I figured that title would get your attention!
The idea of living life naked, being honest, transparent and real, has been on my mind a lot lately. And, then today, a neighbor dropped off a magazine with an article written by Glennon Doyle Melton, author of the blog Momastary and the new book, Carry On, Warrior. I’m sure many of you are familiar with Glennon’s blog and her story of being a recovering alcohol, drug and food addict. She’s an amazing woman with an equally amazing story.
In the article, she talks about starting her blog and writing honestly about her experiences, holding little back. Not long after, her dad called her and expressed some concern with all she was sharing and asked perhaps if some things were better “taken to the grave.” After thinking about it, she responded, “No, I don’t. I don’t want to take anything to the grave. I want to die used up and emptied out.”
When I read her response, it’s as if she put all the thoughts and feelings I have been having and put them into the most perfect words. After spending so many years living with a smile on my face while I was crying inside, I no longer want or feel the need to pretend; to portray myself as something I’m not. For me, getting sober has allowed me the freedom to take the armor off and expose myself for who I am – inside and out.
I realize that everyone deals with life differently. For those of us in recovery, some choose to share their experience while others don’t. And, that’s okay. But, for me there is no other way than to be completely open with who I am. I’m sure some of my friends and family wish I would just shut up and get on with my life, but that’s not me – my story doesn’t end here.
I share my story, my struggle, my day-to-day life because I need to. I do it because writing and sharing my story is one of the many ways I stay sober. And, maybe, just maybe, my story will help someone else – someone who is trudging through life just like me. Our stories are what connect us to each other, what gives us strength when we feel weak and alone.
The truth is, we never know what’s going on behind closed doors. We never know what’s really hiding behind someone’s smile. What would happen if we all started being a little less image-conscious and just started being honest? I imagine we might find we have a lot more in common with each other than we think we do.
I remember how surprised some people were when they found out I was an alcoholic. Well, of course they were. I did a damn good job of hiding it, of portraying the image that I was okay, that I had it all together. But, in reality, I didn’t. I was miserable and empty, yearning for something to fill the hole I felt inside.
I don’t live like that anymore. Today, I choose truth and transparency. I choose to live my life naked, exposing myself to vulnerability and disappointment. But, in the process, I also expose myself to the joy of truly connecting to others, which is a wonderful and marvelous experience.