Gratitude on the Internet

So 6yearhangover started a Gratitude Group and I am so excited about it.  After I made my first post there a few days ago, it felt great.  Yesterday, I made my second post and today my third.  It feels so good to think about and write out what I am grateful for!  Thank you to 6yearhangover for this wonderful idea and opportunity!  (It just started this week and we will post in the group Monday through Friday; you can visit www.6yearhangover.wordpress.com if you want more information).

Today is also Day 60 of not drinking any alcohol for me and I am grateful for that!   And we will see how this goes, but at Day 60, I think I am ready to open up this blog in case any of the members of the Gratitude Group or others are interested in reading it.  I am going to let some blogosphere contacts know I have changed the setting and on Monday, I will post the link in the Gratitude Group.

And I have  a friend in the UK who I have “met” through this whole process and I am going to let her know.  She and I have really connected and I am so grateful for that!  I feel like I have come in contact with some really amazing people in the last 60 Days.

So if you have decided to visit, welcome!  I am still nervous about changing the setting from private here.  I know the writing is a bit boring guys!  I so admire the writing of 6yearhangover, Unpickled (www.unpickled.wordpress.com), Mrs. D. (livingwithoutalcohol.blogspot.com), Belle (tiredofthinkingaboutdrinking.wordpress.com), and so many others!

But I guess it is not about the quality of the writing; it is about letting things out and getting some thoughts out of my head and on paper (or more accurately onscreen). I have been doing this all alone in this blog for 8 weeks.  I started this blog for me to get going on some goals, following the example of some very brave people. But I was too nervous and self-conscious to have it be accessible (who would want to read it anyway I thought?).

And to be honest, internet safety is one of my things.  I preach to my kids about this a lot.  So it felt strange to then start a blog for all the world to access if anyone so desired!  But I have learned in 8 weeks that the community of people who visit these blogs are generally very kind and genuine and helpful.

Sometimes I laugh though when I think about a book I enjoyed so much, Where’d You Go Bernadette?  In it the main character was a quirky unemployed architect with some social anxiety issues.  She ended up hiring a virtual assistant from India, and for a very small fee, the assistant (through email instructions and the power of the internet) would “run” lots of errands from India for Bernadette in Seattle –  i.e, make dinner reservations, research a trip to Antarctica, and various other odd jobs.  The virtual assistant became a friend and confidante to Bernadette; she became the “person” she confided in the most!  (Spoiler alert):  Unfortunately, and this was just a subplot in the book, the virtual assistant was part of an identity theft ring and ultimately the FBI got involved.

So again, I kept going back to internet safety.  And also, every time I thought of changing the setting, I felt even more vulnerable.  Wouldn’t it feel strange to have personal thoughts and feelings recorded that can be accessed by anyone via the internet?  Luckily for me, none of you are part of an identity theft ring or work for the FBI, right?

On the flipside, I am seeing some amazing things happening at some of my favorite blogs.  Reading from start to finish one day, it was amazing to see how Mrs. D’s blog grew from the exciting day she got her first comment, to gaining lots of followers, to now publishing a book and helping so many people!  And I remember the day I found Unpickled’s blog, and starting reading it from the first post to the current post.  And now we get to hear her lovely voice on The Bubble Hour.  And I can’t say enough about Belle and her kindness and how much she is helping people.  With the 6yearhangover blog, it is so refreshing to read about someone who is going through early sobriety now.  He likewise is so kind and giving and funny!  It feels really good to laugh because, sometimes, if you don’t laugh, you’ll cry!

So going back to my little baby blog, to be even more honest about why I had this private, I was also afraid to make it accessible because of my fear of failure.  If nobody knew about the blog and I changed my mind on some things, I could just delete the blog, right?!  So I originally set this up as private.

You will read in the posts that I have been very conflicted at times, because I have wanted to share and get feedback.  And again, I know mostly it will be a similar community of wonderful people, whose names I see commenting on others’ blogs, visiting here.  And I am sure the comments will be incredibly helpful!

Until today, however, I have not gotten my nerve up enough to change the setting.  It just took some time to let it sink in. Sometimes, I would lie in bed thinking, “Is this really real, this amazing internet community?”  Or is this some scam and I am becoming Bernadette?

Ladies and gentleman, believe it or not, it is real!  People are so kind and genuine here, as I talked about back in May, there really is kindness on the internet!  But I am a big city girl (not New York, but another great City in the U.S .A.), so I felt like I better take this slowly.

But now, 60 Days later, I have gained a lot of trust in this process too from the amazing things I have seen happening at other blogs.  This has motivated me too to change the setting.

Wish me luck!  I am excited too because I may actually help somebody else out there in addition to myself, and that would be a really good way to give back!   I don’t expect a lot of traffic, but just maybe something I said or say going forward will help somebody .  I do believe that the theme of this blog, thinking along the lines of “Today is the first day of the rest of your life!” will help somebody forgive himself or herself for some regrets.  Today and every day is a new fresh start!

