Sunday, January 3, 2010

Who I Am


Annette asked me in a comment on this blog, "Who are you?". At first I was wondering why she would ask this. Why would this matter? I had to smile when she mused that I might be a famous writer. Thanks Annette--I wish!

When I started this blog, my intent was to remain anonymous. I have gradually revealed more about myself than intended, but that is what happens with writing. Eventually, with nearly 1000 posts, the essence of the person comes out. But through my writing and all of you with whom I connect, I found myself engrossed in a way that was very personal. At the same time, I haven't wanted to know more than what you yourself choose to reveal.

I listen to personal stories at meetings. I remember that my first story told at a meeting was raw. And it was met with skepticism and some scorn. This hurt but made me realize that there are places and people with whom to be totally honest, and there are other people and places where it is safer to hold back. I believe that a blog that is read by many and is wide open to the world is a good place to practice the principles of anonymity and restraint.

I am most grateful to read all that each of you share. Your writings are filled with hope, inspiration, and courage. For many of us, writing is cathartic. It is a way for me to tell my story about what the program of Al-Anon has meant to me. Many times, I think that it isn't really important who the messenger is; instead, it is the message that is most important.

I do my thing and you do yours. I am not in this world to live up to your expectations, and you are not in this world to live up to mine. You are you and I am I, and if by chance we find each other, then it is beautiful. If not, it can't be helped.
Gestalt prayer

32 comments:

  1. Sometimes we reveal more than we intend when we intend to reveal little.

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  2. I love how your purpose and philosophy is appropriate to your personal journey and that recovery teaches us that your journey and my journey are different...LIVE AND LET LIVE.

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  3. I, too, think that the message is the important part. Writing is very cathartic for me and it is hurtful to me when non-bloggers say that they think blogging is the ultimate in egocentricity. I don't find it that way at all. To me it's a way to share those things that I find interesting in this huge world of ours, and to hopefully encourage others to follow their dreams and to write about what interests them.

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  4. on my blog I have always been open and up front.saying what needs to be said highlighting what needs to be.as well as sharing myself with others.

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  5. Your message is one I really need to hear, most days. It's one of the reasons I started going to Al-Anon meetings on a regular basis.

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  6. Your quoted prayer reminds me of one of my all time favorite quotes from Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand.

    I swear by my life and my love of it that I will live for no man nor ask another to live for me. (paraphrased)

    Anonymity is the foundation...good post

    Namaste

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  7. How much we say on our blogs does change over time. It feels like family, but it is not. Occasionally I will get a comment that reminds me of that. I'm not sure how I would feel if people in everyday life knew it was me writing the blog. It would certainly inhibit me.

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  8. Oh gosh, well I didn't expect you to really answer. But it matters because I am nosy and love to get to know everyone better. lol And you my friend, fascinate me.....You have so many wonderful insights into this journey we all are on in various stages. I think your life with just your partner and your boat and your freedom to fill it with however much or however little you choose is something I am pretty dang envious of at this point. lol

    I can live with just being the recipient of your messages though...because they are usually like receiving a little gem of survival, that I wouldn't have found elsewhere. I won't stop wondering who you *really* are though....because that is just how I am. Nosy. :o)

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  9. I like who you are. And I know who you are by what you write. When we write regularly, our writing becomes a window to our souls whether we intend it or not.

    Love,
    PG

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  10. You are a famous writer, Syd. Our famous writer. If you will remember how it felt before you started this, you will know it is more than enough.

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  11. On blogs we see through a glass darkly. If I read one hundred unnamed blogs, I could probably guess the author. Your blog is smart, thoughtful and serious. I know you like to be on the water, but I don't know what makes you laugh. The blog world is all so mysterious.

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  12. Syd, this is a great post. As a fellow blogger who does her best to remain anonymous (though it's so hard when it's personal...), I really felt like this post spoke to me. Thanks!

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  13. I blog anonymously and yet, some people in the blogosphere know me more intimately than people I sit next to at a meeting every week. Amazing (and perfect) how that all works out.

    Blessings and aloha...

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  14. I'm anonymous-ish. I could spill SO much more than I do, but I keep it for myself, or meetings or my sponsor. Your blog is SO important to me. I love people and it would be cool to know more about lots of you "recovery" bloggers...esp. the really good ones like you. But then again, I wonder, if there was less anonymity, I'd have the message distorted by personalities. Sorry for the rambling, I woke up with a headache and have been like this all day.

