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March 07 • Outing the Inner

Day 241

For months I was hesitant to begin writing my First Step. For one thing, I was still living the hell of acting out that would have to be part of telling my story. There was also the natural fear and anxiety about looking at myself and my failures that closely.

As my commitment to recovery grew, I began worrying that merging my addiction with my writing would somehow taint the future of that which has given me the greatest creative pleasure: mixing black letters with white pages to tell a story and move a soul. While it's still too early to know, I'm finding that my passion for transcribing life might be the 'x' factor that my higher power uses to provide the path to clarity.

As I look back on past writings — especially my fiction — I can see the pain trying to get out, but my details always pulled up short in the name of neatness and manners.

I have not done any 'pleasure' writing since starting recovery more than a year ago, but I'm eager to see what happens. I have some unfinished novels and characters that are poised for changes in direction and crisis navigation. It will be interesting to see how this experience in my real-world gets reflected in the people of that other world, which needs to be so real that the readers can see themselves in it.

Writing this journal every day has been a blessing of release and safety and maybe even the equivalent of being in the gym to get a broken and worn-out body back into shape. I still fear the unknown of what happens when my creativity meets my demons, but I suspect they already know each other more than I imagine. That fear is balanced with an excitement to find out.

Watching my insides spill out onto a page has always fascinated me; this new challenge will be to let a new 'undefended honesty' flow through me in a way that is productive to more than my recovery. If I can somehow use this experience, or let the experience use me for the betterment of fellow pilgrims, that would be an added bonus to recovery. I don't believe that this can be a goal, because I don't trust my addict to allow that, but I do pray that helping others can be a result of all this pain and struggle.


(Editor's note: JR wrote this entry nearly a year before he literally had a dream about creating JohnnyReco.com, and his subsequent first thoughts about creating a public venue for sharing this most intimate inner-dialogue.)



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