I’m a recovering codependent and a psychotherapist that specializes in codependency. I decided to blog about my experience with recovery using my own tools and interventions¹, specifically my codependency journal for Black women. Every week I will write a blog post using the prompts in the journal to work on my recovery and to give insight about how recovery is going.
Writing this blog in itself is challenging and also therapeutic for me because I’m very self conscious about writing. I’m not sure when that started because I used to write a lot, and publicly. Over the past few years I got really antsy about writing and how people gauge my intelligence because of it. I’m from Mississippi, so I’m pretty used to people assuming I’m stupid because of my accent and home. I’m actually okay with mispronouncing words in front of people because if we’re in a conversation you can tell that I’m a learned person, just country as hell. But writing is different, mostly because there are tools for you to make something as perfect as possible before sending it out into the world.
Think about it. Imagine someone you’re in conversation with mispronouncing a word. Most of us either jokingly correct them or assume what they meant and move on. Rarely do we make a snap judgment about their intelligence because we know that sometimes people mispronounce words.
Now think about seeing a word used incorrectly or grammar mistakes in something written. We tend to have more judgment because there are perfecting mechanisms in place for writing (spell check, writing guides, editors, etc). When you read a badly written article or blog, you usually think the editor, writer, and/or publication sucks, the writer has no idea what they’re talking about, or they’re lazy.
¹ Seems like a premise to a Tyler Perry movie. I’d be played by Kimberly Elise and my character would find redemption in God and a light skin man. I’d quit being a psychotherapist and find a second career as a preacher’s wife. And of course I’d have AIDS. Because Tyler Perry always makes sure to add AIDS. It’s like his parsley.
Now that we know my anxiety will be present during this entire experience, I want to list out my rules for myself that are doubling as promises to you, dear reader:
I will make time to blog and answer all the questions honestly.
I will not edit the content based on my fears of being perceived as lazy or stupid. I will edit only for appropriateness and spelling.
As I think it, I type it. I don’t want this to feel like a session where I’m always trying to be several thoughts ahead and structuring the conversation; this will be freefall and conversational, and sometimes I’ll have stray thoughts that I’ll place elsewhere on the page. What can I say? Deflecting through humor is a coping skill, even when writing.
I won’t make a length requirement. Some days the blog posts will be king sized, some days they’ll be snack sized. You’ll still get some candy.
Finally, if it gets to be too much, I will keep doing it. Because I’m worth working on as much as my clients are.