On preaching and singing

What have I been up to? Today I was infected with a preaching streak and I went to singing lesson which was beautiful again.

On the preaching: I had had it with people blowing their own heads off with thinking about drinking or in fact drinking. I could not deal anymore but I had not noticed that. I was concerned and, I should not be lying, I was irritated with the way they ‘fooled themselves and made their sober blog into a platform for addictive thinking along the way’. Yes, arrogant. I know. Sorry 😦 Who am I with my 3,5 months sober to tell others what to do and what not to do or say or write? I don’t know. I just got mad, but in the first reply I did not even know I was mad because my online mad like flame-mad was very tiny in comparison to when I was drinking. It was 1/10th of what I would ‘normally’ feel. That would be ‘drunk normal’.

Years ago I had learned the hard way to recognise an inflammatory preaching mode but I had not had this experience while being sober. So…. Ellie got the full blast. Sorry again :-(. And then I actually repeated it on Empty 12 pack. By that time my cat came to warn me because she could hear by my rattling on the keyboard that I was upset and then she comes to save me. :-). It worked out Empty 12 pack could do with a hiding so pffff…. This is where I got off the hook. More luck than judgment for me.

Preaching, what is it to me? First it is a character trait that pops up easily and I am ashamed of. But the other side of the medal is my ability to teach and I have, with smaller groups, gotten straight A’s for that in questionnaires. So it is part of me, but I do not always apply it correctly. I have put my ‘stop trigger’ on sensing that I apply force. Nudging is ok, students actually appreciate that most of the time, applying force is not good. There is a tiny loophole: applying force is not good….. unless I think I am in the right and other people should be informed for their own good and then, subsequently I think force, specifically from me, is VERY GOOD. Really, the loophole is very tiny. The results are sometimes disastrous. 😦

The hole is in the ‘want to take care’ I guess. Taking care without being asked equals assuming that the other person is stupid and I know it better. I’m walking in circles; problems cannot be solved by the same level of thinking that created them.  Can anybody tell me, in- or excluding the words ‘arrogance’ and ‘not good’ how and why on the subject of taking care or preaching? I am sorry, I can’t work it out. I guess I preach. :-/

I’m doing other subject here. Can’t work it out. We had singing lesson today. Well, it is not really singing lesson but more ‘free your voice’ with all therapeutically correct assignments and a tiny bit of speaking about the experiences. Today we practised ‘sing your own tune’ but all together in a group. We were scattered over the class room and I always take care to stand as far away as possible. Yes… issues… I know. Again today, but something changed and I wanted to be with the rest, so I actually moved towards the rest of the group and enjoyed that. NEW!!! I know for most of you this is futile. To me it was BIG. 🙂

We continued with an excercise on lamenting. Is that the correct word? Singing with and about sorrow like women from the Middle East do during a funeral. Well, we were not that outspoken or skilled, but everybodies tone and song did carry grief. Imagine that we sit down and ‘lament away’ in a tune that each person makes up in that second. 🙂 That was scary shit. But very good, it is a good group, the group can actually carry this without starting to giggle or feel awkward. Once you let go of the ‘we don’t do that here thank you’ position it worked out to be very special. We all had a few solo lament and it was very powerful, very freeing. Nobody used words but the realisation that the grief could be heard and carried by the group. Very powerful, very connected.

Since I was preaching I might as well brag today too: I sang a solo and it was beautiful. Solo singing is standing in front of the group and singing sounds that pop up or develop in your head at that moment. The teacher then follows and supports with the piano. I guess I sang on the condition humaine but there is also an opposite to that, not sure what it is called, or if it has a name; something like hope, but less single minded. Maybe trust. I mixed them, thinking of my deceased mother, singing for her. And it was a beautiful experience to let that flow, people cried, I cried. Loads and loads of shit going on sobriety. Good stuff. Difficult stuff. Healing stuff. This group of extra-ordinary women can carry so much, very impressive. I felt heard, supported, safe. Happy that I quit.

And then I came home and my yogi tea label said: Awake from the illusion of separateness.

❤ ❤ ❤

11 thoughts on “On preaching and singing

  1. We are all connected. And we need each other. Soft love and tough love.

    I want to preach. Often. But unpickeled always gives positive, if honest advice, and I try to model her. She is inspiring. And she always seems to know what to say.

    That said, I find it sad when people go back to drinking. I know that’s not my role in this, but it still does. Maybe it calls to my own desperation last year, when I so badly wanted life to be better, but was so trapped in a spiral of booze, resentment and depression. I don’t want anyone to ever feel like that. Like life has no meaning or value.

    Of course, my solution is to hang around and be there if and when they come back. Their struggles reinforce my own sobriety. I don’t want to go back to where I was. My mental health is too valuable.

    Singing and healing. What a lovely way to move forward.


    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi Anne,

      Thank you for your reply and wise words. And yes! Unpickled has a gift in saying things nicely too. Even if I would have the state of mind to be mild (you might have noticed that being mild is still on my to do list), I still do not have the experience in politeness and being politically correct that comes with growing up in the UK and/or USA. Dutch people are very direct. And for a Dutch person I am direct.

      But I will practice. First I will practice in uncovering my intentions so that I know from where I speak. Intentions are important.

      For me it is also true that other peoples struggles help me keep my own sobriety. They are a reminder. But I have severe difficulty with post that mention that a blogger drank again but try not to practise the honesty that I, well, in my perfect world, would hope that goes with it, or try to put the insights to it. I know, I know, sounds very much like ‘you have been drinking SO you should feel guilty’. And yes, I have not worked that part out because I guess I feel like that. Another subject for another difficult post that does not feel like it wants to be written. 🙂 Don’t worry, I will not do so now. Internal storm needs to settle first.

