“Happy Anniversary” to me and my blog!! I likely wouldn’t have recognized this as an occasion, but Facebook is oh so good at reminding of us of important moments…such as re-posting quotes from 2008 we thought made us sound like geniuses (Tiffany is hungry…and there’s nothing in the fridge) or recommending enemies and exes on our “suggested friend list”. Thanks Fb. You’ve got my back.
Due to Facebook’s great memory for dates, I’m able to now reflect on a year of sharing my diary in public. In September 2016, after many frustrating hours and false starts, I chose WordPress, settled on a title and pressed publish… sending out my thoughts to the masses via cyberspace.
Initiallt, this blog celebrated my adventure into network marketing…..I figured the internet was probably a solid arena to network and to market. I also wanted to journal my progress with the products. Fortunately, there were successes to write about; My skin glowed, my body composition improved, and my bank account grew with residual income. More importantly, I made lifelong friends and deepened an exploration into personal development and self improvement.
The problem was, after a few posts, crickets were coming from my keyboard. Not because I didn’t have anything interesting to say, but because I knew if I really wanted to share my story, I needed to get real. Publicly, I was raving about these undertakings (signing up as an Arbonne Consultant, taking a new position as staff RN in CEU) but the origin of these life changes remained private…Why was I suddenly hosting skincare and nutrition workshops every week? Why had I transferred out of CCU?
Very few people had reached out to me over the summer asking where I’d disappeared to, and when I returned to work there were a few fun rumors….
- Tiffany works at Swedish in Seattle
- Tiffany works on 6North
- Tiffany hurt her back and is no longer a nurse
While I kind of wish any/all of these were true, the fact that everyone’s now aware of is I had been placed on administrative leave for being a “chemically dependent health care professional”. I spent the summer without a job and without an income. Eventually I was shown amazing grace and offered a position in CEU. But I had to go back to Dayshift first, (way less $) and wasn’t allowed to pick up extra shifts (no overtime – WHPS rules)
After having NO paycheck for 3 months, acquiring ridiculous medical bills, and helping my daughter move to Portland for college at the end of that surreal summer, you could say I was a little apprehensive.
Or you could just say the truth which is I was really really f#%$#@ing scared.
Weeks went by as I searched job ads for something I could do from home…I actually signed up to get paid to take surveys online (1$ here, 5$ there). The restaurant down the street placed a “help wanted” sign in the window and I found myself walking in and walking out, more than once. Desperate times right? Not so desperate that I was dancing at “Jugs” on a Friday night, but pretty damn desperate. (Wait a minute, let’s be clear. I’d never get the Friday spot…It’d be a Tuesday or Wednesday and I know it).
Then….Hallelujah. Arbonne showed up, via Hannah the Angel and two saints; Michelle an Stephani. With little hesitation, I decided to make the leap. My financial situation improved, multi level marketing history was made and you got to read about it firsthand, right here.
What you may not have known was that while I was busy typing away about:
- product trial experiences (they’re still all amazing!)
- workshop fails (Pineapple allergy emergency) and
- gel inserts flagging airport security (Global Training Conference fun!)
there was a whole lot of “real life” happening behind the screen of the computer. I was experiencing life sober, for the first time in over 6 years. Turns out it’s much easier to write about a situation once you’ve had some distance from it, vs. when you’re caught up in the storm. Some wounds are too fresh and raw to put on paper in front of even your own eyes. Sometimes people don’t want, or can’t bear to hear what’s going on while it’s happening. It’s too uncomfortable.
Troubles are easier to swallow if you have a result; we want a solution or a happy ending before saying or listening to the really gritty stuff that goes on. It’s hard to write or read a book if you don’t have a beginning, middle and end. So we hold it in, we wait for things to change, we hope for life to get better. We often do this quietly, and frequently alone.
But where does that leave us during the onslaught?
Lonely. Ashamed. Anxious. Fearful. And living outside of our truth.
A few months of blog silence passed as I struggled with life and with my blogging purpose. Arbonne was a miraculous answer to a frightening situation and writing about it was fun and useful (I’m still a consultant by the way, and just as enthusiastic!! Let’s do a workshop!!) But the motivation to join, then write was a radical life transition. This blog was always meant to be a place of vulnerability…to present myself as I am, without a counterfeit smile to cover up reality. I wanted to demonstrate that it’s possible to face your fears, to endure what some may call failure, and to continue showing up to try and try again.
May of 2016 brought another kind of anniversary; a year had passed since I had started the recovery process. Outing myself as an addict, I pressed “publish” and waited for the aftermath. The response was overwhelmingly:
Compassionate. Loving. Humbling. Validating. Life affirming.
Without a doubt I believe that my purpose here on earth is to help. For some ridiculous and even comical reason, I get to help people who have suffered from drugs and alcohol. Thanks a lot, Universe. But I’ll take the challenge, and I’ll try my best. It looks like I’m going to be here writing about it along the way.
Thank you to those that have read faithfully and given feedback for the last year. There’s probably about 3.5 of you, but you mean more to me than any thousands could, and I love you so freaking much!
To a year of blogging, to a transparent life, and to the years ahead…
Cheers and Gratitude,