I'm starting over again. I know there are people out there who think I shouldn't be blogging about recovery when I've relapsed so many times, and if you've been following me for a while, you know I don't blow off anybody's advice. So I've taken some time to think about what I'm doing here, and here's what bobs to the surface: I'm healthier when I'm blogging. There's something about putting thoughts “out there”, as opposed to ranting in my password-protected journal, that helps me. So I'm going to keep doing it. I don't think I make any claims that I've got it all figured out.
On the other hand, I'm struggling a little with the conversation-like nature of blogging. What I was actually thinking about when I started this blog, in my typical grandiose manner, was writing a book. Now I know the world doesn't really need another drugalog – I can swap war stories with other addicts after meetings. So when I began posting three years ago, I was mainly looking for a workshop-like setting where I could practice writing. I quickly found out that blogging, at best, is a conversation. At times I considered disabling comments, and approaching the whole thing like a magazine column. (I could be the next Mary Roach and write witty columns for Reader's Digest!) Eventually I figured out what blogging was, and found the comments to be helpful – if not for getting sober, at least for not feeling alone. My struggle is that I often hesitate to post at all when I remember that by saying anything, I'm inviting feedback. But that brings me back to what I said earlier. Something happens when I post here. Something good.
My biggest obstacle to posting is that I don't want to share until I've got a success story. That was part of the allure of the book idea: Struggle, struggle, struggle, then fix it, document it, and share it. But recovery doesn't work that way. It's in the agonizing moment of vulnerability that healing happens. In that place where I've come to the end of myself and have to ask for help. When I don't ask for help because I'm supposed to, but because I must. So I wanted to post today before I do something scary. I need to tell my pastor (and boss) that I was under the influence yesterday while in my office, which I've never done before. I had alcohol hidden in my filing drawer. At worst I'll be out of a job, at best I'll set up a new level of accountability with him, which is something I've needed to do for a long time anyway. Tonight at my meeting I can finally connect my pastor with my sponsor. I'll post later about the outcome. I just know that I can't get better until I ask for, and accept, the help I need.
I wish I only had to introduce you to ME: dad, husband, songwriter, pastor. That’s the guy I see in the mirror. I love my kids, I’m good at fixing things, I love to read or chase my dogs around the house. But I lose track of myself sometimes when I’m hurting. That’s when my addict comes around, the bastard who would throw it all away for a moment alone with his drugs and his porn. He cuts me with a razor and he steals things just for the rush. He’s even tried to kill me. But there’s a huge difference between us, and I’ll tell you what it is: He’s a coward. And I’m not. I won’t let him have my kids, my beautiful wife, my job or my home. And since he hates exposure, I’m going to tell you all about him. I’m Eli, and I’m an addict.