Hello Recovery Friends, Supporters, and Welcome New Visitors,
Learning to live a life of Integrity in Recovery. . . .
Many times, we as bloggers and advocates wonder if there is anyone reading what we have to share about of our lives. Not because we want to be popular or be noticed, we want to share our lives as an open book to the world, just wanting others out there may will find some comfort or happiness in our words. Many people blog for many different reasons. You don’t have to blog because of the negative things in your life, many blog to share their life journey for many positive reasons. Hell, some people blog just to learn to write better, share their bucket list, and the list goes on.
Blogging about ones past character defects, maybe poor choices, addiction, recovery, childhood trauma and abuse, and living with mental and emotional health issues can be a challenge. Yes, all that is a mouth full, but it was given to me in my life to learn from it, and I also see it as an opportunity to share it all, share what I have learned along my recovery journey to help others. It’s why I started this blog to begin with. My blog has helped me move from just writing about my recovery from gambling addiction and alcohol abuse, into a safe area where I can share what I went through with childhood sex trauma and abuse, and writing about living with mental illness.
Blogging has built my self-worth, and has helped me learn to embrace what I have been through in my past, in order for me to live a life of freedom from all of it. And even though I am still going through therapy for my mental health problems, I can share this with others too so they know there is no SHAME to do so, and that there is no shame of getting help. I want to let others know who may be going through what I am that it will, and it does get better, and let them have a voice here on my blog. A place where they can feel safe to share what they want. To me?
That is part of what Integrity means to me.
I want to share a perfect example of this fact. An example of exactly why I started this blog.
I want to share a resent comment made by a friend/follower that I met on LinkedIn about a year ago, and we have learned we have a lot in common. We visit each others sites, and connect a lot on LinkedIn. Now, like I told her, I’m not one who is comfortable tooting my horn, so I would share her comment her as she honored me with an award, but that part of my recovery, I’m still “a work in progress.” LOL. I’m still learning acceptance of compliments and praise.
I know, . . . crazy, but it’s true. Addiction sucks the self-worth and confidence right out of a person, so we have to learn “we are worth more, not less.”. . . Funny right?
So here is the beautiful comment that was made here on my blog, and how I also responded back to the commenter:
So, we’ve been doing this discovery and recovery thing together for what seems to be a year now. S/o to the anniversary of a blessed friendship between you & I, Catherine! It’s kind of wild how that all boils down to me coming across another one of your brave, powerful and healing posts. I find myself in many ways, compelled, to testify to you on this powerful platform you’ve created here. I was touched as a very, very small child. By my mother’s boyfriend. The memories were so deeply locked away, I didn’t come to terms with their existence being real, not fake, until last year (in deep midst of my spiritual journey). I have only since, told my mother. Who, though believing of my trauma, was almost too believing, if that makes sense. As if, she already knew. In her heart. And was waiting for the moment when she’d have to be fully honest with that truth.
As a child, my mother always made a really big deal about telling her if someone touched me. As big a deal, as adults made about not talking to strangers back then (early 90’s, when child abductions and kidnappings were rampant). I never understood why she made such a big fuss. Never. Until I had to come to terms with one of my most haunting and buried truths. It all made sense. Her intuition knew better. But her heart and ego wouldn’t allow her to see. So as her spirit begged me to force her eyes to see, what her mind and heart had blinded, her physical ignored all signs. All signs.
I haven’t told anyone else this, outside of my mom, until now. Until you. Until this post. I haven’t even dared to pretend to write about it on my blog. What will I say? That I have memories from a time in my childhood that are so deep and buried, any “logical” person would question its validity? That’s why this piece your wrote is so powerful for me. It allows me to accept that even though I’m grown now, and powerful in my own might, I still dare to be afraid that they won’t believe me. That he’ll continue to win. As he has for the past 20 something years. Then there’s the fact that he is also the father of my younger brother. There is this guilt in me, that tells me to remain quiet for the sake of my brother. But Lord knows, I know better by now. I AM better by now. That’s why I chose to take up your offer here, and share my recovery. I am ready to heal this part of my broken childhood. Thank you Catherine.
Actually, I came on your blog here today, to honor and recognize you, in all you’re doing with this blog and book promotion company. And then I found myself in midst of it again. The Catherine Lyon Experience of Recovery and Healing! Ha ha! You’re magical woman! I’ve already made it loud and clear how much your blog, mission and bravery mean to me! So, I’ll save the words, and simply parade the symbol. I hereby, nominate you Catherine, and this amazing Recovery Blog for the “Real Neat Blogger Award.” Not sure how many accolades you already have, but it is my honor to be able to add to them in appreciation of all you do. If you choose to accept, you can find the deets here –> http://wp.me/p3Zjs6-Pw.
Peace & Blessings beautiful Catherine! And salute to many more years of a growing and beautiful friendship!
Now Here Is My Reply:
“I am speechless and read this with tears in my eyes Ms. Shaquana.
Many times I think to myself as I write and share my life experiences here if anyone really reads and FEEL what I try to share of myself. Your comments here proves that you never know when we share our God Given Journey, who it may touch, if anyone at all? I try to empower others to be in touch with their inner self as to not hold all the negative we may have been through in our childhoods hold us back any longer.”
You have touched my heart today with sharing your thoughts and feelings here with No Shame or Judgment. I want others like yourself to know this will ALWAYS be a safe place for all to share, and to have your voice heard and validated.
And yes, since we first met on LinkedIn, I know we were “kindred spirits” and that God had brought us together in this moment in time. Thank You for trusting in me to share your inner most pain. I bless you that you that you finally find that inner peace you SO deserve my dear friend.
I also appreciate the Honor of the award nom. I will put a special blog post to share your beautiful thoughts and share in the award. I don’t have a specific page for those, as I don’t like to “toot my own horn”. . LOL. But this one I will share.
May God Bless you abundantly,
I guess this answers my question, if people really read and can feel what I write and share here.
I truly did have tears when I read her comments. And it validates exactly what I try to do here on my recovery blog. I know it is a lot to share, recovery from addicted gambling, living with mental and emotional disorders, and moving through all the fear, hurt and pain of a traumatic past childhood. Writing about it, and sharing with others seems to me the only way to raise awareness, help others understand, and educate others on how these issues affect many personally. That is also what Integrity means to me.
INTEGRITY is being of recovery service to others. It IS what has helped me stay in recovery for the past 8 years and 3 months. . . .
About This Beautiful Woman ~ Shaquana Gardner
Her Blog: shaquanagardner.wordpress.com which I hope you’ll visit!
Current: Founder/ Adaptive Creative Specialist at Gardner Creative Consulting.