I am pretty open with people about being a recovering addict but what I found myself hiding was the fact that I run an addiction recovery blog. It just seems like some people just don’t get it. They ask “why have an addiction recovery blog?”.
This is going to ring true for a lot of addicts and alcoholics when I say that I have an inability to share my emotions and feelings with others. Somehow, at some point in my life I learned the art of stuffing my feelings away…looking on the outside like I have everything in control and freaking out, feeling bad and suffering on the inside. All with a smile on my face.
When I first entered into the rehab in January of this year I was given the advice of keeping a journal. I do like writing, obviously, but writing my feelings and thoughts with the chance that someone else might read them scared the shit out of me. I figured these people knew better than I did about what works and what doesn’t so I followed the advice.
Putting It On Paper
I kept a pen and paper journal from the first day that I entered into rehab. I would write about all of the horrible withdrawal symptoms I was feeling. I figured if I was really explicit about it, there was no way in the future I could sugar coat it to myself and say “well it really wasn’t that bad”.
There are several pages dealing with the fact that I couldn’t look at myself in the mirror. It truly made me sick to look at myself. I looked like a strung out junky in a rehab mirror. Who was this person?
Meetings Weren’t Cutting It For Me
I would try and follow my own advice for sharing at a meeting, just raise your hand. I would get myself to do that and I would bare my soul to strangers. While this did make me feel better, not being able to hear a response from anyone about what I just said left me wanting more.
As anyone who attends AA or NA meetings knows, there is a “no cross talk” rule meaning that no one is allowed to comment on what you shared with the group. I found that this doesn’t work for me. I need cross talk. I want people to comment on what I just said.
It became clear to me that while I agree with the philosophy of NA/AA I needed something more. I needed to be able to share what was going on in my head and actually hear from people that could identify with me.
Is Anyone Reading This Stuff
When I first started posting entries on the What Winners Do site I felt like I was talking to myself. Again, this wasn’t a bad thing. I had learned from my pen and paper journal to really appreciate putting my thoughts and feelings out there and clearing them out of my head. It was unburdening myself all of my weird shit.
Since I had about 6 unique hits per day I knew that at least someone was reading what I was writing. I had made a friend in The Discovering Alcoholic right away. He was a huge encouragement to me from the beginning. I would post some blog entries on his site from time to time and that is where I first found the satisfaction of people commenting on what I had written. That was definitely more therapeutic for me than speaking at a meeting and just having people say “thanks for sharing”.
My husband also encouraged me by reminding me that even though there isn’t a huge amount of traffic to the site right now, if I keep writing sooner or later, people will find me and read my posts. If you write it they will come (field of dreams…anyone?). So that is what I did. I wrote as if I had hundreds of hits per day. Soon, it was a reality.
I Value Your Opinions And Advice
Now that I actually have people not only reading what I write but also giving me their opinions and advice I benefit from my blog more than what can be explained in words. I need this, this is a huge part of my recovery.
When a fellow recovering addict or alcoholic reads what I have posted and than gives me their objective point of view it truly helps me to see things in a different light. It gets me away from the place where I know and leads me to a place where I can learn.
Just as an FYI this post was inspired by a post I read on Behind Pinned Eyes. Reading that post got me thinking about this one…thank you.