Thursday, June 2, 2011

Public Dissection

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 I've wrapped myself in secrets, withdrawn because I might not speak those secrets but I couldn't stop people from seeing the effects of their poison.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.


  1. There is someone around blogging town who has said a few times that happiness is not based on our circumstances or the same thing about staying in the solution instead of the problem and sometimes it eats at me, enough that I just don't read on a regular basis...and they don't read me often, at all.

    There are people like this in the meetings, or in the world, who are blessed, fortunate, or just at that point in their lives where they have worked through the rough parts of their life and are outside of those things. How easy it is to forget.

    I'm sorry, there is a drastic difference between living with daily re-traumatization and having that be a distant memory.

    There is a huge difference between buying food with the worry that it will prevent you from washing your clothes and being able to go where you want, eat what you want, and do what you want as you please.

    Sometimes, circumstances do play a part in our happiness. Especially if our circumstances are what we are up against in order to survive. And if our circumstances are part of the problem, I tend to think it would be a slight case of denial to forget about them entirely.

    I think what you're doing is good for you. Cathartic. An interactive journal of sorts.

  2. I've written a few responses and nothing is coming out right. I'm too heated about an entirely different and new issue that's come up. Precisely the kind of circumstance that one might tell me I could choose to be happy through, only the circumstance smacks of power/abuse/passive-aggressiveness and it affects the reality of my situation.

    Forgetting some trite slogan, I'm trying to reach deeper for some kind of wisdom to handle it and I'm pretty sure the answer has nothing to do with smiling through it.