This past week I put in nearly 40 hours of school volunteering. (Or maybe eleventy hundred. I lost count.) Some at home but most at the school. Does this mean they have officially “gotten” me? Am I now a Stepford? Let’s say no. I did have fun doing it, though. I know. The first step is admitting there is a problem. So really? I don’t really have a “new” post worthy of a Newsflash, but I do have something you may not have read yet. Seeing as I know you don’t all follow me around the ‘net to see what I have to say. And the links in the post? Follow them. Some amazing women writers were quoted. You may find a great new read!
The past week I have been adrift in volunteer work, a new freelance job, house cleaning and one other thing. What was that? Oh, I remember. Celebrating my eighth year being clean from a painful and life altering drug addiction that nearly took away everything I cherish and love. I’ll be honest. I wanted to find be around at least one person who “got it” and would realize what I was going through on that day. It was a day that I desperately needed to be understood and on familiar ground with another person.
Blogging is much the same way for many people. Some people read blogs as a way to find others that are going through the same life issues, have the same interests or maybe even just because they entertain them. And then we have the bloggers themselves. Those who put themselves right out there in front of the Internet and share to let it all lay bare. Those writers who dig deep into their souls and pull out a part of it and share it. Hoping it connects with someone else. Sometimes hoping someone else will connect with them.
It is not surprising that in this week I found Redsy. As she began her Odyssey to stop drinking she posting these words that so resonated with me that I wept remembering the feelings she described.
I’ve found a place to go every day to talk about my problem with drinking. To listen to others talk about their struggles and fears and recovery. And it is a complete and total miracle. If I’d known how great these meetings would be, I honestly would have stopped all this wine nonsense a long time ago.
But of course I wouldn’t really. Because outside of those wonderful comforting loving meetings, life is once again scary as hell. And this time I’m standing there without my favored weapon. Facing an army of tigers with a pea shooter and one bean, which is how we’re supposed to feel at the beginning (I’m told).
And I feel like the outside layer of my skin (the adult, fake-put-together part) has been taken away and I’m this sea creature –shell-less and shaky–lolling around waiting for sunlight to reach all the long way down to the ocean floor.
I read through her pages and found her four months later with these words:
So it’s been 75 days since my last drink and nearly 4 months since I began this odyssey — to sober up, wake up to my life, start a daily spiritual practice something like worshiping a higher power, something like trying to be a more loving person.
As slowly the cravings, mental and physical subside, replaced by new rituals and people and habits, hope increases. Hope that there is more that I can give, more to experience, and a greater sense of gratitude folded into the dailyness of things.
All is not perfect happiness by any stretch, but broken down into 24 hours segments, I can say I haven’t felt this hopeful and resourceful for years and years.
I cheered for her. I wanted to shout to her that I get it and I am so proud of her. I remember hitting each milestone month of being clean and you can damn well bet it is worthy of a celebration. She is now 5 months sober. I am 8 years clean. We are alike and we can both learn from each other. That is the beauty of putting it out there. I don’t know her. But really? I know her.
I also came across a post about loss written by Jenn of Breed ‘Em and Weep that caused me to suck my breath in and hold it as I read it. I cried with the writer as she described her feelings. I felt my own anguish over losses in my own life (though different from hers, losses nevertheless) and I felt her pain as she knew that things would never be the same. I could feel her anguish as she knew the lives of her children would never be the same after this peaceful night of sleep– not knowing.
Tomorrow we will tell the girls about a difficult loss. It is a peculiar thing to sit on the edge of your child’s bed, watching her sleep, knowing that tomorrow you will say something that will stop her heart briefly and force her through a door she would not have chosen herself. Children do not take kindly to loss, and why should they? As adults we can barely stand it, barely have the ability to comprehend the who-was-who-now-isn’t, the what-was-that-now-is-lost.
I watch her dark profile. She is a beautiful girl, as still sometimes in her waking hours as she is right now, asleep. I think, This is her last night of not knowing. Tomorrow we take away the not-knowing.
When I first read the post I didn’t even know what the loss was but it did not matter. I felt it. I felt her loss. I felt the losses in my life. I felt her turmoil as a mother. I remembered that late night knowing I had something to tell my own children that would forever bring them from before to after. From innocence to life-changing. Her ability to open up and share from the bottom of her heart was so universal while still being so personal, you were not only there with her, you were at that place in your own life where you went through your own loss. That is the incredible power of blogging.
You see, when bloggers really open up and share, we find a way to connect, find support and feel as if someone out there gets us. To those of you who bare your souls, thank you. I appreciate and understand how hard that is. I have found bloggers who write about just about everything. They share what they know with people who may need or want to hear it.
I can find bloggers who help me with support for my addiction, the death of my Mom, my stillborn son, and my frustrations and dilemmas in parenting. And when I read the following quote from Mamma Loves, I realized that there is a certain type of blogging that is harder to find.
Mamma Loves called it to the carpet when she wrote:
What I’ve noticed though is that there seems to be one topic that remains fairly off limits (unless addressed anonymously). I understand why. Many people have discussed their reasons for not talking about it. I see this in my real life friendships too.
I just have to ask though…when will we all stop pretending like marriage is easy??
I love that question. I would love more people to just say it. “This marriage thing? Good. Love it. But, damn, it can be hard.” I know many divorced bloggers who will talk all about it. Or bloggers who openly admit they are in a bad marriage. But what about those of us who are in good marriages and are happy? Just something she asked that I thought I bring to the table since we are talking about baring our hearts and souls in blogging.
The bottom line is blogging has power. A mighty strong power. Blogging connects people. We can find others who get where we have been, where we are and where we are going. And that is vital at certain times in our lives. So, bloggers, it is okay to bare your soul. Some of us need it. Most of us admire it. And there are even a few of us who are counting on it.
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Cross posted on BlogHer