Dear God

deargod insecureDear God,

Hi. Good morning. Just thinking about things, up before everyone else in the house. I love this time of the day,the early morning with my coffee and my runaway dog Gypsy.

I’m a little conflicted as you know, God, about this blogging thing. I told you in the beginning when you and I decided it was okay and time for me to go “public” with my alcoholism and this blog that it was a risk because of my scruples. After a couple of years of just writing for myself and you, I have since early January been writing for a third person now. I have the reader in mind. I edit what I write. I re-word things that might sound controversial or stupid.

I told you I was worried this would happen, that I would care too much how or even if I’m perceived by others. You know this is one of my faults. Sometimes I call it vanity. But still you encouraged me to do this.  Why?  I’ve lost my time with you in the mornings. I’ve lost the intimacy you and I shared. My mornings used to be 45 minutes of sitting in my prayer chair, reading, praying, listening to you.

Now the first thing I do in the morning—well, I do make myself say the Rosary before I get out of bed, but it’s rushed and I can’t wait to finish it in order to get up for coffee and to check my blog.  Did anybody read what I wrote yesterday? Comment? Do I have a new follower overnight? Where did my traffic come from? What search words do strangers use to find my blog? How interesting it all is to me!  And although this information shows me that you and I are on the right track with this, I don’t like how my focus has shifted from you to me.

I just wanted to talk about this blogging thing, this public alcoholism I’m engaged in. What about all the people in my life, my professional life and my Facebook/personal life—my Facebook life is filled with people I’ve met along the way all the way back to elementary school!  What will they think if they find out I’m an alcoholic?  My blog posts are showing up in SEO, in Google.

What about those girls from high school and college, you know the perfect ones?  What will they think of me?  What about my sister, the one who is more private than I am.

You know, that’s the thing that’s bothering me the most right now.  The sister who may not be comfortable with me being publicly alcoholic.  I try to summon up the courage to not worry about this but it does make me question myself and your plan for me.  Maybe I should just be a quiet, non-wave-maker, mother and wife. I have that scruples thing, not all the time and not with everybody but with some people. But the love is there. Definitely the love is there

Should I be sharing these personal things about my life?  Shouldn’t I be more careful about what I put “out there” on the internet?  Why am I even doing this blog? It’s not like I’m blogging about arts and crafts, cooking, motherhood, something respectable. I’m blogging about alcoholism and how it has affected me and my family.  Maybe I should be more private about things, especially these things?

Even though I’m INFP on the Myers Briggs personality thing, I do have a way about me that sort of barrels through life. I don’t take  precautions, and I usually just go for it, do things. I’ve always been this way. I’m always like, “Okay, sure. Let’s do it.”  I was a gymnast and a diver in my youth, and I’ve always had a lot of courage–or maybe some would call me a “risk-taker,” which is actually one of the qualities the experts say is evident in every alcoholic.  A risk-taker. My coach would show me a difficult thing in the gymnastics book and I would say sure, I’ll try it.  So I guess my point here is how does me doing this blog affect the people I love? Am I being selfish here, risking more than just my own reputation? By having this blog am I hurting the reputation of those I love, too? Will my children be embarrassed one day when they’re old enough to know the difference?

Anyways, I”m not making ANY sense. I sound like such a victim here which is not how I feel at all.  Just wanted you to know that part of my fear and reservation about going public with my alcoholism and this blog. All of this could be in my head.  All of this, I suppose unfortunately IS in my head. ugh.

Back to you.

Dear God, I’m just asking you this morning two things. Well, of course the normal things like bless and take care of Husband and the children, my parents, Husband’s parents and all of my siblings and their families. Of course that.  But the two things I’m asking for in addition to the regular things are:

1. Bring me back to you in my mornings. I am loving blogging and writing, but I think of Wormwood in the Screwtape Letters, how satan is a master manipulator and uses the things we love to separate us from you. So help me give my mornings back to you, in my prayer chair, with my journal and my Lectio Divina, my Magnificat subscription, My Daily Bread book…  I want to be with you in the mornings again.

2. Release me from my attachment to pleasing anyone but you. Help me not worry about what I think people think of me.  I’m not the kind of person anymore that worries about what everybody thinks—but I guess I do still worry too much about what “certain” people think.  So, can you release me from that?

3. oh and three. I know I said it was just two. But three, can you reveal what it is exactly you want me to do with this blog?  It’s all for you, you know?