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  15. I've let it all hang out here on the blogs and I do it in my real life too. I admire the boundaries you have here and have been reminded that sometimes I need to rein it in. Sigh, but alas, it's not in my nature.
    I love your blog because you carry the message in a way that I can hear it and it helps me every day. Thanks for the small bit of you you've shared here. I always appreciate it. (whoever you are!)jeNN

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  16. More will be revealed...I have learned that some meetings are easier for me to share in than others. I just kept coming back to the rooms of Alanon
    One day at a time

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  17. Your blog (along with Lou's) opened my eyes to what Alanon was about. And your journey in recovery continues to inspire me. But writing is about finding a voice as much as anything else and I love that thoughtful, honest and revealing voice as it matures. I also enjoy the photographs you take and the details of sailing and marine life and walks with dogs.

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  18. yes nice post.
    i think I hear the 'flavour' much louder than the 'content' of posts. Its not that I don't enjoy the content too. i do. but the flavour is predominant in my mind when I read, so the extent to which people disclose details is very secondary to me. I have always been like this. it is the same in meetings, and outside. i hear the ? 'meta message' louder than the message, if you like.
    But who knows. I like both. the message and the messenger. Perhaps they are one and the same anyway. The essence of the communication is what captures my interest. whatever that is..

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  19. Surpassing my best ideas, people over time get to know the truth about me whether I want them to or not, because I can't help but be exactly who I am, even when I'm trying as hard as I can to protect myself.

    I started my blog the opposite, not worrying too much about who I was, the more I learned of the principles the more I tried to uphold them in my blog.

    I remember when Steve helped me to understand the Blog anonymity idea, it was a great thing.

    I'm also glad that most people here are really genuine about who they are and how they came here, and what their experience has been. I've been able to see a lot of change and growth in me, even if it's not as much as i'd like.

    I've seen so much love, growth and amazing experiences in others too... they attract me back through their vulnerability, honesty and hope.

    You are one of those attractive folks! Thanks Syd!

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  20. I enjoyed your comments, Syd, and all respect to you. I equally enjoyed the responses to your post, some wonderful observations.

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  21. Who knew we had all this in store for us when we started?

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  22. what a great post syd, i always love stopping by it is so refreshing.
    you know sometimes blogging just really helps me to get out of me, and sometimes it helps to put things i am going through into perspective, it is almost an online meeting when i am struggling and decide to read, i read what i needed to read for that day and i feel better.

    for all i know everyone out there in cyberspace is a psychotic maniac but also for all i know i hear what i need to hear and it is not about the messenger it is about the message and i am so grateful that i started blogging.

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  23. Next thing you know, you'll tell us your name isn't really Syd.

    I wish sometimes that I had been more anonymous because I know some people that read my blog that I'd rather didn't. Or at least I'd rather I didn't know....it can inhibit me sometimes.

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  24. I feel the essence of you come through with your writing. I love your writing and it brings warmth and comfort to me. I think you are a generous soul to share what you do with all of us.

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  25. "Many times, I think that it isn't really important who the messenger is; instead, it is the message that is most important."

    Truth is just that truth.
    Thank you for sharing this.

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  26. Great post, Syd. Writing is an excellent way to open up and share - as little or as much as one wants. It's a different kind of sharing; it seems much more personal than one-on-one small talk that so many people call "conversation."

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  27. it's been nice getting to know you, my friend!

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  28. great post... happy new year!!

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  29. Syd, its been years since I have seen that Gestalt prayer!!! I love that. When I was in HS one of my teachers was very into Gestalt therapy and taught me a lot.

    You are a famous writer! (famous = notable to many). Personally I like to think of you as Syd Barrett as he was in the PF years.

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  30. When we write honestly, it's hard to hide who we really are. I feel like I know you very well!

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  31. Thanks for this post Syd, I am relatively new and I just got scolded for breaking my Anonymity on my Face Book page. I don't post "public" just to those on my friends list and I have other privacy settings were not everyone on my friends can see every post. I let certain people see what I allow. I once in a while bring my program up on my FB page and that seems to have upset some people. I also have a blog that I put a link up too on my FB. Not everything on there is about Al-Anon but it does get brought up. It has been frustrating for me because I don't keep things in my life separate form each other and quite frankly I don't want too. I don't break OTHERS anonymity, I don't talk about others stories, names, ext. Just my Experience, Strength and Hope. I wouldn't mind some insight if people want to read parts of my blog. It is relatively new and only have 10 posts on there.

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Let me know what you think. I like reading what you have to say.