Not talking about Venice again this week but I do want to expand on a thought I had while I was there.
The week before we left, I ran the Nashville half marathon and I know you are sick of hearing about that. Sorry, not sorry. Thanks to social media I was able to let the whole world know. Why not? I was proud of it. Running 13.1 miles at a snail's pace is still something to be proud of, right?
While we were in Venice, I caught up with a lot of people I only see once a year. Many of them were like, “Way to go on that half marathon, girl!” I love that! I mean it is a big accomplishment and everything, but I can honestly say it didn’t really feel big enough to warrant that much congratulations. Again, not complaining, I was just kind of surprised.
Maybe because I’ve done harder things? Like childbirth and the Ride4Life. They are equal as far as I am concerned. Both of those events in my life naturally got a lot of congratulations too.
These events are things we are happy to share and it's fun to receive the positive accolades, isn’t it? But what about the stuff we could use an “atta boy” for? The stuff we don’t talk about... big or small.
"Way to go that you didn’t just kill your teenager! That took major self control and you deserve a trip to the spa for conquering that moment with so much grace!"
"I can’t believe you didn’t eat the candy bars your kid is selling for little league! They have been sitting in the laundry room where you look at them every day for a month! What self control you’ve shown. You are my hero!"
"Did you really just walk out of the store and leave those fabulous jeans behind. Even though they made your butt look amazing? Wow! I am impressed! You said no more clothes and you are sticking to it. What willpower!"
You get the idea. Life’s daily victories mostly go unnoticed by our peers. I mean, we're not exactly posting those moments to Snapchat. We tend to save social media for the big stuff.
But what if we didn’t? At the time of my early sobriety, I should have been going live about being sober. I could have used some encouragement instead of wallowing in shame and secrecy.
It would’ve looked something like this:
"My first thirty days sober! Woo Hoo - that sucked but I'm going to keep going."
"Today I am one year sober! I haven’t picked up a drink in a whole year!"
"Went to a party last night downtown, it was so hard to be around all that booze. I made it through and this morning, I am feeling like a rock star!"
Never in a million years would I have posted any of that. I was so scared of anyone finding out that I had a drinking problem. I didn’t share my story publicly until I had a few years of sobriety. I will say that when I did speak out it was the most freeing thing I have ever done on this recovery journey. There was a saying in AA that I am recalling as I write, "You are only as sick as your secrets.” I didn't understand that at the time, but I get it now.
"He who conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will find compassion." - Proverbs 28:13
That verse could not ring any truer when it comes to me. When I started sharing my secrets, I finally started living. Living a life of freedom from my secret sins. They no longer hold me back.
I’m not saying you have to post on Instagram to free yourself, but how about telling someone you trust? Free yourself a little bit at a time.
I want to help you with this. I am starting a safe place to do that on my website. It will be a private place to share your story and interact with others who are going through the same struggles. I truly want to help you start the conversation.
I meet so many women who are going through the same issues in addiction and recovery. I know we can support each other in this journey. I want this to be a place for you to start sharing your story, whatever that is. We all have our stuff. Not just alcohol. There are so many things that suck us in and keep us from living our best life, especially when we keep them all inside. Co-dependency, abuse, depression, a struggling marriage. It's time to have a conversation.
Email me if you would like to be invited.
Together we are stronger.
Blessings on your weekend,