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Start here...

Updated: May 13, 2020

I see this "start here" element on a lot of blogs these days when the blogger wants the reader to understand something about the purpose or direction of the blog. I think that might work well for this situation.

I started out wearing a t-shirt today that has Hope Writers written on it - I am a Hope Writer. As a member of a writing group actually called Hope Writers, I can claim this fact and also that cute button on the sidebar of the blog. But even more than that, I can claim it because it’s what I strive to be. I want to write to give hope to people, women in particular. 

I was an active member of a 12 step program for years, and I learned so much during that time. I didn’t stop “working a program” when I stopped attending meetings. It became part of me and the way I approach living. When I write about tools for living well and loving well, it’s usually lessons I learned from putting the steps and traditions into daily practice.

The twelfth step states, “Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.”

The eleventh tradition states, “Our public relations policy is based on attraction rather than promotion; we need always maintain personal anonymity at the level of press, radio, and films.”

You might have guessed that these two statements have caused me some hesitation in writing fully about my recovery story. I want very much to share the hope of life lived in recovery, but also deeply respect the principle of attraction rather than promotion. Where is the line between attraction and promotion? Does writing about it on my personal blog look more like promotion? This has been my predicament for years.

Something I heard and said often in my years of recovery is that I am actually thankful for the circumstances that brought me to program. Those of us who live in recovery understand that it is a gift that anyone can benefit from and not just those who suffer from the visible illness of addiction. In fact, al-anon is for those who are affected by the problem drinking (or any substance abuse) of a loved one rather than suffering from the addiction themselves.

For years I longed to somehow be part of something that took all those tools and concepts and offered them to people who do not identify as suffering from an addiction or living with someone who does, but offers it simply as a means to live a good life. Something that serves as guideposts through life’s inevitable challenges. This blog is a part of the effort toward that goal.

I plan to write more here focusing on the tools and principles in a way that attracts rather than promotes these ideas. Because these principles have had a profound effect on every single area of my life, I write about many topics, some that may seem unrelated. I hope in some way the thread will become visible, if not immediately, perhaps at some future point when it becomes relevant.

Father, I trust you to work through other people sometimes. Help me to recognize when you are doing so, and help me to trust you even more.

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