This is MY blog. That means I get to choose what to write and how I go about it. I have been very clear that this is basically an open journal that I use to process my thoughts and emotions as I go through a self-directed healing and recovery process. I am not an expert and do not claim any credentials to imply that I am an authority in any field related to psychological, emotional, medical, social, or legal processes or organizations.
Due to certain experiences, conditions, and factors in my life I have gained insight, knowledge, and understanding in many of these areas. However, that is limited and incomplete, filtered through my individual perceptions, preconceptions, values, and personality. Any statement made is a statement of MY truth and MY reality and not intended to dictate, sway, or convince anyone, anywhere that I have THE answers to anyone else’s questions or problems.
I have been very open and clear that I am living life to the best of my ability while dealing with the untreated conditions of depression and fibromyalgia, both of which have physiological, psychological, emotional, and cognitive effects. The impact of these conditions on my reasoning, perceptions, and responses can be profound and often factor into my relationships with my family and others.
My personal past includes frequent cycles of chaos, conflict, and emotional disturbance. I often feel overwhelmed and incapable of functioning in my life or interacting with people. As a result my present life also consists of these things as I attempt to identify and address patterns of behavior, thought, and conflict. This blog is the place where I have and will continue to work through the details of triggering events. Many of these things have to do with people I interact with in my daily life, including the bureaucrats on the phone, pastors, fellow bloggers, and strangers on the street, as well as my family and friends.
To some this may seem like airing my dirty laundry and targeting individuals to point out how I feel I have been victimized by them. This is not my intent at all. While I may include the details of what others have said or done as it relates to me, the focus is on my feelings, thoughts, choices, actions, and how I navigated the situation either effectively or where I went wrong and what I need to take from it in order to move forward. I do my best to not focus on what the other person did wrong or how they should have done it better. Although, there are times when that does happen because I may have to work through those feelings and thoughts before I can view them, the situation, and myself in a more objective light. I express how I feel about myself in response to my interaction with them and how I would like to have been treated or spoken to.
I have done my best honor their anonymity by changing names so that those who do not know me or us will not readily identify them. I have not widely advertised this blog among people who know us and the few I have informed are either people I trust to be cautious and caring. I have informed the people mentioned in my blog that I have a blog and have provided them links to it at different times, inviting them to read and giving them the opportunity to read and respond if they choose to. However, I do not send them a link each time I have a post in which an interaction I have had with them is disclosed.
Recently, my failure to inform someone that I had or would be disclosing details of our interactions contributed to tensions in our relationship with each other. It was not my overt intent to target this person in a negative way or imply that this person was bad while I was good or hurt this person in any way. I was working through my own issues and my own feelings and my own thoughts. The things that transpired between this person and myself were used as specific examples of the kinds of interactions that take place between any number of people I care about and myself.
Doing this on a public blog instead of in a private journal is risky because of all of these things and perhaps there are those who believe that I am out of line for doing so. There are a couple of key reasons why I choose this public forum. The first is that keeping private journals has not worked for me in the past. I would start a journal and then after a few days, weeks, or a month I would stop and then misplace the thing I was keeping it in. I’ve lost track of the number of notebooks and journals I have started and stopped, lost and found, and then read through to discover I’m still stuck writing the same things over and over again. This blog is the first medium I have ever been able to utilize in a way to write consistently and it has given me tools to be able organize my thoughts and review what I’ve already written to be able to effectively identify themes and issues or be able to recognize cycles and realize positive growth.
Secondly, this is my effort to reach out to others and get connected after having isolated and ostracized myself for so long. Since I am limited in personal resources to actively and consistently participate in community in my “real” world, this has been my path back to socialization. Through this blog I have expanded expanded my virtual community and begun taking steps to reconnect and grow in community in my day to day life.
Third, battling depression and fibromyalgia, recovering from the affects of childhood neglect and abuse, and trying to change life-long coping skills and habits of co-dependency and food addiction are not things that can be done alone. By sharing my realities, experiences, successes, and failures I have been receiving encouragement, support, and hope from others. As I have done this, I have encountered others who are receiving the same from me just by reading my blog. The Twelfth Step is about helping others, sharing experience, strength and hope from a perspective of one who has truly been there, done that, and come out the other side.