I was recently interviewed by a news reporter from weekly business newspaper and during his questioning he asked how did I happen to come to the Mission for work. I told him my story and revealed to him that I was a recovering alcoholic and drug addict. This expression of bewilderment crossed his face ( my words, not his – I know he was thinking are you sure you really want to tell me that – you know I’m a reporter) He asked a few more questions and moved on. When the article came out last week he talked about my addictions and wrote in the article my comment to him about secrets –“it’s the secrets that we keep buried deep inside that end up hurting us.” My thoughts are that if I reveals my addictions then I can’t be hurt by it. I do know that by revealing my addiction that it will limit me in ways I may never know. A call that I will never get, a limitation someone will puts on me, I will never know, but for me revealing my past challenges is important because as an addict secrets were my life. Those secrets defined my life inside my mind. After a while I started believing I was the persona that I had made for myself, not the real person I was inside. With no secrets what you see is what you get. By eliminating secrets (well most of them – I have been known to sneak a donut and not tell anyone about it – sweets will be my downfall now) I simplify things in my life. The complications that secrets brought into my life were overwhelming.
I have to say revealing your past or divulging your secrets is a personal decision. For me it was the right one, but for others it may not be the right time. Revealing my secrets didn’t hurt anyone else overtly, but other’s secrets may hurt someone else and I am not in favor of hurting anyone else. Again, this revelation has to be a personal one and you have to go into it with your eyes wide open. You may not be voted onto the school committee if people know you were an addict or you may get funny looks when people meet you and put 2 & 2 together – Oh you’re the one. That may just be the paranoid mind that still lingers, but I want to make sure your know that by talking about your personal issues may have some consequences – for me it was a necessity in order to live my new life.