The other day someone talked about complaining versus being part of the solution. I'm not going to link to the post because this isn't meant to be argumentative. Just that it made me stop and think. I had just posted a very raw post and was still reeling from the emotional events that prompted it.
Being who I am (that part of me that makes me so vulnerable to an addict in fact), I immediately started questioning my own behavior. Have I been complaining more than looking for solutions? Was he talking about me? (of course not) Was I looking for attention like a big-adult-baby? Was the attention more important to me than solutions?
Then I said to myself, rather firmly, "STOP!"
On one hand, connecting to others in recovery is extremely important to me. I've wrapped myself in secrets, withdrawn because I might not speak those secrets but I couldn't stop people from seeing the effects of their poison. Also, I'm not very good at pretending shit is good when it stinks.
On the other hand, one of the most dangerous things to my recovery is the voice and opinion and advice of "other". Somewhere early on I learned that I wasn't supposed to listen to myself, but to others. That what I wanted, thought, felt didn't count as much as what others wanted, thought, felt. I was less important, less knowledgeable, less worthy.
This, to those who know me in person in certain capacities, would seem confusing, impossible even. There are areas in my life where I am strong-willed and strong-opinioned. Those areas would be those where I am helping others (starting an organization or leading people) or those where it's not about me, it's about facts (brain science, analytics, data, science generally).
So when I ask myself if all this writing is just complaining, venting, attention seeking, the answer is no, it's not. I write, whether I write here or in journals or elsewhere. It's what I do. It's how, to quote a friend, I solve the problem of myself. I do it here, publicly, because it is the very beginning of purging the poison of secrets I've held onto for too long. I do it here, publicly, for a certain kind of attention -- that which offers me a mirror in which to view these things that I can't see clearly when they are jockying around only in my head. I do this here, publicly, so that as I peel off another layer it's laid out sequentially for me to look at. It is a public dissection of self, and it's both painful and necessary.