Thursday, September 25, 2014

On Simplicity, Serenity and Struggle

I find myself in a tug-of-war.  I love writing in this space, and I miss it.

Following the chaos of my relapse(s) and subsequent 90 days of treatment, I vowed to take a break from living my life so publicly.  I have been doing serious thinking about the role blogging plays in my life, in my recovery.  I have more questions than answers.

I still receive numerous emails from people who identify with my story, have been helped in some way by my words. People offer bits of their own struggles, their own triumphs, and it comforts me, makes me feel less alone. 

I don't have regrets, because despite everything I continue to believe that being open brings more gifts to me than being closed. When I share some of my vulnerabilities with the world, the blessings I receive back are beyond measure.  I am long past worrying about judgment, censure or sideways glances on the soccer field.

This blog has been, in large part, about my addiction and recovery story. But I also wrote about motherhood, creativity, advocacy, balance and family.

The past six months have shown me that I do not need to share all the intimate details of my journey. Some things are meant for the sacred intimacy of real-life: family, close friends and recovery people.  
I have focused on living a quiet, simple life. I stepped away from the day-to-day of running Shining Strong, I took a hiatus from my jewelry businesses and from blogging.

My main focus has been on self-care and my family.  My kids are my priority - after my recovery, of course, because without my recovery I will lose everything.

I find myself in an in-between space. There are lots of changes happening in my life, and I ache to write about them.  But it's not just my story to tell.  What I say here impacts my kids, my husband, my family.  

Because I have shared my struggles here, I am stopped often - even from people I barely know - who look me in the eye and ask me, in a heartfelt manner - how are you?  

I don't know what to say anymore.  I am someone who shares; I find comfort in connecting with people.  I want to be truthful, but I find myself uncharacteristically speechless.  

I struggle with the balance between what is private and answering authentically. It feels shallow simply saying, "I'm fine!  And you?"

So what to do about here?  In the land of One Crafty Mother?  I realize, looking back, that I have never been untruthful or misleading here.  I have written as authentically as I could.  But there is a kind of safety in crafting words to describe my life to the unseen masses.  It's the parts I didn't even have access to myself - the pain, the depression, the grief and anxiety - that got me in the end. Writing is powerful, but it can allow me to skip rocks over the really hard stuff, even as I believe I am digging deep.

So here is what I can say:  I am okay. I have an incredible relationship with my kids, and for this I am beyond grateful.  My recovery is solid. I am able to live in acceptance and surrender and keep it in the day, with lots of prayer, meditation and support.  

Recently I re-opened my online jewelry shops, but I haven't been marketing them aggressively. Like sinking into a hot bath, I am slowing reintegrating into creating again.  It feels good.  I am writing a lot on the side, away from the public eye. It is healing.

I am smack dab in the middle of a fantastic recovery community; I reach out for help.  I stay active, present and involved.  I lean into my feelings, and share them face-to-face with the unbelievable support network I have right here in front of me.

I am also not okay. My husband and I are separating. I won't get into the details, because it isn't my story to tell.  It's our story. It will always be our story, no matter what happens in the end.  We are working together with love and respect for each other, and that's a lot.  That isn't to say it's not hard - man, is it hard, but I find that anger, resentment and fear block my contact with God.  It's simpler to live in compassion and faith. Well, maybe not simpler, but certainly more serene.

I know that God's got us, that we need to row the boat but that He is steering. I know I will learn and stretch and grow. 

Our little family has been through a lot in the past three years, and a lot of it revolves around my issues: the death of my Dad, my cancer, my depression/anxiety, my relapse, my absence during my treatment.  And now our separation.  

I find myself waiting for things to settle down, for life to return to normal again.  I find myself grappling for a foothold, wanting to shake answers out of the Universe because I want to know, dammit, what is going to happen.  

When I do this, when I live in the land of expectation, I suffer.  When I pry my white knuckles off the steering wheel, surrender and ask for help, I am calm and steady.  I know now that this is the only power I have over anything: how I metabolize my world.   

