I am an Addict named Ryan.  I use to work at a church. I use to blog and write about my experiences with church and...

I am an Addict named Ryan. 

I use to work at a church. I use to blog and write about my experiences with church and church leadership. I would talk about the good, the bad, and the ugly of everyday leadership and the challenges that come with it. I enjoyed to write. I enjoyed the outlet. I love the courage of idea sharing and the openness of letting someone else into your thoughts. But I stopped. My work at the church stopped and so did my writing.

Over the past few weeks I have found myself wrestling with one thought. When I say wrestling I don’t want to paint a picture of wrestling that looks similar to what a toddler does with his or her father. You know the image. The father pretends to be hurt then all of the sudden comes back out of nowhere to throw a child into the air or onto a couch. While the child laughs and screams with excitement. No. that wasn’t it. I mean wrestle like a man wrestling an intruder into his home because he knows he is the only thing between his family, and the things most precious to him. Most of us fathers would stop at nothing to stop that intruder. We would stop at nothing to protect our family.

When I paint the picture like that and then tell you the thought. This is going to feel very anti climatic. Never the less. Here it is. 

Should I start a new blog?
If so should I keep it anonymous?

Why this thought consumed so much of my thoughts is way more complicated than you probably want to know. The basis of it is fear. 

Fear that I won’t be good enough.
Fear that you won’t like what I say or how I say it.
Fear that no one will read it and I will feel rejected.
Fear that my voice doesn’t matter. 

I like to write. I’m not the best writer and a lot of times getting my thoughts out of my head and processing those thoughts through my fingers onto a keyboard can be a hardship. I know the words I want to say, but knowing the words I want to type can be a whole different story.  I struggle with the idea that my thoughts will never seem elegant enough, or I won’t seem intelligent enough.  And as we all know. If you don’t say things just right. You lose your audience. At least that is what our arrogance and pride would like for us to believe. For me the struggle isn’t that I want to be smart. It’s that you won’t think I am smart. 

My life took some rough twists and turns over the past few years. The last time I attempted to blog. You would have thought it was a blog dedicated bashing people’s mothers. Or indicating that I was a fan of Hitler and I would really love to see the Nazi’s make a comeback. Everyone had an opinion. None of them friendly. “It was too soon to try and blog again.” “I didn’t have the right to share my thoughts anymore.” My choices had somehow taken my ability to share my thoughts in any forum. The thing I realized. The thing I came to understand. And it took time. A lot of it. Way too much time in my own head. Too much time doubting and arguing with myself. Until the point came that I just decided to quit writing. Quit sharing. Even wanted to just quit talking. My thoughts didn’t matter anymore. Because they didn’t have an audience. If you don’t know what a dangerous place that is for someone to be. You should visit my blog often. I am writing with you in mind most days. And I don’t mean writers. Because I am a guy who likes to write. I am no writer. If you feel like you don’t have a voice in your life no matter what outlet you choose to express it, you are in a scary place. Loneliness is dark hole that can feel as though you will never get out. 

This is the place I have lived in for several years now. I was more interested in people pleasing than I was in being true to who I was. If you thought I was doing the right thing then I was. I no longer had an operational compass. The people around me, the people who listened to me talk and read what I wrote. They became my compass.  Which took me down the real path I needed to go. I discovered I didn’t like myself very much. I definitely didn’t trust myself. So much so, that the idea of making people angry gave me some sort of emotional paralysis. Because my view of me. Was based on your view of me. If you liked me. I was likable. If you like to read my thoughts. Then my thoughts were worth sharing. All my value and self-worth was and in some ways still is wrapped up in what others think of me.  This is not a good place for any human to be. It’s lonely. And sad. But more than that. It’s selfish. As a people pleaser. I am naturally selfish. Our encounters are all too often about me. If you make me feel good about me. We can be friends. If you don’t. Good luck. Might want to find a different friend. 

When you don’t know you’re a selfish person. And you then discover that not only do you tend to be selfish. But at your most basic level you have a selfish heart. That….. well…… sucks…. A lot. Especially when you have spent a great deal of your life trying to convince others you aren’t selfish. Trying to do unselfish things because someone will see it and not because you want to lead a life of selflessness is a hard road to navigate. 

The other day I heard a story. I am going to talk more about that in a later post. From the moment the story ended, I have been wrestling with one thought. For whatever the reason. I need to write. If people read. Great. If they don’t. Great. As much as I hope that these pages will be an outlet for anyone and everyone who needs it. In some ways this blog is selfish. It’s for me. I need to write. I need to let my thoughts have power for my own life. Not because they may or may not have an audience. But because I believe I have something to share. I believe we all do. And by not sharing what I have to say. I am contributing to one of the many things I find to be wrong with society and social media as a whole. Your voice matters if for no other reason than you matter and you deserve to have a place to share your thoughts and your experiences. Who reads it or hears it and what judgement they may or may not make simply is not your problem. You don’t have to carry around the weight of other people judging you against a standard they themselves don’t fully understand. You can be free. I can be free. I am not there yet. As I write this I will overthink it and edit it to death. 

Failure is for private and success is for public is mantra that has controlled my life for too long. At the end of my life I don’t want all the events that make up my journey to be shrunk down success and failure. My hope, my prayer is that it will be remembered for courage. Courage starts today. On these pages. I got knocked down. While I was laying on the mat I decided to try and burn the ring down because a knock out just didn’t seem like enough. Now I want to show the courage to stand up and live my life in openness and truth. Some days I get it wrong. More times than not I will get it wrong. But I’ll keep getting back up. I’ll keep standing. 

So I don’t know how long this journey will last. Could be a week. Could be a month. Could be years. I am not going to pressure myself to write every day. I am not going to pressure myself to write 3 times a week. I am just going to write. And when I do. I will share it. It won’t always be politically correct. You won’t always agree with me. 

I know I am an addict. Some days living life feels easy, but then there are days where being a grown up seems impossible and I will never get it right.

Here is what I know. Right and wrong aren’t necessarily always black and white. What is right for you may not be right for others. Being right and winning an argument sometimes means you lost more than you were prepared to. Right and wrong in the context of everyday decisions and the overall direction of your life has to be right to you. Don’t give anyone else the power to determine who you should be. 

Several years ago I didn’t think life could get much better. Today. I can barely put one foot in front of the other on some days. Addiction does that to you. It breaks you down inch by inch and moment by moment. It consistently whispers in your ear that you can take one more or that you can have one more drink. But as all addicts know, 1 is too many and thousand is never enough. The power in those words is immeasurable. The freedom it can ultimately provide is the promise we cling to. 

I will recover. Every day I will continue to fight for my recovery and for now I will share my thoughts, experiences, and struggles here. Not for you, but for me. The freedom in knowing that I write for myself and not for you is powerful for me. If you want to stay with my journey check back in and see where I am at. If you don’t. I’m going to try to have the courage to accept that. 


A canary

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