New Year, New… Something

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I hope this writing finds you off to a wonderful start in 2016.

The start of 2016 has me stymied with respect to the direction of this blog.  I am ready for a change, but am really struggling with the nuts and bolts of said change.

I started writing this blog almost 4 years ago to document my journey of recovery from addiction.  Part diary, part accountability tool, part self-guided therapy, I wrote a lot that first year, and in that writing learned a great deal about myself.

Somewhere in the course of that first year the blog morphed into an unexpected treasure trove of fellowship and camaraderie.   Now not only was I getting things out of my head, but I was getting invaluable feedback from like-minded bloggers.  What a gift!

In the next two years, life evened out, recovery stabilized, life drama declined… well, dramatically.  The things on which I needed to vent often had very little to do with the main purpose of this blog:  sobriety.

In 2015 I committed to bringing it back to its focus, which had me more or less exclusively writing about the lessons I gleaned from the 12-step meeting I chair each week.

A great concept, and I’m proud of those blog posts, and the message they impart to readers (at least the message I hope they impart).

But as I reflect on the trajectory of the blog, I’m not enjoying how far from the original purpose I’ve wandered.  I started this blog to journal about my recovery, and for the past year most of what I’ve done is report the wisdom of others.

I have a few thoughts rolling around my head as I consider the possibilities.  The first is to get a bit more real about life in 12-step recovery after a few years.  As anyone who has read my blog knows, I am committed to the principles within the 12 steps of recovery; further, I believe those same 12 steps can help everyone, not just those of us who have chosen sobriety.

That said, there are struggles to be found in staying committed as the years go by.  Up to this point, I abstained from writing of these struggles, lest I discourage even one person from considering 12-step recovery.  But if I am to write as authentically as I did that first year, then those struggles would be exactly what I would write about, in terms of recovery.

So that’s one possibility.  Another is to write about the things that take a more front-burner spot in my life these days:  kids, marriage, diet, fitness, career changes, clutter management, which series I should select next to binge watch.  Certainly not on point in terms of the main focus, but at least it would be more personal than a weekly meeting recap.

Finally, I could decide to keep things as is.  If even one person decides to try a meeting in their area as a result of reading the magic that happens in mine, then I’ve done a great service.  And since I know that has happened, why mess with a good thing?

Or I could do some combination of the above.  Or I could start taking pictures of my dog and posting them.  She is really cute, so that may be as valid an idea as any.

As always, I value your thoughts more than I could possibly say.  If you have any opinion or preference in terms of future posts, I would love to hear it.

In the meantime, since I haven’t decided, here’s a quick and dirty synopsis of today’s meeting:  19 attendees, we read the introduction to the book Alcoholics Anonymous (colloquially referred to as “The Big Book”), and the general theme of the shares was “cunning, baffling, and powerful, is the disease of alcoholism.”

What struck me the most this morning was the person who shared he had all the desire in the world to stop drinking, but it wasn’t until he fully accepted that he had the disease of alcoholism that he was able to actually stop drinking.  As someone who struggled for a long time with this very issue, I related entirely to this share.

Now, the knowledge that I have chosen sobriety as a way of life is a gift rather than a life sentence.

Today’s Miracle:

Writing this post.  It’s been so long since I’ve opened up on this blog, I hesitated more than I would have ever thought possible!

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Posted on January 4, 2016, in Intermediate Recovery, Monday Meeting Miracles, Recovery, Self-Care and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 22 Comments.

  1. I have been lurking on your blog for a year plus. I vote for the combo approach. I always thought you were very neutral and had equinimity…now I know it was a conscious choice. I think people even in early sobriety would benefit hearing about your doubts and struggles in AA and juggling non booze issues in life.Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I strongly encourage you to the follow the “To Thine Own Self Be True” approach, and let it morph where it might. In being true to yourself, you will be providing the best blog post possible. If you write in a perfunctory way, because you are trying to live into a 4-year old mission, then you are not evolving.

    Wow . . . as I read that back there are a lot of “you should” type statements in there – sorry.

    I am finding that for my Process Not An Event blog, it is morphing a good bit about this time to consider recovery from my compulsive over eating addiction. It feels right, and it is where my energy is at these days.

    Best wishes in 2016!

    Liked by 1 person

    • No need to apologize for anything, Robert, I can’t express how much I value your insight. Really good point about staying true to a mission vs. not evolving, it sums up perfectly why I wrote this post, and provides the answer all at the same time!

      I look forward to reconnecting in 2016, and hopefully finding both of us at peace with the food issues!

      Like

  3. My thoughts….just keep writing. Write about what is important at the time you write. There will always be one person getting something from your writing….You!

    But I also feel confident that there will be many others, from the readers you have garnered over the past four years and the new readers to come, who will appreciate and look forward to your blog and your experiences.

    Count me in!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I love your post and will continue to read whatever direction you go! You are honest, always the encourager, and totally enjoyable as well! I am the mom-in-law of a much loved AA son in law who is my qualifier for Al Anon. You are helping me understand the disease in a hopeful and straightforward way. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate you…so just keep writing. I think whatever seems important to you for that day is what I will appreciate reading.

    Love and thanks,

    Lin

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lin, I can’t tell you how much this comment means to me! I most certainly will continue writing, and thanks for taking the time to let me know you enjoy it. I wish your son-in-law the best in his recovery journey, and the best to your working your program through Al Anon!