I have the power to let go.  



16 comments:

  1. It's good to hear from you Ellie, and I wish you well.

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  2. You crossed my mind just today. Wondering how you were and whether or not you were finding peace.

    Whatever you decide is your decision. Just know that we're out here and I, for one, rush to my mouse whenever I see your blog in my feed. Not because I'm interested in any gory details of your relapse or the private matters in your life, but because your blog always seems to speak to my heart, no matter what you write.

    Shine strong Ellie.

    Sherry

    PS - I like the new pic.

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  3. It's your rigorous honesty that speaks such volumes, and inspires so many people. Your life, what you share or don't share, those are your decisions. Just know that you have more friends than you know.

    And you can do this.

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  4. Good to hear from you.

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  5. What a great post. The liminal space that follows these things, it is a comma, but it is so uncertain and undefined and uncomfortably not normal. I saw a post by Anne Lamott last week, She said, "Fifteen years ago, my pastor Veronica said that when she had no clue what direction to take, she imagined standing in a spotlight, as if on stage, and waited, prayerfully, until one more spotlight began to appeared nearby. Then she would go stand in that circle of light.
    Or Light. Whatever.
    So this is what I did, when Sam was an expectant father, and John an expectant widower.I surrendered. I lay down my weapons and went over to the winning side. I am a recovering Higher Power.Thank God I am in charge of so little."

    I often find myself waiting for the next spotlight to appear. But the good part is the knowing that it will, the hard part is not knowing where.

    It will all unfold as it should Ellie. Keep swimming.

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  6. Just beautiful! Love your honesty and vulnerability. Please keep writing. We need your voice. xoxoxo

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  7. So grateful to read this today, Ellie. It sounds like a whole lot of Easy Does It and Keep it Simple. Good for you. Be gentle. Go slowly. All is not lost. I love you SO much. To thine own self be true. xoxo

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  8. Every day, I listen to your kind voice on The Bubble Hour. You are wonderful. Annie x

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  9. glad to hear you are okay, even if you are also not okay. you write beautifully, and you have so much to say! I hope you will keep writing and sharing whatever feels appropriate to you.

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  10. So very good to hear from you. I'm sorry your marriage is having challenges. Know that you speak to my heart with your posts, Ellie. I wear the ring you made me often and think of you when I do.

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  11. Thank you for the update. I have been a reader for a long time and relate to so much of your journey. You sound like you're in a good place despite all the hard struggles you're facing. Hang in there and know that faithful readers like me enjoy any writing you choose to share. -- Anne

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  12. Thanks to Dr great for bringing back my wife,and brought great joy to my family?

    Hello to every one out here, am here to share the unexpected miracle that happened to me three days ago, My name is Success Story,i live in TEXAS,USA.and I`m happily married to a lovely and caring wife,with two kids A very big problem occurred in my family seven months ago,between me and my wife so terrible that she took the case to court for a divorce she said that she never wanted to stay with me again,and that she did not love me anymore So she packed out of my house and made me and my children passed through severe pain. I tried all my possible means to get her back,after much begging,but all to no avail and she confirmed it that she has made her decision,and she never wanted to see me again. So on one evening,as i was coming back from work,i met an old friend of mine who asked of my wife So i explained every thing to her,so she told me that the only way i can get my wife back,is to visit a spell caster,because it has really worked for her too So i never believed in spell,but i had no other choice,than to follow her advice. Then she gave me the email address of the spell caster whom she visited.(greatpowerspelltemple@gmail.com}, So the next morning,i sent a mail to the address she gave to me,and the spell caster assured me that i will get my wife back the next day what an amazing statement!! I never believed,so he spoke with me,and told me everything that i need to do. Then the next morning, So surprisingly, my wife who did not call me for the past seven {7}months,gave me a call to inform me that she was coming back So Amazing!! So that was how she came back that same day,with lots of love and joy,and she apologized for her mistake,and for the pain she caused me and my children. Then from that day,our relationship was now stronger than how it were before,by the help of a spell caster . So, was now stronger than how it were before,by the help of a spell caster . So, i will advice you out there to kindly visit the same website http://greatpowerspelltemple@gmail.com, if you are in any condition like this,or you have any problem related to “bringing your ex back. So thanks to Dr great for bringing back my wife,and brought great joy to my family once again.{greatpowerspelltemple@gmail.com} , Thanks.


