Shell Shock Serenade, this blog I am posting on at the moment has really been a wonderful outlet, resource and a place where I have been able to step outside of myself a bit and just let others know who I am. I was a borderline recluse before I sobered up and social interaction did not come easily for me. It has gotten better over the years but I still could use all the help I could get to learn how to be accessible to others, not just strangers but my own friends/family. I had become an expert at keeping people at arms length.
The reverse of that has been the tendency and I shared this here to almost spill too much personal information. I know I've made some people uncomfortable in conversation because they simply weren't expecting the level of openness that I have gotten used to in therapy, with my friends in recovery and now on here at Shell Shock.
It's difficult and it has taken time for me to learn (yes LEARN) how to just be ME. I always pretended...I really did, I was whoever I needed to be at that moment to get what I needed or wanted, from you, from my employers, Doctors, friends..whoever. So there have been some awkward times in the last few years as I've not really known how to act or react in certain situations.
It is getting better but I would say that the awkwardness I just described has been more pronounced recently..yep, it's probably the hardest part of my life for this transition because I have gotten more comfortable in my own skin, my relationship with GOD has me feeling much more settled about who I really am as a person.
So I'd like to say to those of you who know me personally or just from the blog, if I have in any way made a situation seem awkward or weird because of my openess but such heavy topics as drug/alcohol addiction, rape/sexual assault, dishonest behavior, etc. please accept this apology...my intention certainly isn't to upset people..well, in a way it is but NOT offend folks and particularly in personal, face to face situations.
I ask that if you are one of those people who have been uncomfortable in my presence, just stop a second, step out of yourself if you can and imagine what it is like for a fellow like me to come from that terrible place of addiction/sexual abuse, etc and find such an incredible life. How would you expect a person to act?
I'm asking you to cut me a little slack as I continue to grow into this new self and know that I am aware of how strange and awkward my story can be to some folks. I really have a strong belief, a faith that I would not be in this place, writing in such a public forum about these things if it wasn't going to achieve some positive result, somehow. And plese know that I consider the feelings of others very much when I speak or write though some times hard, difficult things need to be said. I cannot, in good conscience avoid some topics, it would nullify the whole reason I write SSS. I won't apologize for what has happened to me or sharing that to anyone, I just can't and honestly, I shouldn't have to...
Sorry, the reader won't realize this until I tell you but I just got finished laughing my fool head off because I thought this was going to be a SHORT POST this morning! No such luck, folks...so sorry.
A couple more thoughts come to mind...
First of all, I have a running conflict in my heart and in my head every time I sit down to write because I feel strange writing about ME all the time. My life, My feelings, MY thoughts, MY grandkids...you get the picture. I realize the point of the blog was to capture the life of a person in recovery and do it on a day by day basis. And I chose the subject i know the best to focus on: ME.
But even though this subject matter can be heavy and isn't always complimentary, it can feel like bragging about myself. That is NOT what I want to portray here at all. And I really hope it isn't coming across that way, if it is I am sorry and have some work to do...
I pray that it doesn't come across as me just being self-absorbed, what i'm really trying to do in actuality is let my story demonstrate certain lessons I have learned about life. Often the examples I give from my life are NOT flattering and are of the "what NOT to do variety".
I guess the second thought I have concerns topics, flow, subject matter, etc. of the posts in the blog. In trying to just capture what this life is about, I do not sit and think about what the best stories are to post, in other words what sounds or "works" best. I post what is going on w/me right now. And that can come across as obsessive because I usually focus on certain things in my life and you can have 4 or 5 posts in a row on the very seem thing. It ends up seeming as if my life isn't very diverse...fact is I am usually working through an issue that is significant to my growth somehow. I've decided that even though i'm posting about my daily life I'm leaving out the obvious day to day stuff like "went to the kitchen, got a soda" and "had to take a pee" kinda thing.
An example would be how the last week of posts have primarily been about the subject of my acceptance of Christianity. One post after another about how my spiritual life is affecting me. See I don't give any thought to:"Gee the reader is probably sick of hearing this stuff,etc...'. Because that isn't the point of the blog...
I know a lot of people in recovery from alcohol/drug addiction...are personalities, behavior, emotional/mental state have all been impacted by our behavior and substance abuse plus the kinds of lives we lead to support that behavior. What am I getting at here?
That we can be MESSED up people to some degree, even in recovery. We can get obsessive about things, believe me! Especially when you sober up and realize that you could have DIED from this stuff and your life depends on you getting better...Trust me, that will get you really focused on this recovery Sh*t in a hurry, believe me!! So I feel strongly that it is important that readers see what it is really like when a person is fighting for their life, One Day At A Time in recovery.
Recovery, growth, self-improvement, vigorous self-evaluation on a daily basis HAS to be a focus for people like us or we drink and use again...and if we do that, often we DIE as a result. It's a accepted fact of life and proven out every day on the streets. That is the reality of those of us in recovery...if we forget, let down our guard for a second, we may end up repeating the past.
[Pictures By Tracy Padmos and Randy Kruger]