Monday, September 17, 2012

Anonymity and Me

I was just emailing with another blogger (I love when we connect "off the page") about the anonymous-ness of our blogs and just how much each of us is comfortable putting out here in cyberspace.

As I look around, I see various forms of anonymity in the blogosphere.  Some of the blogs I read are totally out there like Pintester.  I love her blog.  She takes all those seemingly easy DIY things on Pinterest and tests them.  Not only that, but she's a hoot!  Check her out if you're looking for a laugh...unless you're offended by strong that case, you might want to skip this particular blog.

Among the recovery blogs I read, most are anonymous in one way or another.  Some are comfortable with talking about the region in which they live while others don't mention it at all.  Some post a picture or two and some blogs are all pictures.  Others, like me, prefer to keep our faces and pictures out of cyberspace.

And some blogs are completely private and need an invitation to read.  I read one blog that used to be public but when her boss became aware of the blog, she was asked to go private to protect her job.  Ummm...I'm not really sure if that's Constitutional but I have to say if someone said that to me, I'd likely shut this sucker down in record time.  Fortunately that particular blogger friend invited me and I get to read her irreverent and totally hilarious blog on a regular basis.  But if she hadn't invited me I would have completely understood and respected her privacy.  Even though I would have really missed her.

As for me...I don't want to ever have to go private because I love that strangers may actually read what I write.  I love that someone might be helped or comforted by my writings.  I love that I might make someone smile and that might be the only smile they have that day (recovery can be a bitch sometimes).  But I am very selective to whom I give my link.  When I let someone know that I blog, I'm always certain that it's someone with whom I'd be comfortable if they read it.  Only a few very close friends and family members have the link and are free to read whatever I write. 

There's a reason for that.

I've found that I tend to censor myself depending upon my audience.  Hell, for awhile I censored myself based on which other bloggers I thought were reading!  I have a deep need not to hurt any one's feeling or offend anyone...especially anyone that I have to look in the eye or hug or converse with on a regular basis. 

But that's counterproductive to what I wanted (needed) this blog to be in the first place.  Somewhere I could do a brain dump and sort through all my issues with recovery and all of the other crap that goes on in my head.  I never could journal so this is my form of journaling.  I decided that anyone who doesn't want to read my blog doesn't have to read it.  It's none of my business what they think about what I write unless they choose to share it in a comment. 

And honestly, this blog has gotten me farther in my recovery than anything else.  Farther than AA.  Farther than the "drunk books".  Farther than my former therapist.  Farther than anything.  I have worked through more issues, dilemmas, dramas and heartache here than anywhere else.  I have also smiled, laughed out loud, celebrated and bragged.   It's become a safe haven.  One that I won't likely give up anytime soon.

So I've come to a place where I'm happy with the level of my anonymity.  I love that some of my friends and family read this blog because it's a way of communicating with them when I can't seem to find the words.  I love the blogging friends I've made and that new readers pop up sometimes.  But mostly, I love just sitting down to write and processing through stuff and feeling better after I'm finished.  And if anyone finds me offensive or I hurt some one's feeling from time to time then I apologize.

I'll apologize but I will not censor.


"Publicity in women is detestable. Anonymity runs in their blood. The desire to be veiled still possesses them. They are not even now as concerned about the health of their fame as men are, and, speaking generally, will pass a tombstone or a signpost without feeling an irresistible desire to cut their names on it."
~Virginia Woolf


  1. Yes, again, I say to the above "blog feelings" - I'm in complete alignment.

    Nope, pretty sure a boss cannot "instruct" us to shut our blog down. However, as I have stated before, I have been instructed to write with a degree of holding back on the self-disclosure. And so, I do keep this at the forefront when I review what I have just written. Working with clients who are addicts is just too sensitive an area and healthy boundaries are imperative.

    I also keep my blog "out there" in the event someone, anyone, might read that one morsel necessary that particular day.

    And, like you, I'll pretty much write whatever I am inclined to write. Gone are the days when I would feel the need to appease an audience. In fact, if the Board of Education in Chicago do not get their shit together TODAY, I just may have a rant coming in the very near future - SO THERE !!! :)

  2. From an anonymous lurker - I love hearing what you have to say, no matter how you say it!

  3. Your posts often make me smile and laugh out loud, and also often make me feel i'm not the only one going through stuff, because so often you write about what has been on my mind. I can't see how anyone could be offended or hurt from your honest and insightful posts.
    Power to the uncensored Sherry! :) xo

  4. I so get what you are saying. I wish I was anonymous but.

    Are you Sherry Dres... =) ??? I am trying to find your email cuz I know I have it LOL.

  5. Hi there,
    I love that you are irreverent! No offense taken here.
    Blogging is absolutely cleansing for me as well. It is a way to make all those years in deep pain, and feeling like I waste time, turn into something beautiful, like a movie with songs attached.
    I could never share this with my family. I have not reached that level of comfort and acceptance of my addiction. I have some embarrassing crap for which to make amends.

    Looking forward to more!

  6. It has become my safe haven as well. I love your writing......


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