They say the first step toward self-improvement is admitting one has a problem. To that end, I stand in front of a virtual room of perhaps thirty people on this cool fall morning, somewhere in Canada…
Me: Hello. My name is Donna and I am a writer.
#Group: (Mild applause.)
Cindi (the moderator): Welcome, Donna. What brings you to our #group?
Me: It’s kind of hard to talk about…
Cindi: You’re among friends, Donna. You’re safe here.
Me: Ok. Well, it’s been 3 days since my last Chapter. My life is spiralling out of control. I’ve had ‘whiteouts’ -- too many errors. Sometimes I can’t tell the difference between the story and ‘reality’. I feel so…alone. My sponsor is buried in her own revisions.
#Group: (Some shaking of heads.) Yeah, man. That’s rough.
Cindi: How are you coping?
Me: Not sure I am, coping, that is. Just trying to keep busy. Trying to keep my mind occupied. Following my husband around like a lost puppy. Doing some baking, helping the kids with homework, knitting….
Cindi: Go on….
Me: (Looking at my feet) Well, a bit of blogging.
#Group: (Gasps) No! Don’t do it!
Cindi: We’re not here to judge you, Donna.
#Group: That’s right. We’ve all been there, man.
Cindi: The main thing is you realise you need help. You’ve come to this #group looking for something – some way to fill the void of empty hours.
Me: (shoulders lifting with suppressed sob) I can’t help it. I’ve always been a writer. I don’t know how to DO anything else. It’s how I identify myself.
Cindi: But you have a husband, a family, friends, a job…. Surely there are other things in your life besides this crazy dream of making a living by the Word?
#Group: (Claps loudly and slowly) Yeah! Right on, Cindi. He who lives by the Word, dies by it!
Me: I don’t think I can do this. I’ve made a mistake in coming here. (I start to leave the front of the room)
Cindi: What’s really holding you back, Donna? What’s stopping you from planting your feet firmly in the ‘real’ world and giving up this crazy addiction?
Me: (Standing up straight at last) I have to accept it. It’s just who I am. I Am A Writer.
#Group: (Loud applause) Bravo! Bravo! (Rises to ovation)
Cindi: All right. That’s enough for today. We’ve made a major breakthrough here. Now, for God’s sake, let’s all go get a drink!
Donna Carrick, Sunday, October 18, 2009
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