Not good at all.
And then I read this from Running On Sober's brilliant site and I thought, "I think she's got it!" (My apologies to Professor Higgins.)
See, I've been having a hard time figuring out what I want my blog to be when it grows up. I don't want to lose my sober (and maybe even not sober yet) readers, especially if by some miracle I'm helping them in any way, but I don't want to go on writing only about being an alcoholic and recovering. I want to write about anything and everything that pops into my pea brain but I run into roadblocks sometimes because to write about anything and everything might give you a glimpse into who I am in "real" life.
It's something that's been rolling around in my head lately and it was resurrected yesterday from a blog post by Ellie over at One Crafty Mother. (If you don't know Ellie you should. She's one of the founding administrators of Crying Out Now, the Bubble Hour, and Shining Strong, all of which serve to get and keep women (and men in some cases) sober and in recovery. She's a beautiful person inside and out. Give her a read.)
ANYWAY, this thought has been about my anonymity and whether or not I should "come out". I've never been shy about telling people about my "issues". I feel that if I can give one person hope or help someone come to terms with their own issues, then it's worth whatever bullshit I have to take because I tattled on myself. For instance, I'm like the poster child for clinical depression and the stigma attached. I freely tell people about my depression and that I'm heavily medicated and what a difference it's made in my life. I'm not a pusher of anti-depressants but I do believe that if you need help (therapy, medicine, yoga...whatever) then you should seek it. I can't count the number of times I've been told over the last twenty years, "Thank you. Because of you I found the courage to get some help." One of those is worth a room full of rolling eyes and blank stares.
Just ask - I'll tell you.
When it came to my alcoholism, however, I've been walking a very fine line. Of course, while I was attending AA, "coming out" was not an option. AA practioners hold their anonymity very dear...and I respect that to the nth degree. I would never, ever do anything to compromise anyone else's decision about their anonymity. Plus, some of them are so adamant that to even whisper a last name or place of employment would practically get you escorted from the building. Nope...not going there.
In my gut though, I knew that for me to keep the fact that I am an alcoholic a secret meant I was ashamed; and at first I was...deeply. But over time I became less and less ashamed and keeping my secret only served to reinforce the shame that I was finally, blessedly, albeit slowly, shedding. So I began to tell people in my "real life" and, to my surprise, after the initial shock, no one really gave a shit. Those who loved me still loved me. Those who valued my work continued to value my work. Those who couldn't deal with it? Fuck 'em and the horse they rode in on.
But in my blog, my anonymity remains. This is partly because it is the Internet after all. What is placed out here, stays out here. But also because I just wasn't sure if it was the right thing to do. I'm a people pleaser at heart. I don't want to offend anyone...or run anyone off...or risk hurting any one's feelings.
But it's getting harder and harder for me to think up fake names and not include pictures and be anonymous. Many of you have become family to me. As this blog evolves I want to share all of me with you and not just the drunk and ashamed parts. Not just the secret part. I want to feel free to share the entire, recovered, strong and happy part of me right alongside the funny, sloppy and ugly parts of me.
So here it is. I'm Sherry. I'm a recovering alcoholic. I work for a major U.S. bank (let's not get totally crazy okay) and have been with Elmo (real name Bill) for over 30 years. You already know my kids but you'll come to know them by name as I continue to write. And the best thing is that if I want to include pictures...I will.
For instance - these two will turn 18 on the 27th and will graduate from high school in June. Aren't they gorgeous. I'm so proud of them I could burst. Matthew is on the left. Brian is on the right.
I'll share more pics as needed and with permission of course.
And this is me. An over 50, overweight, recovering alcoholic, mother, grandmother, wife, banker/teacher, chocolate lover, Pepsi Max drinker, God lover and overall good person.
|This is our latest addition. She's getting bigger by the day.|
Nice to meet you!