There are simply things we cannot say sometimes. They’re too embarrassing, shameful, or hurtful to others. Or our hearts are fragile, and we’re afraid to share them fully.
Anonymity provides a layer of safety, a place where we can be fully honest and fully ourselves.
If you’ve every been to a recovery meeting, you may know the freedom it can bring. There is nothing like the acceptance that can be found in a room full of fully-honest, real people, who are not there to judge you but to get help. Just like you.
This is why I’ve decided to write Overwhelmed in anonymity. It is my online recovery meeting. My attempt to share my story fully, without hurting any of the people I love. Without expecting reactions from them of any kind because they don’t know it exists.
I do eventually share most things with the people I know. I believe that by confessing to each other, we really can find healing. But there is a time and a place for those confessions, and sometimes… well, sometimes, there are things I want to share, but my people don’t need to hear it again. Or they can’t hear it without commenting on its validity.
So if you’re struggling along with me, maybe my stories can speak to yours. Without judgment, shame, or fear. Know that just because I’m anonymous, that doesn’t mean I’m not real.
If you choose to leave a comment on any of my posts, feel free to do so anonymously. But I expect you to be real. Pretend you’re in a recovery meeting.
For those of you who’ve never been to a meeting like this, let me introduce you to the format. There are rules.
1) Keep your sharing focused on your own thoughts and feelings.
2) There is no cross talk. Cross talk is when individuals engage in conversation excluding all others. Each person if free to express his or her feelings without interruptions. (Or, in the case of the internet, without arguments, recriminations, or judgment.)
3) We are here to support one another, not “fix” another.
4) Anonymity and confidentiality are basic requirements. What is shared in the group stays in the group. The only exception is when someone threatens to injure themselves or others. (Again, obviously, this is a blog, not an actual group. I have no problem with you “sharing” any of the pages or posts here, and you of course know that any comment you post is public, unless you send me an email.)
The strict rules in a recovery group provide a liberating atmosphere in which to share and grow. If you haven’t been to one, I highly recommend it.