You’re going to want to give up.

I know I did.

I still do, some days.

But the prize is in the perseverance. The enduring.

The carrying on.

You’ll believe you can’t tolerate it anymore. Your life. Your addiction. Your losses and your mistakes.

Your immutable past.

The task of pushing what feels like an unbearable weight up an endless hill.

The fear of failing. Of fumbling. Of falling.


You’ll doubt your strength to bear the pain of pushing through, and your sorrows will try and tether you to the toxic refuge where you’ve lingered longer than you were meant to. It will call you by name and promise you what it can’t ever deliver, but what you so badly want and so very much deserve.

It will show you escape, but you’ll only end up ensnared.


You’re going to want to give up.

You’ll try and wish away your feelings. You will want to numb them and extinguish your light, if only for a little while. You’ll long for the black anonymity of isolation and the false freedom from your feelings that you think it will bring. You’ll want to crawl back to the comforting darkness you fought so hard to free yourself from.

You’ll want to release the reigns and let your fear drive, just like you always have. The same fear that drove you to that dark place in the first place. The same fear that kept you there, and the same fear that terrified you enough to leave so you could try and save your soul.

Please persist. Endure. Carry on.


For once in your life, please stay.

Stay through the pain, and stay through the waves of apprehension. Stay through the uncertainty and stay through the unyielding pull to run, to numb, and to avoid like you always have. Stay through it all. Stay through the heartbreak, the anxiety, the grief, the doubt and stay through the slow and marvellous process of healing.

Stay through it, so you can grow through it.

Just for today. Just for tonight.


You’re going to want to give up.

You’re going to lie and tell yourself that things will be different this time around. That you’re bigger than your patterns and better than your habits. You’ll want to run back to the good old days, that you know deep inside weren’t really that good after all. It’s those good old days that ultimately drove you to despair, fuelled by gallons of anxiety and days full of doubt.

You’re going to sift through your wishes and neglected desires, searching for your long lost lust for life, only finding a longing for belonging. You’re going to try and convince yourself that it’s all too big, too beautiful, and too promising to be yours.

You’re going to try and convince yourself that continuing to break your own heart is easier than finally gathering the courage to mend it.

You’re going to forget that just because you always have doesn’t mean you always have to.

You’re going to forget that your heart beat hard enough to push your desire to change to the top of your pile of all that you’re pining for. You’re going to forget that before you started you would have done anything to be where you are right now.

And still, you will want to run.

Please persist. Endure. Carry on.


For once in your life, please stay.

Stay, because you’re going to believe that since you don’t know how, you never will, and that just because it’s hard, it always will be. You’ll forget how you’ve learned things like languages and speech, or how to walk or build houses or swim or create art. You’ll forget how you’ve grown to master things you once didn’t even know the name of, and you’ll forget that what you’re going through now is no different from everything you’ve learned and now take for granted.

You’ll forget that this too will be easy one day, but only if you hold out and hold on.

Only if you stay. 

Only if you silence the judge inside you.

Only if you give yourself permission to not know everything, and allow yourself to stumble so you can learn how to pick yourself up.

Again, and again, and again.

You’re going to want to give up.

You’re going to feel the heat like your hand touching fire, and you’re going to want to pull it back to what’s dangerously familiar. But for once – you need to let yourself feel the burn. You need to endure what you don’t believe you can tolerate, because the only way to get where you want and need to be – is through.

So stay with the pain. Stay with the sorrow. Stay with the uncertainty so you can come to call them by name and in turn, take their power away.

Stay so you can prove them all wrong.

Stay so you can say you didn’t give up when persevering was painful.

Stay because you know it’s worth it.

Stay because you deserve better.

Stay, because aren’t you tired of running?

Written by SJ VanDee

Recovery Blogger. Sober AF. Photographer. Storyteller. Writer.


  1. Wow – thank you so much for this.
    I really needed to read this, to hear these words in my head right now.

    I’m Day 100 AF, right here, right now, and trawling Instagram, ie: reaching out for something to stop me going down those same old roads, and there you were! Because sometimes you just need to have it said at you like this.

    Thanks, Shawn. x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ohhh it makes me so happy to read this! And so happy it arrived at the right time for you (and me, too…sometimes I don’t think I choose what to write but it chooses me LOL). Happy Friday…stay strong and HUUUGE CONGRATS on 100 Days!!! xo

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Day Ten for me, once more. I am binge-reading your every post, Shawn (I like bingeing 😳) and finding exactly what I need. I am really glad I found your blog. I find I really begin to struggle around the two-week point, so next week will be.a bit of a battle. If history repeats itself…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hey Emma! ❤ Well as you know the first 10 days are the toughest (in my opinion)…and bingeing the blog is totally fine hahaha! Let's start saying that the next two week are going to be the easiest instead of thinking about track records – just another way to outwit the booze! Keep on keeping on and when you're tempted or triggered…remember to STAY through the uncomfortable parts so you can get to the better stuff on the other side 🙂 xo


  3. I went 37days and thought I cud just have one on the weekend or just for special occasions and sadly I’m now back to a bottle or more a night, trying not to feel sorry for myself this morning , but soo need help and encouragement… I am gonna try go AF again this time it has to be for life …so disappointed in myself 😢

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re only allowed to be disappointed in yourself when you stop starting again. Keep going, keep coming back, keep starting over as many times as you need to! xo


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