      Thank you again for your reply. 🙂

      xx, Feeling

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Once again, I find so much valuable self reflection and honesty here. It’s so good to be aware of our own tendencies, especially when it relates to how we affect others. I love what Anne says above. So perfectly to the point! And true. We all have our thing. I want to please people too much, and that causes ME more problems than it does other people. I liked your tough love voice on those other blogs. I like the courage it takes to say those things. *A Righteous Anger* … but isn’t that what it takes to go into battle? And whether we are realizing it in the moment or not, we are all in a battle against Wolfie. I have to admit it was a bit tough to read! I cringed a couple of times and I thought – WHOA THERE NELLY. But honestly? Sometimes we actually do need to hear those things. And I’m sure in the end both Ellie and Empty will appreciate your willingness to be tough. That said, I think it is really important to temper ourselves, check our motives and look at our behavior objectively. All of which you have done here, so bravo, all the way around. 🙂

    I think ultimately, we can always tell, by checking in with ourselves and others, when amends need to be made. And like Anne said so well above, we need all kinds of love in here. Some of us are soft, some are tough. Some of us are both at different times. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • 🙂 Thank you Rivieradinah. I am blessed to have such wonderful online friends. I was too stressed out this morning to really read all of your comments.

      I hope to never WHOA THERE you or anybody anymore. I have decided today though that I will react when I see addictive thinking taking place in a blog because that is effectively what screws people over. 99,9% Of us here can deal with stress, grieve, happyness. But if we think these emotions allow us to drink, we are gone. Life is not the issue. It are the wrong connections in our brain that (used to) make us (me!) think that alcohol does something good for us. I think it is a good idea to shine a ligth on those connections.

      Then again, c’est le ton qui faire la musique…. I hope that I will learn to react effectively instead of merely venting my frustration. So with the correct amount of soft and/or tough love. 🙂 A long and winding road…

      Hugs and kisses, Feeling


  3. I understand completely how you feel. I went through the same feelings last year. I got sober on 11/30, and beginning in December the crash and burns began to show up in the blogs. You can read between the lines, people want to drink. You can tell which ones will, and which ones won’t. None of this is easy for any of us.
    I wanted to drink too, god damn it! How come they were giving themselves the right to do it, and I was suffering in sobriety.
    I reached out to another sober blogger, and got a sober pen pal. I did my venting there.
    It is hard to watch people relapse when you feel connected to them and their journey. Especially when you are working so hard in yours.
    In my personal experience, no matter who told me I was drinking to much, I didn’t listen, nor did I care, until one day I did. It comes from within. No matter how many times we hear it from others, the decision has to be made by us.
    You made some great points in your comments. That said, you are getting upset and frustrated, and chances are you are not going to change anyone’s mind. Could a comment have changed yours if you were going to drink again?
    Taking care of yourself and your sobriety should be number one. People will relapse and write about it, it will get annoying, and frustrating. The great thing is, we have the control, just like on TV, we can change the channel. I have stopped following countless bloggers, especially those who constantly relapse. It wasn’t good for me to read about.
    As I said in my one year post. You have to COMMIT to being sober, 100%, if not, you WILL drink again. It is hard, hard work. Too hard for some people.
    You are doing great, you are not drinking, you are adding to your days, not subtracting. You are headed in the right direction. Keep it up, don’t waste precious energy on those that are going to drink, you need that energy to keep yourself on the right track.
    Stay strong. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for your lovely reply. I should change some channels but I feel guilty about that too. And yes, I would not have listened earlier, but I thought and hoped that the people that are out here had made that decission. Or maybe I am being a little naieve here. I don’t know. I wish it was easier.

      Alcohol is a bitch and now I have made my choice it really gets to me that, well, that it is so big and that people I care about fall into its hands.

      It is funny but by now I do get the idea that I should get a pen pall to vent and mourn outside the blog. To the naive preacher inside me that feels like another polite solution from society to a cover up truth that should not be covered up. Not that I want to go around point fingers… but still.

      Saying that…. the cat is already sitting next to me mewing and patting and noticing that I am upset. 🙂 She is marvelous. 🙂

      Thank you again for your wonderful reply. I cried reading it because you say this so beautifully. I wish I could.

      xx, Feeling


  4. What a lovely, honest, genuine post. When I first read your response to my post, I was stung and a bit taken back. But, I absolutely understood where you were coming from. I never, ever mean to elicit anger or disgust or anything of the likes from my readers, rather my aim is to be completely authentic. I so appreciate you taking the time to share your feelings. I am trying my best here- it may not be your way, and your way not be mine, but I am SO happy to be along for everyones journey. Big hugs! Xo Ellie


    • Hi Ellie,

      Thank you for replying, I was hoping to hear from you. I do hope you understand that my anger was fueled by frustration and incorrectly streamed in my reply to your post. Please note that I was angry but I did not feel disgusted by what you wrote or mean to give you the feeling that I did. Bullocks, I ow you the truth: I guess did feel disgusted but not with YOU. It was the addict speak that got to me. I have difficulty seeing the addict get a platform unchecked and I made the mistake of venting that frustration in words that were not meant to be impolite or to show disgust with you personally. Well, they were not supposed to show disgust full stop. I do not think it is tolerable to hand out that emotion be it with addict speak or with a person. I am sorry, as said before I stand with the idea behind my reply but not with the tone. Everything came out way, way too strong and were therefore wrong. I am sorry.
      Crying now, for my own loss and for the damage alcohol and other addictions do to the world. Well I guess I should remember that crying powerlessly is better than ranting angrily in other peoples bloglines…. Sorry, again. But very happy that you are happy again. 🙂

      Hugs, Feeling


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