One of the things about writing, and therefore blogging, is that it gets me thinking about who I am writing to. This is something one faces even when writing a diary, at least I’ve always noticed that. As a kid I remember that a lot of my writing in diaries (remember the “5-year diary”?) was directed to the Catholic God I grew up with, or some other knowing presence. I was usually looking for answers and always just wanting to be heard in some way.
And so it is now with this blog. Of course, I’m writing for myself, and yet I’m writing to “you” also. There is a part of writing that allows me – forces me – to organize and understand my experiences, and then to communicate about my experience to others. Writing seems to be a way to explain myself to myself, and then perhaps include others in that conversation. It is evolving with everything I write. Writing of various sorts has always been part of my personal and professional life. There is something different about writing for me now – as if I am called to do it in a way, though the reason for the call isn’t yet clear to me.
My writing this blog arose very directly out of my recovery. I started a blog once before at an earlier stage of my medical career and the blog fizzled out (long before the career went south). Recovery has given rise to enormous creative energy for me, with visual arts and writing topping the list of outlets. My topic is therefore at the moment very much about my path and perspective out of addiction and into recovery. I walk that path with many others, and the sharing of that journey is a very important part of making it a success. Therefore my “audience” is definitely those who walk this path with me in some way, who have been where I’ve been and are going where I’m going.
But is recovery something only for those suffering from or affected by the disease of addiction? In a certain sense, yes, recovery the way I use it here is very specifically about the disease of addiction, and so is this blog. It is about what addiction is and what it is like to have it, and what it is like and what it takes to survive as a person in recovery from it.
At this early stage of my own recovery, one of the great joys is the reconnecting with people and the world that I had cut myself off from. Living a full life as a person in recovery is about so much more than abstaining from the substance or behaviors that ruled us. It is about reconnecting to the whole, the whole of my family, the whole of my community, the whole of my world. We all have wounds, illness, shortcomings, crises. Only one of mine has been addiction.
And so, who are you? Who am I writing to? You’re someone who may have the disease of addiction, or someone affected in some way by the disease of addiction. You’re connected in some way to recovery from addiction. And you’re anyone who might look at life as a journey of healing, of growing in your capacity to love and be loved. I write as a believer in recovery writ large. Connection is one of our most vital medicines. If it’s a medicine you could use in your life, this blogs for you.