Since my kids have been away, I’ve had time to work on my self-help book. As I weeded my way through it, I discovered I have a long way to go before it’s finished. At first I was disappointed with how much I have to edit, but then I realized I want it done right not fast.
My mentor was correct all those long months ago when he recommended I take some of the narrative
crap stuff out of it. When I first started, I had the writing bug. I wanted to tell a story and help people recover from the effects of sex addiction. Now that my first draft of my fictional novel is done, that itch to tell a tale has been scratched (at least for a little while.)
My non-fictional book had way too much personal stuff in it. It resembled my blog more than a self-help book. Sure, it’s great to be able to share my stories with others by giving them my personal experiences, but, geez, I was on sharing overload.
I remembered just what kind of book I wanted and needed after disclosure four years ago. The last thing I wanted were sordid details of somebody else's marriage. I was trying to recover from sex addiction disclosure, not relive it. I was searching for someone who had not only been there, done that but also shared my hope that a marriage could survive after uncovering the addiction and betrayals.
I admit, it’s been hard to revisit some of the hurt to overhaul this book and make it better. But it's helped me too. So much of the junk that used to trigger me doesn't phase me one bit these days. I reminded myself that the things that happened in the past were just that - the past. We are both better people in a stronger marriage now.
The anniversary of my first disclosure is fast approaching. I thought by now it’d be just a blip on the radar of my life. But it’s not. It’s still there. Although it lurks in the back of mind rather than in the present. I suppose on that day I won’t wake up with the affairs being the first thing on my mind the way they used to be. For that, I’m thankful. I’m also experienced enough to know that it’ll wander through my brain at some point during that day and that’s okay. I’ll allow myself to grieve for a moment or two but will make sure I remember how far we’ve come.
Then I’ll do what makes me happy. I’ll write, blog, chat with others, and not allow myself to wallow in the past but learn from it instead.
Are there things in your past you wished you forget? Have you learned from any bad experiences?