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What Have I Done Here?

4 November 2014

I’ve been blogging for coming up on 6 years. Countless hundreds of pages of mostly crap, spun out over more than half a decade of sobriety and various life events. A divorce. A career involving two jobs a thousand miles apart. Some academic successes. Some failures. Physical and emotional changes. A new romance. Life.

But I don’t know what I’ve done here. Is this a thing? What is the structure of a blog? What is the value of this archive of occasional murmurings? I never kept a diary. I only write because I hope people read. I hope I have something to contribute. I like contributing to things. To what?

Sobriety? I have been told I’ve helped a few people in that regard. And I hope that that’s true. I like helping. But sobriety is an individual journey. and the successes of others belong to them, not me. I cannot claim credit for anyone’s recovery, nor would I want to. But I do like the idea of being useful.

Science? I’m barely a scientist. And it’s plain I don’t belong among the professional biomedical scientists who are actually doing important work that gets cited and drives human understanding forward. I am quietly making a few small inroads into using computer modeling to improve healthcare delivery. Maybe I’ll make a difference in the literature. Maybe people will try my ideas. Probably not. But what I report here is not of any obvious value to me to the scientific community.

As an engineer, the most important thing is to contribute to my local environment. I’m doing that. My efforts are being adopted and my hospital is improving based in part on the work I’ve done. But I don’t really discuss that here.

I started blogging to try to chronicle my life in recovery. My journey in sobriety. Slowly, that mission crept and ramified. I began discussing politics, science, fitness. The river of my internal monologue fractured into many small streams. Until none, I think, is large enough to slake any thirst. This is the Okavango. My words reach no sea.

I write because I write. Because I hope to connect. I feel like a can strung to a limp cord.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. 4 November 2014 10:24

    Well you’ve been at times inspirational to myself there’s one thing you’ve achieved.

    I just write a blog – well two now actually – to just show what is going on… as much to myself as to anyone else. If anyone gets anything from it that is the cherry on the cake as they say but not the be all and end all of why I blog

  2. 4 November 2014 11:03

    I think I have been reading (and yet never commenting) on your blog for several years. I have had an 18 month stretch of sobriety, a hellish period of relapse and have now found my feet again (day 249). In all that time I have admired your tenacity, your patiently putting together a life worth living, a day at a time. I have seen it add up to years and achievements and self respect and it has given me the hope that I can do something similar for myself.

    I’m not a commenter; its just not who I am. But I have my ear pressed to a tin can on the other end of the cord and I thank you for writing here.

    • 4 November 2014 11:07

      I’m glad you’re here. I wish you good fortunes with your journey in sobriety.

  3. 5 November 2014 09:17

    I hear you on this one. I’ve been blogging since 2005-2006. I’m not sure where to go with it now.

  4. Honey permalink
    6 November 2014 14:59

    I’m glad that you write. I’m not a writer myself (except in personal journals) which is why I don’t comment, but I find value in the way you tell your story. It’s quite helpful to me to know that I’m not alone in my feelings. Thank you for sharing.

  5. Kathy permalink
    6 November 2014 17:28

    I also am glad that you share your thoughts with us. Some of your struggles are similar to my struggles and I come here to follow along because I love the way you so articulately describe them. One thing I wish I could do is express myself the way you do. I sometimes copy something you might say and include it in my own private journal to clarify feelings that I just can’t find the right words for myself….. giving credit of course – I am a librarian 🙂 Thank you for helping me in that way.

  6. Syd permalink
    17 November 2014 22:35

    You are an eloquent writer. I think that telling your story of recovery has helped many people and your thoughts on things that are important to you–science, politics, relationships, traveling–are good. I am at a point where I am tired of writing. I feel so much at peace now. I have looked at myself from all angles and know what things I need to do to stay at peace with myself and others. Maybe I have run out of things to say?

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