My blog is public for a reason.
I try my best to use my experiences to help other people in recovery.
I make my ‘work’ email available to anyone who might need it.
People contact me if they are interested in writing a guest piece for Discovering Beautiful.
Many people send me emails with networking opportunities.
Others just email me to update me on their progress in recovery or just to vent.
and I love and appreciate having the opportunity to connect with my readers.
But unfortunately, doing things this way also leaves the door wide open for people from my past to contact me.
This was a non-issue for my first couple of years in the blogosphere.
I know for sure that some of the people who I used/partied/ruined my life with do read the things that I write.
Truthfully, I am grateful for that.
Everyone deserves to live a healthy life and if I say anything to encourage that for someone else no matter who they are, or how I know them, or if I don’t know them….
that is awesome. That’s what giving back is all about.
But one person from my past (who I would prefer not to hear from)
has sent me several emails over the years.
He feels like it is really important to remind me in each one that I:
“Not ever forget where I came from.”
Well thanks for that.
I will be honest, this frustrates me more than it should, but I remind myself that
there are two kinds of people:
*People who have some unhealthy connection to a certain lifestyle and will never allow themselves to forget where they came from, who feel some sort of obligation to stay true to a certain way of life. They comply with some unspoken, mandatory code in order to belong to some non-existent club full of people just like them.
The person who sent me these emails (yes, plural. Apparently, it is of utmost importance that i not let myself for get where i came from.) would only be happy for me if I was a 33 year-old mother of 3, driving an Oldsmobile Cutlass 442, listening to underground unreleased gangster rap, on my way to the laundromat.
Or maybe he wants me go buy my childhood trailer back from its new owners? Or maybe that basement I lived in for so many years is available, I really miss smoking pot all day and making bongs out of household items.
*and the people who aren’t afraid of and believe in embracing change and forward progress.
The ones who can look back and thank God that they had that particular life experience, but who are grateful that so much has changed since that time. These people understand that their roots are a small part of who they are as a whole. They are always with you but are just a piece of your story.
The truth is, when someone says something like this
with a negative underlying tone- here is what they actually mean:
“You are doing great. You seem to be really happy and a lot different than you were. You are acting ‘better’ than you ‘really’ are, and the truth is, this doesn’t work for me.”
If I let every person who tried to hold me back win, I really would still be living in a basement somewhere believing that I didn’t deserve a GED, and wasn’t capable of doing anything else with my life because I had already failed.
I think that if someone like Jay-Z did the same thing, he might still be in the projects.
If Jewel did the same thing, she might still be living in a car somewhere.
If Eminem believed what others said about him, he just might still be living in Detroit working in a factory.
We don’t have to forget where we came from but we don’t have to let that place or that lifestyle be the base in which we live our new lives.
Certain things will always be a part of our story, but we are in no way obligated to any of it.
You really can’t write new additions to your story if you are obsessive about re-reading the old parts.
Not everyone is going to applaud or support the changes that you have to make in order to invest in your recovery.
It really is just another thing that you have to learn to deal with, but considering all of the hard things that you are forced to go through for sobriety, this issue is a small obstacle.
I am going to keep working and will keep doing my best to help as many people believe in themselves as I can.
If you are reading this, don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t change or that you don’t have what it takes to make it.