Read this little snippet from Anne Lamott’s FB page today & it encouraged me to put a few words down today.  As usual, thanks Annie.

For a couple of days, I’ve been marinating on something my friend, Sarah Bessey wrote on her FB page, “Sometimes, the most fearless thing we can do is keep showing up.”

On my own Facebook page, I’ve hinted, hemmed & hawed about going to Anonymous meetings.  Usually, as soon as I get back from one.  Leaving each meeting, more inspired and self-aware than the last. The meetings have been a tremendous gift to me. I wish I had started them years & years earlier.  I’ve skirted around writing about these meetings because that means acknowledging I’ve struggled with addictions of some variety.  If even being willing to walk into a meeting means first acknowledging there is, in fact a problem, you can appreciate and understand why I’ve danced a jig around the issues. Point blank? Even the admission sucks.

Addressing all of this, has been painful, painful, painful.

And then shameful, shameful, shameful.

And then fearful, fearful, fearful.

And then hopeful, hopeful, hopeful.

And then painful, painful, painful all over again.

And then the cycle starts over.  Rinse. Repeat.

This is the world I’m in now –remarkably, shockingly, surprisingly…

I’m an addict. I struggle with addictions.  I go to Anonymous meetings (& they rock). I did a “rehab” of sorts.

As I gain momentum in sobriety, in understanding my issues, in working through the 12 steps, I very much hope to keep showing up to write-it-out, both publicly and privately.  I hope to, I don’t know how much I will, but I hope to.

I understand that to barrel through the messy and the beautiful in front of community and surrounded by community is needed.  When I think about every word Annie Lammot & Brennan Manning have put down about their experiences as (sober/drunk/recovering/sober/drunk/recovering) Alcoholics in and out of A.A. I am deeply indebted to them & have drawn strength from that as I’ve put pen to paper even privately. (And, yes, I do talk about these two characters quite a bit)  I don’t know that any of us who’ve hit rock bottom ever thought we’d *actually* hit rock bottom.  I hit it head first.  Of that head-lacerating experiencing, I’m pretty sure I’m still bleeding out, concussed at least so there is wisdom in the marination time.  I will likely marinate for the rest of my life.  I will be in pursuit of healing for the rest of my life.

Any of you who’ve ever dug deep into addictions know there’s always something else lying directly beneath the surface begging for you to unearth, which undoubtedly brings either a) another addiction b) post-traumatic stress disorder c) a shit-ton of confusion and pain or d) all of the above. In my case d) all of the above, which means I’ve had no choice but to walk through this with as many yolk-fellows as possible.  One does not simply walk into the eye of the storm alone.

There’s a small part of me, that wants to fully hide throughout this process.  In all the ways I’ve stayed quiet I have all ready.  I could shut down my blog and deactivate FB and I could say it’s about refocusing and yada yada yada (not that those are bad things), but there’s a part of me that would feel deeply satisfied with that course of action because I am still rebuilding from the GIANT CLUSTERFUCK.

But there’s this other part of me, and even bigger part, that wants to show up and write it out in and for community, with messages of messy faith and messy hope.

There’s this other part of me that wants to write it out because this is the world I’m in now –remarkably, shockingly, surprisingly.

There’s this other part of me that wants to be ballsy enough to tell these stories because why not? (Because they acknowledge that I’m a sinner? Because these stories acknowledge my humanity? My fallen-ness? My confusion? My stress, depression or issues?  And?)

There’s a part of me that knows my stories and my current day experiences aren’t of less value than things I wrote 5-6 years ago simply because my life was more put together those days.

There’s a part of me that wants to challenge those who believe that the messy-faith-wrestlers can’t and shouldn’t have a voice that speaks to God’s grace.

So.  I’ve thought about this idea of ‘showing up,’ lately.

I’m not merely concerned with showing up online.  I’m trying to show up at my boys’ schools more often, show up for my Anonymous meetings, show up for my workouts, show up to my time with the Lord, show up to consistent work hours & more of the being-a-grown-up-showing-up-variety.

And of course, there’s always other ways I need to work on showing up as well:  showing up for counseling, showing up for more reading, less television, showing up for more creativity, less Instagram, showing up for more self-care, less self-loathing.

For today, I’m showing up here to remember it’s okay to show up scared, and to acknowledge the fear.

~~~

I mentioned this morning on my Facebook page the loss of someone I loved very dearly.  This too, contributed to my wanting to ‘show up’ here today…knowing life is extremely short.  We have this one opportunity to give hope or to withhold it.  Being where I’m at now, in a recovery-ish phase, I don’t feel I have much to give, I don’t.  But if I can, do just a bit, through sharing the hope I have in Jesus to continue to push through my addictions and fight for healing, well then that is what I can do with I have right now.  My heart is broken at this loss, but it has inspired and encouraged me to remember to fight for each day that I’m alive and the lives I can touch however significantly or insignificantly it may seem to me.  If you see yourself in these words, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me.

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Comments

  1. Sharon O says:

    we have this one opportunity to give hope or withhold it. (WOW) that is so powerful.

  2. Jennifer Mruk says:

    “There’s a part of me that knows my stories and my current day experiences aren’t of less value than things I wrote 5-6 years ago simply because my life was more put together those days.

    There’s a part of me that wants to challenge those who believe that the messy-faith-wrestlers can’t and shouldn’t have a voice that speaks to God’s grace.”

    Yes! This! I have just a very few raw, honest, and messy Jesus followers in my life. Those relationships bring me closer to the face of Jesus, and his genuine love, affection, and grace for the person that I am, than any other constant in my life.

  3. No matter what the past, the present grace gasps hold of hope. Even grace requires us to show up. Thanks G.

  4. Grace, this is beautiful. Thank you for writing here so bravely, and for showing up. I so appreciate it. You help me remember that I can show up, too.

  5. Gina Comer says:

    Just loving your from afar. Thank you for your honesty and for keep showing up! Blessings

  6. Sharon Smith says:

    What courage this took to share with us! Thank you for showing up here. Keeping you in my prayers!

  7. I love when you show up, Grace. We’re all better for it. xoxo

  8. This is a really beautiful and encouraging post, Grace. I think we all have a lot to learn from Anonymous meetings and practices. Thank you!

  9. Grace,
    Thank you so much for showing up and sharing your story at The Jumping Tandem Retreat…It was an honor to hear you share your story and God’s grace.

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