Wednesday, December 24, 2008

My struggle with awards.

The snow is continuing to fall. We've probably had another 25 centimetres since Monday morning. It is beautiful outside. One of the fun parts of all this snow is I have chatted lots with the neighbours as we shovelled snow, normally we just wave in passing. The weather forecast is for a pile more snow before it turns to rain on the weekend. Last winter, I think we had two snowy days. So far, this is the 13th day of snow in a row. So this how the rest of Canada and the Northern States feels!

Okay, I've got a problem. My fellow bloggers keep giving me awards and I keep ignoring the awards. I figured I better say something to explain why I do so.

I started to journal so I could start to understand my own thoughts. A councillor had suggest it as a path to understanding myself. Somehow, that turned into a blog and with the blog I struggle with ego and just how honest I can be.

In the writing course I just finished, we did an exercise to find out why we wanted to write. I just want to be heard. I want to have a voice and if even only one other person reads what I write then I feel validated.

In the rooms of AA, when I am asked to share, I get to open up and talk, uninterrupted, about whats going on for me. I am heard. If someone comes up to me afterwards and says thanks, I feel gratitude. If someone gives me feedback, sharing their own experience about something similar, I feel gratitude (most of the time.) If I get lots of comments and feedback, my head starts to swell, I start to feel a bit of ego developing.

I have that with blogging as well. A battle with ego. The trouble with starting to think highly of myself is that I find myself thinking poorly of others. I can become judgemental and resentful. I want to change other people because I start to believe that I have the answers. I know this is pure bull shit but that's the way I go. It's a feeling I dislike, I know that it is self inflicted and I work hard at not going there but I still fall into the trap. I would like to stay right sized.

So, I have received a few rewards in the past months I have not acknowledged. I am thankful for them but don't want them to go to my head. My biggest reward in blogging is that, on the off chance, someone might hear what they need to hear. The second biggest reward is that I discover something about myself as I write or as I read other recovery blogs.

I don't mean to come across as judgemental. What I really am is being selfish about my recovery. If you see it different than I do, I would like to hear. It is very possible that my thinking has gone astray.


Laura said...

I'm with you on this one. It's nice to be acknowledged but, my recovery too, has to be kept in check. It's not about me, it's about Him who created me and is still re-creating me through this process.

Have a very Merry Christmas.


An Irish Friend of Bill said...

i dislike compliments, awards, leading the meeting with what we call a 'chair' 20 mins of talking, and the attention gained by blogging for the same reasons. there is plenty of material for the ego to latch on to. ideally i would be impartial but by and large i try to avoid putting myself in situations that massage ny ego as i dislike the effect ego can have on me. its up to me to deal with it, but i try not to encourage its voice by doing things that almost guarantee getting ego massaging feedback.
so you are not a freak. this is a reasonable fear, and it is legitimate to want to take steps to avoid it

pat said...

Merry Christmas

Shadow said...

your thinking's not astray! you are looking after yourself in a way you know is good for you! absolutely nothing wrong with that!!

and merry christmas to you. i hope the new year brings you lots of joy and many hours of happy writing!

Annette said...

I get this. Thank you for helping me to sort through some of my ideas on why I am doing this also. Merry Christmas to you and yours!

Lou said...

I wonder who makes up these awards, as they are clearly random. It's an example of how quickly something can spread across the internet. I don't put much stock in their exclusivity, but sometimes they are fun.

But I will remember not to send any your way!

Mary LA said...

I'm not sure what to make of this post, Hank.

There seem to be two issues going on here, the one to do with how we deal with acknowledgement and being validated by the community for whom we write.

Then there is the need to be able to write independently of external validation. To be able to write without being swayed or hurt or unduly influenced by the opinions of others.

Humility is an accurate valuation of ourselves in relationship and performance and 'right living'. Not too high and not too low. We all need to submit to critiques and learn to accept praise gratefully. Sometimes it is as simple as that.

But I do agree it is never easy...



Sophie in the Moonlight said...

Perhaps the saying is more true than we acknowledge: "tis better to give than to receive." Although I am not going to try to give you an argument for accepting the nods your blog is given, I would like to point out that, in my case at least, the award was not for your recovery, it was for your ability to share your journey.

Not everyone is capable of sitting down and sharing the truth of their paths from hell to wellness - the truth, not the sugar coated versions preferred by polite society, nor the clinical versions found in self-help books. Those who are able to do so and do it eloquently sometimes deserve a nod in their direction b/c they give others hope and understanding and the priceless feeling of not being alone in their struggles. Rewarding the "recovery" of another would be, IMHO, condescending, since the flip side would be judging, nay sneering, relapses or other difficult events in the darker side of the recovery path.

You know yourself and it is good to honor where you are at personally. Your choice to decline the acceptance of awards offered to you is also ok - its another example of your truth. So whether or not you choose to receive, it is still my pleasure to say "thank you for sharing."

Fishstyx said...

I have recieved them too and have ignored them. Mostly because I'm new and don't know how to do anything with them. I just recieved my 1 year chip the other day(no congradulations please :) and the meeting was great up till about share #4 when it again was about how great Tony was. My sponsor was chair and called on a guy from out of town just to break the pattern. We had a member come back the day before and get a 24hr chip. Her current fight in day 2 was much more courageous than my 366th day. I'm guilty of handing out tons of praise to others so I know it comes from a good place and I think it is all o.k. if we keep it all in check for ourselves. When I don't my sponsor is great at bursting my bubble! So great, terrific, stellar and super job Indy! :)