I’ve always thought – and still do – that the more people talk about their mental health and alcohol addictions, the less it would be stigmatized and more people would be willing to seek help.
An anonymous blog doesn’t really scream “fight the stigma”, does it. I mean, if I truly believed that, then I should just use my real name and own my shit right?
Well yes…and no.
I have just passed the 90 day mark and am still very much in early recovery. In my real-world life, I am also trying to find a job and my real-world career very much revolves around being visible online.
I’m pretty confident that potential employers will do a search for me online.
I am less confident – because of the stigma still associated with mental health and addiction – that potential employers are willing to place their trust in someone relatively fresh out of rehab. I’m not sure I would hire me.
Hell, I’m not even sure I’m ready to go back to work.
I’m also not under any illusion that I will truly remain anonymous for very long. I promise I’m not interesting enough that I think people are going to try and figure out my real identity, but there are some very weird people out there who possibly find this kind of thing fun (I say this with love, weirdos).
More than likely, I will screw up and post something meant for moppiness on my real-world blog or vice versa. I haven’t really put a massive amount of effort into protecting my identity (that’s my real face on Twitter), so someone’s bound to figure it out. Eventually.
But the main reason I blog anonymously– the one reason that I don’t think I will ever compromise on – is because I am currently a member of Alcoholics Anonymous.
Every meeting, we are reminded of this:
Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our Traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities
Call it a character defect, but I am one of those people who has a big personality. I have been told this enough times that I accept it as truth. I don’t do this intentionally, it’s just the way I am.
I’m also someone who likes competition and climbing the ranks: if there was an award for Best Recovery, I’d be doing my damndest to win it – regardless of whether or not that was actually helpful to my recovery.
Blogging anonymously while keeping this AA core belief in mind keeps me honest, and focused on what’s important. Using a silly name, I feel comfortable owning every meltdown moment and drunken drama (I haven’t even written about the really embarrassing stuff yet; stay tuned!).
I’m not caught up in anything other than sorting my life out. I am more authentic in every way…just not with my name.
And I understand if you think “well that’s a pretty important part of who you are” …but this is where my “I’m looking for a job” thing comes into play.
I’m not willing to sacrifice my career over this; being employed is part of my recovery.
I’d like to think that you – whoever you are – understand this.