I spoke at a meeting on January 2. A very old and very dear friend who has known me since I was newly sober introduced me. He made a comment about my humility... he went on and on about all the "great" things I have done, and he said that if he didn't tell them they would never know because of my humility. Well, to me, for me to even write that reeks of arrogance. But I am trying to write about something important here... an inventory of sorts... so indulge me, thank you.
At work yesterday someone told me that I am running the hospital. Well, I just thought that was ridiculous and I told her so. But she went on to explain what she meant by that and I had to agree with the basic premise of her argument. Now, I am not going to put my thumbs through my belt and waltz into work today with an attitude of a CEO, but I am going to think about how much work I am getting done and how very vital it is to the survival of my workplace. It is not in my nature to do that.
Last week two women at work who I dearly love (I used to despise one of them, oh the wonderful power of inventory, amends, and a loving God!) took me aside and told me what a great job I am doing and asked me to please give myself some credit for it. Really, my first thought was "ick." Am I turning into one of those "low self-esteem" attention seekers? I find that type of behavior so very tiresome in others. I see it as not so much low self-esteem as high self-centeredness... but maybe that's just me.
So, I have this blog. I started writing it (in 2005) for a specific reason and thought I would post a couple times and that would be the end of it. But I got discovered and embraced by this wonderful sober blogging community. It was one of the best things that has happened to me in my sobriety. We had so much fun, it was fellowship at its finest. The kind of fellowship that makes you grow. Most of those people have stopped blogging, some are even drinking and using again. I have three wonderful friendships that started here and I think will be lifelong... Pammie, Daave, and Scott W. I just love these three.
Sorry, I am beating around the bush here... I have spent a lot of time in the last couple of weeks trying to analyze why I no longer feel good about my blog. One reason is that I have written very nearly every day for over 3 years. Almost everything there is to know about me is out there somewhere. My blog has been found by people I had not intended to read my blog. I have gone back and edited some stuff out. But most of it is still there. To me, this defeats the whole purpose of having a blog. I think a blog is a great place to anonymously talk about stuff without the possibility of hurting someone else or impacting anyone who is "really" in your life. So, that is one reason.
But I think the other reason is more character defect based. In blogland, I feel that the whole thing has passed me by. The old peeps are mostly gone, and I have grown tired of developing relationships with people who are likely to one day just disappear. Really. You go to their blog one day and it is gone. Poof! The End. Keeping the links to other bloggers current is practically a full time job. And if I go to your blog more than a couple of times and you haven't posted, I just stop going to your blog. I am one of the busiest people I know... I don't have time to click through a whole list of people who blog irregularly. The other thing is that in the blogging community, we have embraced a whole group of people who do not appear to me to be in recovery. They are still exploring "different" ways. They don't want to be told about AA by "AA nazis," they are loudly proclaiming that AA or Alanon are not the only ways. OK, fine, but aren't we writing about our programs of recovery? Isn't that what our blogs are about?
I think it takes that energy to be a real blogger. You have to visit the other blogs and comment. And then they come by and comment. And then you develop a relationship.
So, what has this got to do with humility? Well, I don't put my sobriety date on my header or sidebar. I don't post my awards - which I should. I don't tell you about all the offers I have had to post elsewhere. I don't tell you about the offers to even be paid to write about my sobriety. I allowed another "recovery" site to post my stuff for a while, but realized it was a terrible idea. I rescinded my permission for them to use my blog and after a while, they started using it again. (note to self: check Wellsphere today to make sure they haven't put it back again). I feel like I have already talked about myself to death. For some reason, I am wounded when someone drives by and drops condescending comments. For some reason, I feel like they should surely know that I am somewhat familiar with our beautiful program since I have been practicing it for over 24 years. But I don't tell the casual reader that, so how would they know... particularly on days when I am being a brat.
My real target audience is the shaky and scared person sitting at their computer trying to figure out if AA is a place they can go. I want them to know that if they are alcoholic, AA is the place to go for a solution. Those people seldom comment, they occasionally e-mail and it makes my day. I have the couple of friends who blog and we e-mail, and then the triumvirate of my blogging BFFs, Pammie, Daave, and Scott.
I guess I am saying that I don't really feel like I am clear on my mission here. Maybe I need to write a Mission Statement for my blog. Maybe I need to take a break. Maybe I need to turn off comments. Maybe I just need to write for myself and not be looking for your response. But I think it is all about sharing, the give and take.
I know that I was a hopeless drunk. I know that by the Grace of God, I found AA. I know that I "worked" AA's program for a long time before I realized that all the "work" in the world could not produce what I had been so freely given by a Loving God. It is my duty to turn around and share this gift with others. That is why I don't like to talk about the "work" or the unbelievable (to me) number of sober years that I have been given. I think if I were capable of producing this myself, I would have done so years before I reached the point of surrender that alcoholism can produce.
But then, I do want to share the number of years with you all... it is so amazing to me that I have gotten to live this way for a decent percentage of my life. I have realized that people frequently misunderstand what I mean when I talk about the "work" not producing the results. You have to do it, there is no way around it, but then, please, don't try to take the credit for the results you get.
Oh, sorry, nothing is working for me on this blog right now. I can't seem to put together a post that makes sense anymore. I even went to confession on Saturday to talk about this blog and ask the priest some questions. It wasn't my regular confessor, and I thought this man in a brown robe wouldn't understand what I was talking about when I talked about my blog. Then later in the day, I checked him out and realized what a huge web presence he has... I am pretty sure he checked my blog too. He gave me some very good counsel. Maybe I should try using it!