Another blog post writing torture session has started. It’s early morning, coffee by my side, laptop in my lap, heart pounding, wondering “should I or shouldn’t I post this” as I try to write about what inspires me at the moment. For me this process is getting out of your comfort zone at it’s finest.
So last week I posted about having hard conversations. If you didn’t get a chance to read it, the link is here. It was a post that was just purely me speaking from my heart and trying to navigate my way through my own personal circumstances. A few days after the post I received some e-mails from a few Kind Tribers, they are preparing themselves to have hard conversations and needed someone to talk to. A few of them even asked if I would share my story of addiction. I was honored and grateful and said “absolutely” I would share my story. I am truly proud of myself for the challenge I battled, it was a game-changer for me and my wish is that it would be a game-changer for someone else too.
It seemed like an easy thing to do and I was more than willing but as I began to talk with one of these lovely ladies I realized…I haven’t heard my story in a really really really long time. I haven’t shared it quite often enough apparently because as I was remembering I had a difficult time articulating, the feelings, the events, the important things that I wanted to tell this person, I couldn’t quite get my hands around them. Then I went home and cried a little and just sat. How could something so important in my life be stuck inside, how could I not be able to explain to someone how much it took for me to grab that life-ring? How could I not share a victory like 10 years of sobriety?
It made me sad. I’ve always said I would do whatever I could to help another person in addiction but sharing your personal journey means putting yourself out there, I liked it better when I had walls built to protect myself. I didn’t even realize I had built them. I consider myself an over-sharer but it’s always about silly things like peeing my pants when I’m running (not anymore thanks to the sling) or the time I had to drink a cocktail in Mexico out of a ginormous penis glass, or the time my dog threw up a pair of underwear that didn't belong to our family.
Anyhoo...<insert crickets chirping>
So this person that asked to hear my story said “I would like to get to know you better” (we have been friends for awhile) and I had this sudden realization that I have closed myself off from the important stuff.
It’s hard to help people when you are closed off. And really that’s all I want, is to help. Do you ever have those moments when the Universe is hitting you upside the head and you just keep saying “ouch…stop it…knock it off” until finally it takes a 2x4 and hits you upside the other side of your head, leveling out some of those rocks in there and then you go “Ohhhhhhh. Got it.”? That’s how I felt when my friend asked to hear my story. I had multiple hits over the head that week about my story, many events that drew a direct line back to addiction, recovery, and me. Her request was the one that leveled the rocks up in there. So I will share my story…at some point. For now, I need to find the words and the courage. People get a little awkward sometimes when you start to talk about uncomfortable things like addiction, they don’t know what to say, or how to behave. Then I feel awkward and it’s a whole awkward mess that will lead to more nervous oversharing from me leading to even more awkwardness. Way too awkward for anyone’s liking. So I keep asking you to share your story and I know, I know it’s hard. It’s so freaking scary. Apparently it's so scary that I still can't find the words to tell you about the real me. But I think people need us. I think they need to know that things will be okay, that there is good on the other side of bad. That there is freedom on the other side of pain. So for them I will try to find the courage. Will you find the courage to share too? With a little bit of courage and lots of kindness...xoxoxo,