Hi friends! Happy Saturday! I’m enjoying this lazy afternoon, drinking Starbucks Pike Roast and working on a writing assignment. Last Saturday, I was hanging out in bed singing along with one of my fave singer/songwriters, Jewel Kilcher. When she first arrived on the music scene in the middle-90s, with her eternal white tank tops and that mystical feather hanging off her acoustic guitar, I was totally mesmerized. I listened to her debut CD “Pieces of You” so many times I scratched it up! One of the sweetest #1 crush songs on it is called “Near Me Always.” Here I lend my voice to it.
Enjoy your long Memorial Day weekend! Check back Tuesday for a new post! And be sure to sign up for my e-newsletter DARRAH’S CLUB by entering your email address in the box to the right! —–>
I grew up in a family that said, “I love you,” a lot. Everyday. I love you was a truth, an apology, an afterthought, a team drill and an aside. My idea of love was so skewed for so long. Despite being told I was loved, I was also yelled at, ridiculed, hit, neglected and my voice and needs were diminished.
There are many adages in program that help me. “Easy Does It”, “One Day At A Time,” “This Too Shall Pass,” but the one most reflective of my adolescent life and my years as an addict is this one: You’re Only As Sick As Your Secrets.
I grew up in a family that was hyper-private and there were many secrets. Because of the unhealthiness and addictions, the way our family presented itself to the public versus what was really going on in the inner dynamic were two very different things.
In my recovery from eating disorders and drug addiction, I came to know that we are only as sick as our secrets.
My older sister recently wrote to me out of the blue and asked me to limit what I write about her in my essays on this blog. Unfortunately, I’m only able to do that within the confines of what would put her in danger—as I won’t censor myself. I made that decision a long time ago.
As a result of her request, I have to walk the fine line of trying to make a compassionate decision toward her while also respecting my own needs (which were rarely acknowledged or met in my alcoholic home). I also have to be certain I’m not trying to control her or get back at her for things that happened when we were kids.
I am currently crafting a response back to let her know that part of my healing process is writing about my experience in our home. Now, this is from my point of view, obviously. As we all know, there is our perspective, the other person’s perspective and the truth. I don’t kid myself to think I remember things exactly as they were. Only as I am.
The letter from her got me thinking… while I don’t want her to have anxiety or uneasiness about what I write, I can’t make the promise that she wants. And I don’t feel it’s selfish, I feel it’s evolved. It’s a tough decision on my part.
Part of the reason I feel confidently about telling her ‘no’ is because of my own process of releasing my attachment to how I feel about how other people feel about me. Another slogan in program is “What other people think about you is none of your business.” I’ve intentionally surrendered so much around what I’m OK with people saying or knowing about me. In fact, I’d rather be the one to just lay down the cards and admit “these are the things I’ve done” and thus others don’t have the power over me to reveal seeming secrets. Fearlessness is a powerful tool. Being unafraid of judgment is dynamic.
In an effort to put my money where my mouth is… The two most embarrassing acts I did while in my speed addiction are: I went to the bathroom next to a tree at a public park during the middle of the day in plain view of passersby. 2) I changed my pad in the passenger seat of my then-boyfriend’s truck at a gas station in front of his cousin.
These memories make me feel a mixture of sheer horror and odd reverence. I was so fucked up I just didn’t give AF. I was also in a weird space of irreverence about the world. I was angsty and young (eighteen) and rebellious and pushing the limits on acceptable behavior.
But, I’d rather you hear it from me than an old drug buddy!
In a way, I feel lucky that I grew up in an era predating social media. The lessons my daughter will learn will be steeper in some ways because everything is recorded for a sick kind of humiliating and fraternal posterity now. There are no photos or videos or Snapchat’s of me pissing aside a tree. But, there are memories that grow fecund in the vacuum of our minds, and I suppose, sometimes that’s even more dangerous.
I know that my teenage and early-20s drug addiction and eating disorders were a result, in part, of my formative years and the home I grew up in. For better or for worse, my parent’s choices affected my three siblings and me. So did my choices. My behavior and repeated choice to use drugs and run around with shady people was difficult for my parents. I have compassion for them.
In a way, I wouldn’t mind if my mother wrote about what it was like to have a teenage drug addict living in her home. At least I would feel seen. I would feel she was processing through an important chapter in our shared lives. I would feel like it actually happened. But, she is still in her own addictions. And if she did write something, I fear it would be in spite and I would not be handled with kid gloves.
And, I guess that’s what we all want. To be treated with gentleness. So I will do the best I can with my sister, while still maintaining my boundaries. After all, I’ve learned to treat myself with the softness that I always wanted. And to allow people into my life who will treat me with fragility. Not because I’m weak. Because I’m strong enough to admit that I need love to be a verb and not just something you are told before bedtime.
…Follow Your Bliss xoxo
Did you find this post insightful or interesting? Have your own thoughts on Family, Addiction & Privacy? Leave your comment below.
I’m super-excited to share that my Facebook fan page for this blog has reached over 2,200 fans! I’m so blessed to have such a robust & charming readership as you guys! Seriously. Not only do you read my work, but you comment and send love and unique and interesting and thought-provoking ideas my way. I’m very lucky to have ♥YOU!♥
I made a video blog to Thank You for being a part of my Facebook family. If you aren’t yet a member of my fan page, please visit & hit like! Also, sign up for Darrah’s Insider Club in the box to your right. You’ll get an email when I post new blogs!
I had lots of fun visiting Las Vegas recently, staying at the Wynn Hotel! I did a li’l video blog to share a bit about my journey! And, below is a pic Richard took on our way to dinner at Mr. Chow. I unearthed that black dress from the recesses of my closet, having forgotten it existed! It’s pretty cute, right? The second pic is in this gorgeous topiary exhibit in the Wynn lobby.
Last night, I lent my voice to one of the most challenging xmas songs “O Holy Night.” My favorite rendition is Kelly Clarkson’s, but since I didn’t have a gospel choir to accompany me (this time!) I settled for a little computer karaoke off YouTube… 😉 Happy Noel in March!
In celebration of 1,000 readers on my Follow Your Bliss Facebook fan page ~ Here is my Thank You video along with details about Darrah’s Club subscribers’ first special gift!!
Are we linked up on Facebook? If not, find Follow Your Bliss blog fan page here! And don’t forget to sign up for Darrah’s Club, my weekly e-newsletter for insider-only content, freebies & special gifts! Sign up below this post.
In celebration of 1,000 readers here on my fan page ~Here is my Thank You video along with details about Darrah’s Club subscribers’ first special gift!! ???
Hi friends! I started a Facebook fan page because of the love and support I have received over the years since I began this website & blog in 2010. I created Follow Your Bliss (previously Suicide Redhead) mostly as a place to store my writing and also, perhaps, create conversations. More recently, I posted an essay “From Sex Addict to Monogamous Mom: A love junkie finds true love.” This essay was so well-received and handled with such care by my readers, that I felt inspired to create this FB page: FOR YOU! I want us to stay connected.
So….Feel free to “Like” the page to stay ‘in the know’ whenever I post a new blog, which is usually an essay I’ve written, a movie review, the latest goings-on in my life, a head’s up on any projects I’m working on, and sometimes poetry. I’d love to hear about how my stuff resonates with you, so leave your comments and let’s start and keep open-minded and respectful conversations.
I am enjoying my new haircut: shorter blonde locks, and thought I’d share them with you! I hope the holidays are treating you with grace, and that you have started thinking about what you want in the New Year!! Don’t forget to write down your hopes, dreams and even fears, so that you can tackle them and honor them and make sure 2016 is YOUR YEAR! I know you will.