Why would anybody ever want to write anything on the internet?
No wonder people play it safe. I constantly get told how honest I am. I don’t understand… if I’m getting lauded for being honest, what the hell is everybody else being?
This week I’ve been in the biggest shame spiral of my stupid goddamn life. And I’m still in it! Hello there!
Recently I travelled to Africa for World Vision, to blog about the food crisis in Niger that’s too boring for traditional media to cover.
I am accused by a commenter on my blog of pandering: “I’m sure Eden meant well, but she’s just pandering to stereotypes of a hopeless Africa, waiting for wealthy foreigners to come save them.”
I may be a lot of things, but I am not a panderer.
Then I was flamed for buying Easter Show bags when people are hungry in Africa. I didn’t even want to go to the show! I just wanted my children to have a good time. After their mum was, you know, travelling the globe for a few weeks, witnessing extreme poverty.
The hardest thing to deal with was being defamed in a Sunday magazine. The writer incorrectly stated that my relapse in drug and alcohol recovery last year went for seven months, instead of the one weekend. The editor took the piece offline, at my request. I declined a retraction. Why would I want any MORE attention brought to the one most shameful thing I’ve done in my adult life?
Surely I am more than just a “drug-addict turned loving mum?”
I bought a beanie so I can hide when I walk through my town.
US mummy blogger Mr Lady once described personal blogging as like throwing a party at your house. Then a whole bunch of people turn up who you don’t know… so you grab your China and hide it.
It’s too late for me to hide my China. Right now I’m walking around this party offering trays of hors d’oeuvres to people. Faltering. I am a bumbling fool. I don’t know why I’ve done any of it. (Except when a woman I know, Jane, thanked me for my blog in Woolworths, and her eyes welled up. Thank you, Jane.)
The world kindly sent me a brilliant blog post to read a few days ago, called 7 Things That Happen to You When You Are Completely Honest by James Altucher:
“We’ve all hidden our failures in dark comets orbiting the peripheral edges of the solar system, where the sun is dark and faded. But when someone brings their orbit close to the sun we want to land there for a brief moment and see if actual living conditions exist. And if so, then maybe a small settlement can be formed, advice can be asked, a failure can be related to, a friendship can be formed.”
Why even set my China out in the first place? I mean, really… why? And why even bother trying to do anything remotely good or worthwhile? Who do you think you are, Eden?
Right about now, I’m thinking shame is my biggest demon.
Before Brene Brown, there was John Bradshaw. In 1998 I read a book of his called Healing the Shame That Binds You. I need to read it again. And maybe again. I knew I was in trouble a few days ago, when it was 2.30am and I was an insomniacal maniac, wired and weeping. Googling “inspirational videos” … and I really, really meant it.
I am so upset and angry right now I can hardly walk straight.
Tomorrow I have a de-brief with World Vision and I need it very much. How do people take trips to places like I went to, then come back and go about their lives? I was already awake. Now I’m even more awake. Oh, what to do with all the awakeness?
Are you awake? What are you doing? What do you believe in?
It’s totally cool if you don’t want to set any China out… but stop smashing other people’s stuff up. Stop smashing my China up. STOP SMASHING MY CHINA UP.
Just because you don’t understand something, doesn’t make it wrong. I’m out here in the world having a go. What the hell are you doing?
I know what I’m up against and I’ve come through the other side.
Every morning I get my sorry arse out of bed and face another day. With no buffer zone. These days I’m so awake I summon my OWN Angels. Those pricks are tired, man. I’m tired.
It seems a lot of people are too scared to live their lives properly? Staying safe is easier? A niggling prickle that something more, is happening out in the world? Guess what, champion… it is.
So I DID find the most inspirational video on YouTube. It’s called, “The Most Inspirational Video on YouTube.” I’m not joking right now. I’ve watched it so many times.
And I’m going to watch it hundreds of times more, before I die.
Are you dead yet?
*Eden Riley writes at Edenland. She is a redhead, wordsmith, mother and blogger. She’ll show you her Universal Truth if you show her yours. You can follow her on Twitter @edenland.