When you create peace within your own being,
it radiates out into the world...
The world becomes a more peaceful place one person at a time.
One blog post at a time can help!
I was truly humbled to be asked by Retha Groenewald to answer questions for a blog post on her website, Discover Bible Treasures.
I thought I would turn my answers into a post for my blog as it contains the reasons why I started the blog and what my intentions are.
First I would like to highlight an interesting post on the website The Fix, a great place to find blog posts, many resources and the latest news in the addiction world:
From Recovering to Recovered by Nic Sheff
“But now that I understand—on a deep, soul level—just how real this disease is for me, the idea that I’d somehow forget that is hard for me to imagine. Really, the only way I could even conceive of a time when I’d use drugs again is maybe if I lost everything and I used as an alternative to suicide. But if that were the case, I can’t see how an AA meeting would make any kind of difference”.
Firstly, I see no problem writing books about addiction as this columnist says he does. It is difficult to go back to a past that you have forgiven yourself for and put behind you – but if you need to do it to pass on a message of hope to others – I will do it. I would perhaps write my book under my maiden name so as not to interfere with my professional work as an accountant – should that career continue in the future.
Secondly, he does not believe that Alcoholics Anonymous works for most alcoholics and addicts, perhaps because he is agnostic. I agree with him about not having to go to meetings for the rest of our lives – meetings certainly do not keep you sober - but the program works for me. But hey, after 5 years of being clean and sober, he appears to be doing just fine!
Anyway, Q & A time with Retha, here we go …………………………..
So tell me about your blog, the reason behind it, what you hope to accomplish with it – in other words the purpose of your blog?
I started doing blog posts twice a month for ITR Addictions magazine as a contributor but it seemed to fizzle out and the last post was mine – I could not get hold of the editor either – such a pity. So when I heard of the Ultimate Blog Challenge in July through another Facebook group, I decided to transfer my posts onto my own blog and do the challenge.
The original reason behind the blog, was to keep an account of my posts and perhaps use the information in a book in the future. From there I ended up doing this challenge which is more technical in nature and it has been most rewarding. The problem is I haven’t found the time to continue doing regular posts which I will do when the challenge is over.
I have realised that if you have a message to give others, a blog is good way to share it – if you get readers of course! So with this challenge I hope to do just that. Reading other bloggers’ posts has made me realise there is so much more to recovery than the addiction part. I would like to introduce some transformation strategies and natural health boosters as well as book reviews and interesting forum subjects – all part of the recovery theme of course.
The purpose, now, of my blog is to reach out to others who are suffering or just not coping – as my elevator pitch says. There is a big movement going on in the world at this time for change, both spiritually and worldly, and I would like to be a part of that. This is a very important time for us all to get involved pro-actively. There has to be an end to war, economic instability, hunger and poverty for us to continue surviving on planet earth and we can all do our own small part in making those changes.
Is there something you want your readers to know about you?
Yes that is part of my life’s purpose now. I am a recovering alcoholic and I am proud of that. I want other alcoholics to know that if I can do it – they can do it. That goes for addicts, food bingers, anorexics and basically anyone who has addiction tendencies. I also want the depressed and the mental health sufferers to know there is hope as well. The only way I recovered was through the 12 step program which is a design for living. Doctors and psychiatrists could not help me - in fact I could and cannot even help myself – I believe it was divine intervention that saved my life. I live my life one day at a time – I have to forgive myself and my past to move forward and I cannot take the future into account. As it is said in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous:
“What we really have is a daily reprieve contingent on the maintenance of our spiritual condition”.
I also want the “normal” people to understand substance abuse – people need to get educated and stop pointing fingers at the sick. I have learned to ignore the nasty attitudes of certain people and rather pray and forgive them – they are just ignorant and do not understand. Watch out if you are guilty (chuckle) – this is what Steve Jobs had to say and I believe it to be the truth:
“Here's to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They're not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can't do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.”
You are writing a book, or have you written it already?
I have always dreamed of writing a book. I want to write a book one day – a proper book which I can hold in my hands and leave as a legacy to my children. It will be about my journey through addiction and recovery of course. It is going to take a while – I have many more blog posts to write first!
In the meantime, I would like to write a couple of ebooks to sell or give away on my blog. I signed up for Ronda del Bocca’s “Awakened Author Challenge”, hoping to do a quick ebook in 31 days. Well with life’s little mishaps, that never materialised. I will miss the deadline but I do intend to write it. It will be called “A Recipe for Recovery” and will incorporate the principles of the 12 step program as the ingredients – it should be fun.
If not published yet, when can we as readers expect it to be on the market?
I have no idea when it will be ready – not today and I cannot predict the future, remember? Oh gosh the joys of being in recovery hahaha!
What are your dreams, where is your journey leading you to?
I want to read and write – blog posts, forum posts, ebooks and eventually my story. I want to get my message out there to the people who care to read it. Unfortunately we cannot live on air and water and I am completely broke at this stage. My son has employed me on a commission only basis doing sales for him and I have a couple of clients I still do financial work for but it is not enough. I have so many dreams but then reality hits home that I am just a square peg in a round hole and am only one arms’ length away from taking a drink and drowning myself altogether. I have to be so careful with just normal online activities - which is why you will not find any recovery on my personal Facebook page – people do not employ drunks! I am also over the age of 50, a white divorced woman living in a rainbow nation called South Africa, and there just are not enough jobs out there with the unemployment so high. So I take what I can get – the clients who do not pay their taxes or me and cold calling for my son!
Fortunately I believe in hope. Everyone deserves a second chance in their lives and I hope mine is going to be what I love the most – helping others and becoming a successful writer! But for now and forever it is one day at a time – learning to accept myself, forgive myself and remembering that love and tolerance for others is my code.
"Few people realize that sobriety is an action of insights and skills
far beyond mere abstinence.
Sobriety is a creative discipline in the art of freedom of growth and of love”.
Dr. David Stewart