I blog elsewhere under my name. I write about art, life, and healing. Sometimes I mention my OCD and alcoholism in my blog or when talking with people. Being able to be honest about who I am, and about my life is part of my healing process. Sometimes, it is relevant and I don't want to edit it out, as a shameful secret. It isn't shameful. My recovery from these incurable illnesses is something to share not hide. Gloria Steinem, the feminist, once responded to the comment, "You don't look 50 years old" with "This is what 50 looks like." It was an era when women did not tell their ages. People have wrong ideas about mental illness and addiction. Most of us are out there living successfully in the world - raising children, thriving in the work place, and maintaining loving relationships, despite our challenges. The stigma of these illnesses is a vestige of the shame and ignorance that has surrounded them. Although I don't advertise, when it is the right time to share, I do, because, like Gloria Steinem, I look pretty good. I want people to know that, "This is what OCD and alcoholism look like."
So why the anonymity here? One reason is that in order to stop drinking and heal the wounds that led to my alcoholism, I became a member of Alcoholics Anonymous. The anonymity of AA is based on humility, not shame. I find that when I start making exceptions for myself, such as "that's good for the others, but I don't need anonymity," I am taking a step backward in my recovery.
The other reason for anonymity comes from the wonderful OCD blogging community I've been following. I want to be part of the conversation and share about the nitty gritty of life with OCD. That is not for sissies. I kid, but seriously, it isn't really appropriate for the audiences of my other blogs. Plus I may be looking for a job someday. Some of our OCD thinking is pretty distorted. Not the kind of thing the bosses need to know.