What I’m Writing: I’ve started an additional blog, “Beyond Bankruptcy: Care for the Soul.” When I started “Rebel Recovery,” I thought I would also write about my bankruptcy here. But that writing really didn’t fit in with the processing and writing I’ve needed to do about healing the wounds of my childhood. There is an overlap, though. My recovery from my childhood has turned out to be a sacred journey of reclaiming — and fiercely loving– my “me,” my soul. Similarly, through deep reflection, I’ve discovered that how I’ve thought about and used money in the past has been yoked partially to how (little) I’ve valued myself. My new blog will be about all things money in my life, including practical issues like budgeting, etc. However, I believe there will also be a thread running through it, which is the intimate connection I see between my financial health and my “soul health.” My first (short) post is up, and it looks at the link I’ve found between some of my overspending in the past and unacknowledged shame. I would be honoured if you decided to give it a read.
What I’m Reading: One of my favourite sobriety bloggers, Laura McKowen, has just quit her day job to focus more on her writing. This is great news! She is a wildly open and honest writer and one of the influences on me finding permission to put some (well, a lot) of my own vulnerability onto the page (albeit I’m still writing anonymously!). She just wrote a short Facebook post, about feeling doubtful about the number of big changes in her life recently and her need for perpetual self-examination. (In it, she has a great quote by Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love), “I just want an unexamined LUNCH!”) Thank you, Laura! I am a fellow perpetual examiner of my life, and I feel validated!
By the way, I have not drank any alcohol since writing this post back in January of this year. It’s been an invaluable decision; I am much more clear about myself, my life, my priorities and my direction. I celebrate the choice of sobriety.
And.. on the subject of sobriety, Laura recently wrote an excellent, important piece about how addiction can happen, here. This is what I’m talking about….
What I’m Listening to: I listened to — and was stunned by, as in loved — this TedTalk by BJ Miller. Apparently, I’m not alone: it’s been listened to well over 3 million times. A multiple amputee as a result of an accident in college, BJ Miller is a physician in a palliative care facility. Titled, “What Really Matters at the end of Life,” part of what he talks is about is the dehumanizing aspects of hospitals — a subject he knows well having spent so much time in hospitals recovering from his injuries in college — and ways to make end of life stays in facilities more human. He speaks of the assaultive effect of the sterility of hospital settings, assaultive because as human beings we are built for sensory nourishment, not the sensory deprivation of hospital settings. Working in healthcare settings for a number of years, I often felt similarly but didn’t have the words. A recent trip as a patient to the ER department of my local hospital confirmed my alignment with BJ Miller’s views — it didn’t “feel” good; it didn’t “feel” human. He ends his talk with an inspiring and hopeful message that, just as architecture has been built out of our need for shelter and fashion out of our need for clothing, perhaps we can turn something else that is also inevitable for humans — the end of life — into an alter to something wonderful. I plan to listen to this talk again; there is just so much of value in it.
A Quote that’s Giving me Encouragement to Keep Writing: “When I write, I feel like an armless, legless man with a crayon in his mouth.” Kurt Vonnegut
Yours on the journey,