Love, Regina

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35 thoughts on “Dear God

  1. Oh Regina, this has to be one of my favourite posts period. The utter honesty, vulnerability and that tug-of-war that we have in our recovery…it’s breathtaking. I think it affects me as much as it does is because I have had these very thoughts. I mean, I don’t have FB or other social sites, and I try to keep anonymous as much as I can on the blogosphere, but there are times where I wonder who am I writing for? I had my own Little Private Idaho going there for a while. My blog, like I imagine most blogs start out as, was a diary of sorts. Not super personal, but things that I had racing through my head that I felt would be better served on paper (so to speak) that spoken to a sponsor or friend. And that was the genesis for my own blog.

    It was months later that I ventured out and found blogs like this one and saw that I wasn’t alone in this. I am active on several recovery forums, but this is different. This is much more personal. So, as to your question – who are we serving? Is it our ego? Is it our friends’ and family’s idea of what we should write? Is it God? Is it the person who we can possibly help by having them read our ramblings? Great question. I too have lost a little time with God through the rush and rumble of checking forums, blogs, emails, etc. My phone sometimes gets opened before my mind and heart do towards prayer and meditation. Sometimes my computer gets booted up before I have time to sit in silence and look at my day, to prepare spiritually for my endeavors.

    For this alcoholic and writer, I find that I have to write what comes to me, even if I feel that it has no bearing on anything or might sound “controversial or stupid”. I spent my life trying to please others, and lost my entire self doing so. Recovery is a journey in not only not drinking, but in reclaiming my self, opening up to my core self, my wholeness. My blog is a spot of that journey. It’s not the whole thing, but it’s something that I like to put down and if someone reads it, great. If not, oh well. It’s about being authentic to ourselves, Regina. Do you feel that you are being inauthentic? I don’t know you, but I don’t get the sense you are. You are driven by your recovery, your love for God and family and for your faith and religion. Doesn’t sound too stupid or controversial to me. Remember, attraction rather than promotion.

    Balance is what I have learned not so long ago, and try to practice that in my life – in all aspects. And that includes this deal here. Yes, I spend time on line responding to others, posting in forums and reading recovery stuff. It’s what I like to do, it helps me and it keeps me on the beam. But I make sure that I spend some time with God and with family and friends. I know you do that too. I wake up a little bit earlier in the morning so that I have that alone time, then I can jump on the computer while I feed the kids and get things going on in the household. I check the computer now and then and make sure I get on the phone for real life one on one. That’s just me, because I know that I can get totally swept away by the things you mention. That’s just how I am …all or nothing at times.

    You’re doing a wonderful thing, and this self-reflection is something important. You may not want to dwell on it too much, but I usually find the answers in meditation or quiet time. I am sure you will find your answers. Your blog is wonderful, and there are many people who read it who don’t respond. They lurk, but they come back. You have something important to say. We all do. We connect, we share , we inspire.

    Keep it up, Regina.

    Blessings,
    Paul

    • Oh Paul you have a way about you that always knows exactly what to say. Your wife is a lucky lady! I love the connections I make here with people like you, in recovery too. Y’all are real people and even though the connection is online it’s a connection nonetheless. And I think God likes that.

      • I have to say, Regina, that your post must have penetrated this thick skull, because this morning I did *not* turn my phone or computer on first thing. Stayed in bed with the family, laid about, then went made coffee, did my morning reflection readings, prayers and a quick meditation…then went on with my day. I think it was just after that that I started to check emails, blog, recovery forums, texts, etc. and it made a difference – that immediacy of “what did I miss?” that I sometimes get was replaced with a newer energy and different perspective that allowed me not to get caught up in everything. I hope I can do that more often 🙂

        Thanks again for your post…see, it made a difference to this dude 🙂

        Light and Love,
        Paul

        • Yay! Me too!!! I did all of my morning prayers and even wrote (hand wrote!) a thank you letter to my Inlaws I’ve been meaning to write. THEN I grabbed my iPad to check my blog. It seems like such a better day all around. Yay us!

  2. I am new to your blog, but Totally TOTALLY appreciate YOU & your honest sharing. My oldest sister went through a recovery program & has been very active in the Celebrate Recovery program at her church – she actually stood up in front of everyone one Sunday (in all the services – it’s a Big Church) wearing a placard about her alcoholism (in a group, but still, it took lots of guts!) As her sister, I was So Proud – & am proud – of her & how God is using her brokenness to Help Others who are really going through it.

    Just like you & this blog (!) Being vulnerable… & available as a conduit of God’s grace to touch crushed hearts… i thank you & encourage you to keep at it!

    grace,peace & gutsy blogs – Virginia : )

    p.s. not to worry about blog stats – what does it matter if you do this for God? 5 hearts or 500 hearts touched by your blog … even just one heart is SO important in the Heavenly scheme of things.

