Happy Birthday to My Blog! (And Step 5)

Diva CupcakesToday marks exactly one year since I hit “publish” on my very first blog post. My goal was to post something authentic and encouraging once a week. You see – blogging would become my way of putting my very private toes into the public pool called “writing with real readers in mind.”

Although I’ve always been a closet writer, about two years ago, I felt a distinct calling to write my memoir – the one that begins with being the wife of a cocaine-addicted Christian, and ends with becoming the wife of a small-church pastor. Against my better judgment as an introvert, I obediently began to tell the tale of how God redeemed the things I thought were lost during those locust-eaten-years of my first marriage.

People close to me asked questions like, “Now that your life is amazing, why do you want to dig up all those old bones?” But once they began reading the first chapters, they quieted down and began encouraging me to continue. It has been a long journey. Blogging has helped to keep me moving forward – forcing me to remember, holding me to my self-imposed deadlines, and inspiring me with feedback from real people who are experiencing some of the same hurts that I survived as the codependent spouse of a chemically dependent person.

I know there’s an audience for my book. I believe that it will give hope and tools to those traveling similar trenches. I’m excited to announce that I’ve just signed up with Westbow Press! My book, Same Dress, Different Day: A Spiritual Memoir of Addiction and Redemption will be available in early 2015 on Amazon, Barnes & Nobel and elsewhere, as an e-book, or a “real” hard cover book! I am excited, humbled, and grateful for the opportunity to share my story with a wider audience.

(Since this post is officially supposed to be about Step 5 of the 12 Steps, let’s see how I can weave that in, so those of you following the Steps here won’t get lost in balloons and streamers of my little hallelujah party!)

Step 5 MemeStep 5 says:

“Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.”

That’s tough. When I do wrong, I want to hide. I don’t want to ‘fess up.

  • It’s easy to justify not talking to God about it by saying, “Why should I talk to Him about it? He already knows everything anyway.”
  • It’s easy to walk around in a bubble of denial, blaming everyone else for        what’s wrong in the world and justifying or ignoring my own behavior.
  • As an introvert, it’s more than easy to never talk to another person about my feelings or problems or mistakes. I can hide it all, stuff things down, get lost in busyness and never be real with anyone.

Yeah… I’ve been there, done all of that, and “worn the t-shirt” for years. I just have one thing to say about it: None of that hiding has ever been as fulfilling as being authentic, being heard, and being loved anyway.

The book, Serenity, A Companion for Twelve Step Recovery, says this about Step 5:

“This may be one of the most challenging steps we face in our recovery process, but it can also be one of the most fulfilling in terms of removing us from our isolation. In order to accomplish Step 5, the three-part sharing it endorses must take place. That is, all of what we discovered about ourselves in our Step 4 inventory is to be freely admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being…

…Because these areas are so sensitive and so very personal, it is important to exercise care in choosing the person or persons with whom we formally share our fifth step. Such individuals should be trustworthy and somewhat detached from the situations about which we will share. For example, one would not usually call on a spouse or immediate family member to hear this confession. In fact, it is quite common to choose a therapist or pastoral counselor for this purpose. Also, such individuals should be compassionate, not condemning.” p. 45,46

If you are ready to be authentic, transparent and real, please allow me to encourage you to find a safe person and a safe place to share your story. Healing takes place in community. When we are ready to be real with God, with ourselves, and with a trusted friend, counselor, or sponsor, we are ready for the next Step.

What’s it gonna be, friend? Will you give yourself the gift of healing today, on the birthday of this blog? Will you trust God and a friend to love you for who you are and not judge you for the mistakes you’ve made in the past?

Happy Blogday! Happy Book Publishing! Happy new-found-freedom-to-be-real! Happy me! Happy you!

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