Day 42: Paranoia

paranoia

A lot has been written about smoking pot and paranoia, but I think heavy drinking, with its secret handshakes and hidden agendas, is similar in its effects.

Witness this:

To set up this anonymous blog, I first set up a fake gmail account with the pseudonym of a gymnast I admired from gymnastics camp in the fourth grade. Just try to link me with that one, Homeland Security!

This gmail account was set up under the “private browsing” feature to further cover my tracks. I then used only the “free website” features of WordPress so that I didn’t have to give a credit card. A paper trail could have eventually pointed to the blog. The Feds are tricky that way.

I deliberately gave no real personal data, so that even if someone who knows me relatively well discovered the site, they would have no hard data that it was me lurking behind Finding a Sober Miracle. (Hence, never giving my dog’s real name.) And if anyone ever points the finger, deny, deny, deny!

And why all the subterfuge? I am not a famous movie star, if that’s the logical conclusion you have reached. I don’t hold any high-level job that I would risk losing by my online confessions. I am really not anyone in particular. I am you, more than likely. Just someone trying to get it all out there in the hope of finally finding the key to ending the shame and secrecy caused by active addiction.

I’ve always admired those people who came out with a bang, neighbors be damned! Those people who refused to wear mourning clothes and self confidently took center stage in the war on alcohol. I admire them, but I can’t see making that leap, ever. I am amazed that people put their actual photo on their blogs! Anyone could identify them! What are they thinking??

Part of this is just a natural reserve when it comes to “sharing,” even with people I know well. I blame my Yugoslavian* parents.

(*not my real parentage. I don’t even know any Yugoslavians. Are you seeing my point here?)

But after watching that damn video on courage I posted yesterday, I know that I am being called to go there. I’m going to have to come out of the closet. All the way, not just peeking out to see if anyone’s looking. This makes my blood run cold with a fear you can’t begin to imagine. Or maybe you can.

Any who, I am thinking of doing this like a “Where’s Waldo?” game to delay my inevitable debut. All 18 of my followers would stay up day and night, piecing together clues to come up with my identity … maybe even start a blog about it. It could be called “Where is Margot?”*

(*That’s the gymnast’s name. Ha!)

Well, enough about me. I am off to volunteer at the homeless place I committed to in my famous blog a Karmic Miracle on paying it forward. What’s funny about this is that I will be working with addicts and alcoholics. How long before I will feel compelled to offer my own wealth of experience, having achieved 42 days of sobriety?

Stay posted.

xx, Margot

 

30 thoughts on “Day 42: Paranoia

  1. That was a fantastic post! I am under the veil of secrecy as well. BUT, if anyone I knew found me they could figure it out as I have given away clues! But nobody I know drinks like I did. I was a secret drinker and shall remain a secret quitter. That being said others will know that I don’t drink anymore but they will never know my struggle with sobriety and what a lush I was! xo

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    1. I love that — a secret quitter! Only my husband knows about the quitting part. My kids know something about the struggle but that’s it. I may leave the URL to the blog in my will. ; )

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  2. Am I being paranoid or have you been reading my mind? That post is me word for word, except for the last line… I only have 36 days of experience, and you have way more followers than me! Fab post!

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  3. Hehe, I did the same thing! I check my email under an incognito tab etc. It’s the darn cookies these days–Gmail does read your email and then you’ll end up with stop drinking ads on every site you go to!

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  4. Awesome post! I’ve decided nobody lives in my time zone so maybe I’m safe – ha – although I too have left clues. I like the secrecy but if I’m outed so be it. I’m not alone. Those of us blogging are just a part of a much bigger universe and those reading and/or blogging are just a small piece of it at that.

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      1. I have to laugh and comment here as I just read your post thinking.. oh well, that’s okay.. most of the people I correspond with are in the US or Australia… then I got REALLY paranoid and wondered if it was possible to fake that as well as all the other data… perhaps I’ve been ‘secretly’ conversing with my next door neighbour?!? I’m loving the fact we all think in similar ways though.. the hilarious thing is unlike drugs or cigarettes, we are all trying to hide the fact we have given up!!!! (How warped is that?!)

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      2. I know! And what is even more warped is that I really admire the people I know that are open about their own struggles. Why am I not OK with doing it myself? I think it’s just a few people that you don’t want to know. Example: my ex-husband’s ex-wife. (She was his current wife and I was the ex when I had the “fun” of dealing with her.) I can just hear her saying “I told you so!” from here. Ugh. I’d rather put up a fake profile announcing my new best seller or something, you know?

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  5. A mystery! Let the games begin! I had an old pic of me with my stupidly long hair pulled back and sunglasses for the first few months (super incognito!), then I cut my hair and went FUCK IT. And posted my picture. Anyone could easily identify me (well, by my picture OBVIOUSLY), by my references, by my location, by my other blogs, by my ACTUAL NAME (which is on my About page). But here’s what I’ve discovered: PEOPLE ARE SUPER LAZY. And no one I know will ever bother to do that. And if you’re a sober blogger and you read my blog and figure out who I am, I am not overly concerned.
    BTW- AM NOT IN ENGLAND. MUHUWAHHAHAHAH!!