      Like

  5. I really like the Monday posts. An an only occasional meeting attended it helps remind me that there will always be a meeting available to me should I feel the need. And you have awesome insight.

    It would also be nice to hear more about life in longer term sobriety.

    I’ll read whatever. I’m a captive audience.

    Anne

    Liked by 1 person

  6. One more thing, I found the opposite. It NEVER EVEN OCCURRED to me that I was an alcoholic until after I quit drinking.

    It was only in the loneliness of sobriety, when I was casting around looking for someone who understood me, that I recognized myself in the big book and in the meetings.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Then the Monday posts shall continue!

      Wow, that is so interesting… recognizing the disease after stopping the drinking. Not sure I’ve encountered that particular pattern yet. Although your next paragraph I hear a lot in the rooms of AA… people don’t seriously work the steps until they feel the loneliness of sobriety. It reinforces something I need to remember, always… each person’s road to recovery is a unique one.

      As always, Anne, I appreciate your feedback and wisdom more than I can say 🙂

      Like

      • When I got my 2 year coin a couple of weeks ago I said this and a man with many year of long term sobriety, who I see regularly, came up and told me he felt that same way, and had rarely heard anyone say it. I swear, he had tears in his eyes.

        This is why I generally blog quickly and from the heart, and share the same way. It’s always best to just say what I feel without second guessing myself, or planning it too much, concerned about how others might take it. Honesty always rings true.

        And Common bonds are very strong.

        Anne

        Liked by 1 person

  7. I think writing about the good and the bad of recovery, the struggles, when you are a few years sober is valuable. I don’t analyse my blog like that these days – I just write stuff. Sometimes it is barely about recovery it is just life but that life is only possible because I’m in sustained recovery. But sustained recovery isn’t easy for me. I have ups and downs, doubts and disbeliefs and I can easily look around a room full of sobriety and either cast a black light on everyone talking as they “aren’t doing it right” or alternatively just as easily cast a white light “they’re all so much better at this than me”… both are equally as bad – first one will mean I can let my ego tell me I no longer need to attend as I’m “cured” the second means I’ll forget “progress not perfection” and think I should no longer attend.
    I for one value hearing/reading about those with a few years saying “You know what, this is troubling me right now…” or “This has remained an unresolved issue and I’m going to pull it out and cast the spotlight on it here”
    Good luck and I wish you a continued healthy and sober 2016

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, boy, then I absolutely need to write some of this out. Actually, something along these exact lines happened to me recently. Someone was discussing the dangers of alcohol entering your bloodstream from aerosol hairspray. My first thought was judgmental and unkind, my second was full of self-doubt, and my third was to question my place in the meeting. All within the span of seconds! Life moved on, and they were just passing thoughts, but I can now see your point in how each viewpoint is damaging to my recovery.

      Thanks so much for this comment, it really helps me to see how much more I could benefit from some frank, honest posts. It also gives me a heck of a lot more writing material!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. You know I love everything you write! Your Monday posts did get me to my first meeting. Since there aren’t any around here I use In The Rooms on Sunday mornings for a Yoga Recovery meeting. Not scary at all! I agree with Anne too, I didn’t see alcoholism until I quit drinking. I couldn’t stomach AA until I “attended” your Monday posts. I can imagine the posts are getting weary to write. When it feels like work and not service. So, then tell us about what you’re cooking for supper or how many kids have the flu at once or how the PTA is a bunch of bobble-heads! I noticed after the summer road trip your posts fell off. You need an energy boost!! My answer is alwways buy some colored markers & a new notebook. Stickers! I just put a sticker on my own sandwich wrapper for lunch at work. Be colorful & creative on paper & it will bring color back to computer writing! Lori

    Liked by 1 person

    • And you are who I thought of as I wrote this post! Funny about PTA bobbleheads, I just had a very rough night with several of them last night! I did buy my husband Zen coloring books for Christmas, maybe I’ll break into one of them right now 🙂

      Thanks for this comment, I am energized simply by reading your kind words!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I vote for the DOG pictures!!
    I love dogs, even though we don’t have one right now.
    I also vote for try and see what works for you,
    But I also agree with Anne and Futheron.
    I did know I was an alcoholic this last time I went to AA.
    And it is hard writing about being sober the longer I go on, too.
    I find I am writing life stuff, exactly because I can now that I am sober!
    Like Futheron said.
    Whatever you do will be okay with me!
    xo
    Wendy

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Happy new year! So happy to see this post and hear the different ideas you have. All sound interesting and exciting, not only as a reader, but to you too I would imagine. Maybe try out some different options and see what feels right. I’m kind of all over the place with topics, and I love variety, but I’m always surprised at what people connect with the most. In the end, we should write what feels true for us and trust that the message will reach its intended audience.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I second all of the above! 🙂 I found your blog just after your first year, and just before mine! I’m recently back on the road to/through recovery, but still appreciate reading your insight on whatever topic you happen to be sharing. It would definitely be good to hear about life in long term recovery, as I found when I was reaching the end of year 2, that everyone (or I felt like everyone!) just expected me to be ‘normal’ again. I often appreciate the sharing at meetings from people with long term sobriety who are struggling…not necessarily with sobriety itself, but life issues, tinted by years of this disease called addiction. That said, write what’s in your heart, honestly, and I’ll be here looking forward to your posts. 😀

    Like

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