    • Virginia! Your comment means so much to me. Thank you! Yay for your sister and her courage! so much of the recovery process is getting past our shame. I think going somewhat public about it takes shames power away. So happy you reached out to me today.

  3. Thank you for posting this! I feel the same way toward my dad as you do toward your sister. My dad doesn’t know about my blog and would be disappointed if he did. However, I have come to the realization that I don’t write for my dad. I write for myself and for others who may be struggling. What we’re doing is God’s work – it’s important stuff! There are so many recovering and active alcoholics out there (especially women) who are terrified to come forward because of the stigma associated with being labeled an “alcoholic.” I see our writing and therefore our blogs as crucial in creating awareness and giving these people a voice. And, I hope one day your children, as well as mine, will applaud us for our bravery and honesty. Keep fighting the good fight! I’ll be right there with you – as will many others just like us!

    • Thank you lifecorked! The thing is my sister is so supportive of my sobriety. Shes just a more private person and because I think the world of her I sometimes feel like I should be a more private person too. Thank you for your encouragement.

  4. Hiya Number 9. Wonderful post. Blogging interrupted your morning prayer routine and that’s understandable. If I had a dollar for everytime my Morning Prayer routine was altered by something related to online living, I can buy a new Mac! 😉 But, it all straightens itself out in the end and settles back in to the basic routine of God, prayer and coffee, first; online life afterwards.

    It’s a struggle, and something In wrestle with daily. You’ll be fine.

  5. Baring your soul to God and letting the blogging world listen in was very humbling to me. I’m sure many bloggers have wondered if they are doing the right thing in taking blogging time from other priorities. I know I have. I know one couple who prays together for an hour each morning BEFORE they look at their phone messages and emails. If we do this we are demonstrating to God that he is first in everything in our lives. After all, the messages and comments will not disappear if we don’t check them within a few minutes of their arrival on our site! It’s hard to dismiss that little “ping” on your phone or computer during prayer time, whether it comes from your pocket or from your computer a couple of rooms away in the quiet house. I challenge you to try this for Holy Week: Refrain from checking your blog or email until certain other responsibilities are taken care of, such as getting your children off to school. Doing this for a few days to honor the Lord will put blogging in its rightful place. It will show us if we are so distracted that our primary God-given duties are not fulfilled. See blogging as a ministry that is important, but not as important as prayer time, family time and couple time. God bless.

    • Nancy! That is exactly what I told my husband this morning. For Holy Week. I haven’t had the most reverential Lent as it is and I need to make Holy Week a priority and “suffer” my faults with Jesus. Thank you so much for your comment.

  6. If it helps, I am guilty of this too:

    “Did anybody read what I wrote yesterday? Comment? Do I have a new follower overnight? Where did my traffic come from? What search words do strangers use to find my blog? How interesting it all is to me! And although this information shows me that you and I are on the right track with this, I don’t like how my focus has shifted from you to me.”

    I think it is a balance. God uses your blog to heal others but we must always give Him the glory. Great reminder! Thank you! Cindy

  7. Regina, this was a beautiful post. Maybe you are blogging to encourage others to quit drinking, to take one day at a time. Maybe your faithfulness will nudge alcoholics in the right direction? Maybe it is also so we your blogging friends support you as you take this one day at a time. I have a sister who is a recovering alcoholic so I know a bit about alcoholism and the recovery process. I am here to support you with prayer, words, and encouragement and if you ever just need to talk you are more than welcome to email me. God is with you as you blog and He is there waiting for you as you return to having alone time with our Lord. Just take it one day at a time. God Bless.

  8. I was just struggling with how public to make my blog, how public to make my sobriety this morning! My jaw hit the floor when I read this since I was puzzling over the very same thing. Plus, I really appreciate the way you talk about and with God. I am not overly religious, but I have loads of faith. I love it when God is a cherished relationship and not a method of guilt and punishment. This post resonated with me in so many ways, I can’t wait to get up early tomorrow so I can read it again when the house is quiet.

  9. Regina — Beautiful post!

    A couple of things I wanted to say about your blog.