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    1. Hee hee hee! Now that I know you are not in England, I will be more careful with my “info.” Are you a writer in real life? You should be, if not. I LOVE to laugh at other people’s stories, especially involving recovery, so thank you. Do you know what’s worse about people than that they are lazy? That they don’t give a shit! They are not nearly as wrapped up in me as I think! They don’t think about me at all. But there’s the other issue — closing the door forever on drinking with friends once I make my grand announcement. OUCH, that hurts. I can never be fun, moderately imbibing me ever again. Of course, I haven’t been moderately imbibing for a long time. I think a tall glass of acceptance is in order. Ugh.

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      1. Of course I’m a writer- unpaid and unpublished:) I write here, on my other blogs and I just started writing on Medium.com, but not specifically sober stuff (although that is not out of the question.) If you are interested, message me and I’ll send you a link.
        Regarding “fun” you, she’s in there. Drunks are borrring. And annoying to all but other drunks.

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  6. I loved the video from your last post. Had tears running down my face cos I am stuck in the resolution-relapse cycle. As for your paranoia, well I have you beat on all angles. I know now and accept that there is ZERO anonymity from Homeland security and GCHQ here. Your blog and mine is the file with all the recordings of our phone calls, emails, ip addresses blah blah blah. I just read a spy book that left me a little shaken at how easy it is to find things. Lastly it is not paranoia if it is true. And most people are to lazy to work it out or even care and if they find you here then why were they looking in this corner of the Internet. Maybe I have given too much of myself away, maybe I am the only Ginger person getting sober ha ha. Loving your blog, jealous of your sober days.

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    1. I agree with you about the anonymity — there is none. I know they could find out anything they want, but luckily, I never plan to run for public office. But I don’t see anyone trying to find much out about me. I do like having the illusion of control over it, even though if I had read your spy book, I would know just how false it is. I spent literally decades in the resolution-relapse cycle, but I usually was able to go longer and longer stretches of time (after a hundred day 1’s). In my case, I never really let go of the idea that I could drink again. I held that possibility out there and it always arrived. It’s a hard idea to kill. The only think I am doing different this time is reaching out via blogging. I really hope that makes a difference. Thank you for commenting, Ginger. ; )

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  7. Wow I relate. I’m in my eigth year of sobriety and I still feel that paranoia. I’m anonymous at work. Although, if someone asks I’m happy to tell. I teach teenagers, so it’s sort of a touchy subject I don’t feel particularly compelled to share.
    I blog through my site: http://www.markgoodson.com
    I’d like to add you to my blog roll there so new posts show up when you post them. I hope that’s OK. please let me know if it isn’t. Just hope to better connect!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Eight years — I couldn’t be more in awe. What an incredible achievement! And yes, I am still paranoid but getting less so. If I can make a year … (let me reword that). When I make a year, I will feel more comfortable because I will be somewhat successful. Nothings worse than coming out of the closet and then having to crawl back in. ; ) Thank you for the blogging website. I feel like somebody just gave me a good book! I love the cover photo of the truck and scenery. I look forward to reading it. Feel free to link here — I would be honored. Have a great day, Mark!

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      1. I hate ‘taking credit’ for things like that. My best thinking and action got me locked up in an insane asylum…although I should have been killed. The help of many people got me where I am today.
        It did get clearer for me, but very gradually. And I find that all my defects that were on overdrive when I was drinking and using are still in me, I just know (or am aware) when they are going to creep up, sort of.
        Wow, that’s such a great comment to hear. I’ve worked really hard on my writing. You just made my day! The picture was taken by wife at the Great Salt Lake in Utah. I love it because the Salt Lake behind looks surreal. It’s kind of ‘other-wordly’ and that old rusted truck is like how I think of sober life, somehow. I’m so glad to connect. Your site is ‘rolled’!

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  8. I really want to put my path to sobriety out there. Or, at least, announce to the world (aka Facebook) that I’m sober, or trying to be. The only thing that stops me is my fear of failure. I think I’ll wait until I have a good amount of time built up. Ugh. I say all that, but I genuinely believe that the world could benefit from more of us speaking up and speaking out loud. I want to shine a light on the struggle.

    Yikes! Just thinking about it terrifies me. LOL

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    1. I know what you mean. I also decided to wait until a year for the same reason — because I wasn’t sure I was going to make it. Now that a year is coming up, I have the same feeling: Yikes! I do so believe that what you said is true: the world could benefit from more of us speaking up. Facebook is a huge step! I don’t do much with Facebook, so that’s not a big deal for me, but coming out on this blog (even by posting a photo) might be what I do. I am not currently working so I don’t have to worry about employers searching for my name, etc., so I don’t have a lot of excuses. ; )

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