Saturday, July 23, 2016

Pull up a chair and let me tell you a little secret

chair, basket

Pull up a chair and let me tell you a little secret.  Are you ready?

Sometimes this is hard.  All of it. 

The being honest.

The being transparent.

The "putting it all out there". 

The taking the mask off.

The letting people know I don't have it all together.

It's hard.

The facing the hurt I've caused others.

The working on putting my family back together.

The doing what God (my higher power) calls me to do.

It's hard.

The accepting who I am. 

It's hard.

The not caring if others accept me.

It's super hard.

For as long as I can remember, I have cared more than I should about what others think.  And, just when I think that I've come pretty far in that area, something happens to remind me that I've still got a little too much pride left in me.

I told you several months back that I was struggling.  What I didn't tell you was that I ended up signing up for a twelve-month outpatient program.  I receive counseling 1-2 days per week, group 2-3 days per week, and drug screening 3 days per week.  I have completely fallen in love with the people there (my counselor, the staff, and other clients) and it has already proven to be exactly what I need. 

Anyway,  my drug screening schedule is Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday.  Last Saturday, my church participated in a nationwide event known as Serve Day.  We met at a huge stadium in our town, then departed for our separate group projects.  I ran a couple of errands in town and killed some time before the lab at the outpatient place opened. 

At a few minutes 'til 10, I approached the outpatient building, and I noticed people.  Lots of people.  And they were wearing red shirts.  The same red shirt that I was wearing.   The shirt that said this on the front.

No.  It couldn't be. 

But, yes.  There they were. 

There were people standing in the road holding signs.  I turned into the parking lot, and it was full of red shirts.  There was a tent set up, and they were giving free haircuts.  Nice concept, but I sure wish they would have chosen somewhere else.  I parked my car, turned the ignition off, then just sat there for a minute.  What should I do?  Should I just put my car in reverse and leave.....or would that be more noticeable?  I knew that I would never have time to leave and then come back to screen, and if I didn't screen, I could get penalized.  What to do.....

I was afraid the group that was there serving might think I was there to serve as well.  How would I tell them that I was actually there to pee in a cup to verify that I had not done any drugs in the last two days??  Wait....maybe I would just act like I was there to help. Not a bad idea.

I finally put my pride in the glove box, grabbed my papers, and got out of my car.  I didn't make eye contact with anyone.  I finally made it through the parking lot and into the front door.  I expected to find relief once I was safe inside.  Instead, I found about twenty more volunteers from my church inside painting!  What is it with these people wanting to be so nice and helpful?!  I, once again, didn't make eye contact and headed straight back to the lab.  I peeked my head in the door and saw a familiar face that made me feel better.  I pointed to my red Serve Day shirt I was wearing, and said, "I'm not here to serve....I'm here to screen."  He quickly told me to come into the lab, and they made the screening process as quick and painless as possible.  I walked out the door, straight to my vehicle, and high-tailed it out of that parking lot.  I'm sure the group that was serving there thinks I'm an antisocial lunatic (I kind of am), but that's beside the point.

I told you that story to tell you this.  (Woah...I totally just sounded like my preacher Dad). 
Telling all of these things about myself is hard.  I do not take pride in the things that I've done, and I don't write about them to brag. Believe me, I wish I had a blog that focused on home décor, makeup, or fashion.  Or memes.  Yes.  I love memes.  Honestly, I do not find enjoyment in exposing my deepest, darkest secrets.  What I find enjoyment in is knowing that I am doing what I'm supposed to be doing.  I find enjoyment when I read the e-mail that essentially says, "Me too."  That's what makes it worth it.  What makes it bearable to be so exposed. 

Last night, I sat in a circle of some of the most beautiful people I know.  We talked about addiction.  About life.  About our struggles.  And the topic came up of staying hidden, of not disclosing that we are addicts/alcoholics.  Of keeping our struggle a secret. 

There was a time when that was all I wanted.  I wanted to be known as a stay-at-home PTO mom, a wife, a singer, a business owner, a daughter, a sister, a friend. I didn't want anyone to know the real me.  But, there came a time when that was no longer possible.  When the cat that I refused to let out of the bag eventually clawed his way out.  And at first I was mortified that people knew.  I lost some friends along the way.  I received some judgmental glances.  I had some awkward encounters. And then, at some point that I don't even remember, I started being okay with who I was.  With people knowing the real me.  And what I thought would be the most horrifying feeling in the whole world turned out to be one of the most freeing. 

You see, I don't think that it was that I finally believed that others accepted who I was.

It was, I believe, that I finally accepted who I am. 

I am a stay-at-home mom....who struggles with drug addiction.

I am a wife....who struggles with drug addiction.

I am a singer....who struggles with drug addiction.

I am the wife of a business owner....who struggles with drug addiction.

I am a daughter...who struggles with drug addiction.

I am a sister...who struggles with drug addiction.

I am a friend...who struggles with drug addiction. 

I am me, Misty Monroe, and I struggle with drug addiction. 

And I'm okay with that. 

So, even on the days when my pride tries to rear its ugly head and embarrassment threatens to overtake me, in the end I am still okay with who I am. 

I still accept it. 

And you want to know a secret?
As hard as it sometimes is to be exposed, I never want to go back into hiding again. 

Because, after all, you know what they say.....secrets make you sick. 

Hiding your hurt only intensifies it. 
Problems grow in the dark and become bigger and bigger,
but when exposed to the light of truth, they shrink.
You are only as sick as your secrets.
So take off your mask,
stop pretending you're perfect,
and walk into freedom.
-Author Unknown


  1. Love your bravery Misty. Praying for you.

  2. I am just like you..We are Soliders..We fight..We are brave..Tk you for sharing..

  3. Love this one. I second everything you have said about yourself as myself only the words at the end of who I am is a Mom of a beautiful daughter that struggles with addiction. I too struggle with her addiction,but if I don't stay home estate and up front about it, I will go down the dark secret road and become the enabler of my daughter. All this to say thank you for sharing your heart!