    I love the little sea creatures and how the swim around as you scroll up and down the page!I’m sure that there are plenty of people who are alcoholics for whom it might not be the right thing to be public about it, for whatever reason, be it personality, sensitive circumstances in life, whatever. However, we all have our ways of relating, some by speaking and listening, others by reading and learning, others by expressing in writing. What is your gift? If we have gifts, God gave them to us for a reason and it makes sense that he wants us to use them. I think that is always a good indicator in discerning what God wants. As for what God allows to flourish in other people’s lives through our gifts, many times those are the fruits we don’t see here and now. When we do see the fruits it is a joyous blessing; when we don’t, it still is.Okay, I said it would be a couple of things, but it’s three… I liked your questions. Those questions were for God, so I obviously won’t attempt to answer them, but I can certainly relate to many things you said about “the blogging thing”, especially when I first got started with it (and it hasn’t been that long since I started). I think that for many of us — me included — it does have a way of becoming obsessive at times. In an odd sort of way, I think that’s a good thing. After all, we do take note of it, recognize our imperfection in the process, desire more purity of intention and humility because of it. That’s all very healthy. And besides, we love it! I think God loves it too — loves watching us try to make the world a nicer place, in his name.
    Anyways, just some thoughts you provoked in me today. Thanks for that! And God bless!

    • Whoa! Sorry if the above was a huge run-on, but it was not supposed to be one long paragraph. I thought I used the proper html codes to include numbers (guess Ishould have done it the normal way by typing 1, 2, and 3). There were 3 separate points (Although I said 2 at first). Wherever the punctuation runs into the next word, that would be the beginning of a separate thought, e.g., “…page!I’m…” and “…is.Okay,…” (For what it’s worth).

      • oh biltrix thank you for your thoughtful comment and i love run-ons that’s how my mind goes anyways and to make you feel better i’ll respond in a huge run-on sentence as well. my gift probably is writing and as you say it is definitely the way i express myself and i would really like the idea of touching others by it, whether i know it or not. and good point about it being a blessing even if i do get a little obsessive over it–i think God enjoys that side of me, too. i love the word “whoa!”

  10. Reblogged this on Annunciation Blog and commented:
    Here is a beautiful reflection from a fellow Catholic WordPress blogger. If its too long you can skip to the bottom. There is a nice summary of what it means to return to God for her. Of course it is the same experience we all have. Our focus on God is always being obscured by unimportant things.

    Dear God, I love you. I want to please only you, and once I have done so, help me to love my neighbor according to your will.

  11. Hey Number 9,

    I too had problems with all that you stated and what I did was cut my post down to two/three times a week, one post a day. It is “addictive.” I have found by doing this though, I enjoy blogging so much more, as I have time to truly read all of your blogs, think about what is said, and respond. I also have the time to respond to the “comments” on mine in a better fashion. On the days I blog I keep it to my blog and those I “follow.” On the days I do not, this gives me time to venture off to others. I do not do it though until prayers and work are through, and I am finding I am ahead of the game because I write my drafts a week ahead of time, and try to keep them 400 words or less. Around that area.

    Your work is wonderful here and you are doing a wonderful thing with this blog. I just have to remember “everything with/for God must have balance.” When I feel my balance getting out of “whack” then it is no longer about God, but is about me. This was an excellent post and God Bless you for sharing it! SR

    • Good insight SR! Unfortunately fortunately I am going to keep to my post a day because I want to improve my writing and I think that will help me. But I’ve recommitted to doing God first. Balance you are right is key! One of my objectives is definitely to shorten my posts. That is a skill I have decided to make a priority and it will help! I need to figure out a system for reading others blogs and commenting better. There are so many good posts every day!

  12. I would tend to think it is more on the “fortunate” side:>) You are correct, “there are so many good post every day!” God Bless, SR

  13. Thank you for sharing your courage!

    I too battle with the whole division of loyalties thing that writing a blog stirs up. Really, it is often hard to simply justify the time spent away from family and other commitments, in order to put words on the page. But for me the act of writing is a spiritual act, helping me to sort through the clutter of everything competing for my attention. Self-knowledge is the key, I believe, to higher awareness.

    As for what others think of you? I’ve always liked the piece of advice which says that what other people think of you is none of your business! 🙂

    • Oh I love that advice! In fact I hear that in meetings a lot and it always resonates with me. It truly is none of my business what others think of me! I’m with you on the writing thing. I “have” to write and I’ve always been this way. When I was little I would go off by myself and write short stories that I never showed to anybody! My best friend likes to tell the story of when she met me at six years old. She and her sister (having just moved into the neighborhood) were walking around looking for other kids; and they saw me down by the club sitting with paper and pen writing–or maybe I was drawing a picture. But she said, “Look Stephanie a girl!!!!” So they ran down to me and asked what I was doing and I told her just writing things and she looked at me crazy like, “Why?” ha ha ha. When we were eventually in college, I would write her term papers for her if she would buy me a pitcher of beer afterwards!

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