    Are you passing through any of these problems,

    DO YOU NEED YOUR EX BACK VERY FAST

    DON YOU WANT YOUR LOVER TO LOVE YOU AS NEVER LIKE BEFORE

    ARE YOU SUFFERING FROM A LONG TIME SICKNESS

    ARE YOU FACING FINANCIAL PROBLEMS

    ARE YOU SEEKING FOR A GOOD JOB

    DO YOU WANT TO BECOME A HOUSE OWNER

    ARE YOU LOOKING FOR A FIRST CLASS GRADE

    DO YOU WANT TO COME OUT FIRST IN YOUR EXAMS

    ARE YOU A STAR AND YOU WANT TO BE SO POPULAR TO THE WHOLE WORLD

    DO YOU WANT TO BE RICH

    DO YOU WANT YOUR BUSINESS TO KEEP MOVING

    DO YOU HAVE A COMPANY OF ANY KIND AND YOU WANT IT TO EXPAND

    DO YOU WANT YOUR HUSBAND OR WIFE TO KEEP TO YOUR WORLD

    ARE YOU FACING ANY MARITAL PROBLEMS

    ARE YOU FINDING IT DIFFICULT TO GET PREGNANT FOR YOUR HUSBAND

    ARE YOU EXPERIENCING MISCARRIAGES ANY TIME YOU TAKE IN

    DO YOU WANT TO COMPETE IN ANY LOTTERY GAME

    ARE YOU FACING HARDSHIP

    HAVE YOU BEEN THREATENED BY SOMEONE

    DO YOU WANT TO BE SUCCESSFUL IN ANY THING YOU LAY YOUR HANDS ON

    IS YOUR SON OR DAUGHTER BEHAVING STRANGELY

    ARE YOU FACING WITCH CRAFT MANIPULATIONS

    DO YOU WANT TO CAST A STRONG LOVE SPELL ON YOUR GIRL OR BOY FRIEND

    DO YOU NEED MAGIC POWERS TO DO ANY THING YOU WANT

    ARE YOU FINDING IT DIFFICULT TO CHOOSE A LIFE PARTNER

    DO YOU WANT YOUR PARENTS TO BE PROUD OF YOU

    ARE YOU EXPERIENCING FAILURE AND DISAPPOINTMENT IN ANY THING YOU DO.(ETC)

    I will advice you out there to kindly visit the same website http://greatpowerspelltemple@gmail.com,if you are in any condition like this,or you have any problem related to “bringing your ex back. So thanks to Dr great for bringing back my wife,and brought great joy to my family once again.{greatpowerspelltemple@gmail.com} , Thanks.

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  13. Much love to you, and like others it is so good to see your post. God is the way, and even as I have same relapse struggles I know he is there for me and will never let me down. Prayers for you and your family in all of this.

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  14. Gosh I am just really sad for you. Not in a Debbie Downer way but in a truly compassionate, empathetic way. We have gone through so so so many similar things. My heart goes out to you. Hopefully our Higher Power will look out for us when we are challenged. All the best to you.

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  15. Dear Ellie, I have been a long-time reader, though I rarely post. Your grace, integrity, warmth and humor have meant much to me as I navigate the vicious disease of alcoholism. Thank you for everything you have given us.

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  16. Hello All!!! you have an absolutely beautiful website filled with healthy, useful information!! Thank you for all the time you take to make your site so awesome!!! if you have time, please check out my blog about my journey with alcoholism recovery, girlrecovering.com . Thanks again!!! -Jill

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