Yesterday I did something that felt amazing.
I deleted my other blog where I haven’t written since 2016.
I have been so absolutely paralyzed by fear of failure for the last couple of years that at times it has made it impossible to write. Every time I logged in to my other site, Reasonably Happy Life, the massive time gap between posts stared back at me. I’d open the blog’s dashboard and begin to write a new post, only to be faced with several other posts, unfinished, sitting in drafts.
There is nothing quite like staring straight at failure to remind you how much you fear failure. And those posts stuck in the drafts folder? That space between previously published post? That, to me, screamed failure.
So I burned it to the ground. The media files, the blog posts I’d never written, the cute theme with happy colors and the book recommendation widget in the sidebar. Erased. It had all become a stumbling block, an excuse, and it was time to move on.
I am apparently I-don’t-have-time-for-this years old. I think I like it.
Why now? Because I desperately want to write about my recovery story.
I first joined a Celebrate Recovery Step Study in the summer of 2015. I had been attending Friday night recovery meetings for about six months, and I felt like I had a pretty good idea of the list of issues I needed to tackle.
For those of you not familiar with a CR Step Study, they are weekly meetings in addition to a regular meeting where attendees, led by two leaders with recovery experience and training, walk through four books full of searching questions. The year long process includes the creation of a personal inventory, the selection of a sponsor, and the making of amends. It is life-changing and at times brutally overwhelming work, but I entered into the process ready, excited, and hungry for change.
My recovery work at the time focused on breaking patterns of codependency and learning to trust in my intrinsic worth outside of accomplishments and relationships. Put simply – I was an overachieving people pleaser, a tool I used in order to mask pain in my life and from my past.
What I came to learn over my time in Step Study, however, was that fear of failure and pride played a huge role in my unhealthy coping. A focus on the way others perceived me was the source of anxiety and fear and informed what I believed about my self-worth.
This was a huge breakthrough for me. I had always viewed myself as a “screw this” kind of person, always feeling free to march to the beat of her own drummer. I was even voted Most Unique in my senior class in high school.
But I was also voted Most Likely to Succeed and had I not been, I would have been devastated.
It is this fear of failure that has been holding me back from writing more often, from sharing more freely.
The fear often sounds like this:
I’ve written about this before and I’ll write about it again. And if you ever have a conversation with me in person, fair warning – this may come up. (It most likely will.)
At every point of choice – which happens over and over again, all day long – we move forward from either a place of fear or a place of love.
Every action we take or word we say comes from either fear or love.
Fear or love.
A friend told me this several years ago, and while at the time I likely dismissed it as one more trite adage, I have found it to be both true and a powerful way to take quick stock of my actions.
I have always wanted to write and share my story, a desire that led me to create this site twelve years ago. And those Step Study book questions? At the end of book four there is this question: “If you knew you couldn’t fail, what would you like to do most for God in helping others?”
My immediate was response was, “I would write.”
Creating a separate blog and hiding my story there wasn’t love. It was fear.
Tossing post after post into the drafts folder wasn’t love. It was fear.
The truth is this:
February 20th is the five year anniversary of the first time I walked into a recovery meeting. It is also a Thursday this year, which means I will be leading worship at my church’s Celebrate Recovery meeting.
I will also be giving my testimony that night, as I did for the first time two years ago next month.
I’m ready to tackle fear and to lean into love, and I believe that committing to revise and share my testimony for my fifth anniversary is the perfect opportunity to do just that.
It’s time. Nothing but love.
Thanks for letting me share.