and will continue to work for me until I leave this earthly plane.

It’s been a blast, y’all.  I have to say that I will miss looking for those strange and wonderfully bizarre pictures that I liked to paste into the posts! But I leave knowing that all will be well – for everyone.  God has us all in His hand and He is great and glorious and has plenty of Grace for everyone.

God bless you all and I love you all.

Paul S.


107 Comments Add yours

  1. runningonsober says:

    Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you….
    Happy four years, Paul!

  2. Paul, I am so sorry to see you stop writing here. I know I’m getting to this post late. I haven’t been reading blogs much the past few months, but just started a new one myself and was getting back into that world. I’m so very sad to find that your writing will no longer be part of it. So many of your posts have helped me on my own journey in sobriety. I wish you all the best in your new writing endeavors, and in life.

  3. DB says:

    Thank you Paul! You have added sooooo much to my recovery!

  4. Bren Murphy says:

    It’s funny walking away and then coming back but then walking away – a break – hiatus – whatever – it’s time for a change so good luck and thanks for sharing.

  5. Viatoday says:

    “I just won’t be adding any more content to it, unless something absolutely mind-blowing comes across my spirit in which I am compelled to share.” I hope you do someday! I somehow missed your good-bye post and hope you are well. I am glad you’re leaving it open. Every so often, like today, I visit some of my favorite blogs to see if there is anything new – yours included! I have not posted lately either, since my Day 365 in May, but I am still going strong. Since we are all about to face another holiday weekend head-on, I am re-building my motivation and arming myself with the wisdom of others!

  6. Singanewsong says:

    Hey Paul, thanks for your writing, your sincerity, for being you and keeping the blog open. I’ve found it illuminating and inspiring. And bless the road that carries you.

  7. Thank you for sharing this very moving farewell/thank you post. All the best in your continuing life journey!

  8. Dear Paul,

    I can’t believe you wrote this almost a year ago and I am seeing this now. My blog is perpetually on my mind, along with the guilt that comes from neglecting it. At the same time, I am working my program and living my life. Things are so good! But I love and miss the bloggers here. Thank you for your amazing words, and for your help and support in my case. I will never forget your kindness, for helping another alcoholic in need. I hope you are doing well these days. You may hear from me via email soon. 🙂 Blessings to you and your family!


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