And I think I knew this long ago, but I am re-learning that it really does help to write things out.  And it helps to share.  I don’t post every day or even every week.  But it is nice to have this place to come and write.  And it is nice to have a record of how I have been feeling and what I was thinking at certain times or on various days.  And it will be great to get some feedback now.  I don’t get too specific about people in my life at all or even anecdotes.  It is more about what I am thinking and feeling.

Now, if you know me and/or happen to figure out who I am, or if you are a person in my real life who I end up inviting to read this, or you discover it somehow and realize you know me, (could I be more anxious about this?!), please, as Jean said in Unpickled, “please tread lightly through these pages” and be open-minded about why I have started a blog. I have seen it work with so many others I have mentioned above!

It is not an easy decision to open myself up to the world, but I know from everything I am reading that it will help keep me stay motivated as I continue “on my way today!” i.e, Viatoday.  I am grateful to the bloggers and the ladies of The Bubble Hour who opened my eyes to so many different ideas on how to accomplish the many personal goals I have.  And they did this without even knowing they did – but by simply writing and sharing in such an altruistic manner.  It is am amazing world in 2014.

Happy Friday everyone!

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14 thoughts on “Gratitude on the Internet

  1. Hi! So excited to see your blog. Congratulations on 60 days – that’s amazing! I’m going to sit down quietly today and read the rest of your blog. I find people’s early sobriety journeys really helpful, particularly as I have recently strayed from the sober path and want to try and remember why I started in those early days. Keep going – you inspire me! Annie xxxxxx

    • Annie: It was to great to see my first comment and I am so excited it was from you my friend! Your words and support mean so much to me. Thank you for the kind words and for the encouragement. You have been inspiring me too since May when we “met” on the BFB.

  2. Hello Via! I was so freaking surprised by the sober blog world! Without it I know I would have been drinking again….albiet less than before…but still having some now and then. This and God and my beautiful family have been my sober program. So glad you went public…we are all here to help, encourage and heal ourselves as well as others! Looking forward to reading your blog….Bubbly water glasses up to a kick ass 2014!

    • Thanks Mind-Full Mom-E! It is really nice to hear your encouragement! And I love your sense of humor! Yes, this sober blog world and the kindness here is amazing!

  3. I am very glad you are now here, and let me tell you- you have already helped me. It is truly helpful to move along this path with those that are early in their sobriety too. I’m only 35 days….well, that’s a huge deal and I’m proud, but still having lots of tough days. I, too, was afraid to make my blog public, because although I needed more support and a feeling of accountability, I was afraid of that accountability bc I was afraid I would fail too. I think we all have such similar thoughts and patterns, and I’m so grateful to be connected in this way. Thanks for sharing your blog:)

    • I totally agree! It is amazing when I am feeling something or have felt something, and then I come across a blog post of someone else processing the same sort of emotions. I really felt like it was “just me” until I discovered Unpickled, Mrs. D., and Belle. And now it is so nice to find others like you Mallards4us who are in the early part of this journey also.

  4. Well how lovely you are and how brave and how wonderful that you are letting us in.. thank you. I can only speak for myself but I will certainly tread carefully and kindly.. I will not judge you or criticize you or compare myself to you.. I will cheer on your triumphs and I will commiserate with your hard times.. because this is how we roll in the beautiful online space we call the sober-sphere. Big hugs xxxx

    • Thanks so much Mrs. D! I know you have so much happening right now (how exciting!) and I am truly appreciative of you taking the time to visit here and post a comment as well as adding me to your bloglist. Thank you, thank you! I am in awe of you and grateful for the the example you set with regard to kindness and compassion toward others as well as your strength and bravery in being true to yourself and “putting yourself out there” so to speak. You are helping so many people, including me, every day!

  5. Hi Via! Congrats on 60 days!! And thank you for sharing your blog with us. I was also thrilled to see my name in red on Belle’s blog. And I smiled when you mentioned “Where’d You Go, Bernadette!” I read it last summer and liked it a lot. Looking forward to reading about your journey. I admire your courage! 🙂

    • Thanks Jules for this and your other supportive comments! It has been a joy to be in the Gratitude Group with you too. So glad we are doing that! You have been a real leader there and a great motivator for me. And I love reading now again at night just before bed (without wine)!

  6. Congrats on 60 days!! Look forward to reading your blog posts. I too want to go back and read the early days. I am on day 14 (2 weeks!!) and struggle on and off. It helps to read how others got through it.

    • Thanks for visiting and commenting. Reading other people’s blogs is the primary action that has gotten me this far (Day 73 now). The inspiration I have found from others is immeasurable. At the time of this post, I was realizing, it is time to open my blog up too. And if I help even one other person stay motivated, it is worth it!

    • AWWW – Thanks so much! You are true leader for me and wonderful example. And your sense of humor is so awesome! Sometimes if we don’t laugh, we will cry, and I find myself visiting your blog when I really need a laugh about all this very serious stuff we are dealing with. Things are much better now that I passed Day 70. “The 60’s were tough for me!” -said the girl in her 40’s (43 y/o that is).

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