My First Publication: Huffington Post!

For those not following me on social media, you may not have heard me screaming about my article featured in the Huffington Post today.

Let me just tell you, it was so hard to send the email submitting that story. I sat at my computer for about two hours, editing and re-editing everything, asking my cat, “Should I send it?”; yelling to Mike from my office, “I’m scared. I don’t know if I can do it.”

I finally got over myself, held my breath, and clicked “send.”

I have struggled to articulate this complex story for months now. My relationship with my ex, alcohol, has many moving parts, many explanations, with many illustrations of how I have hurt others and myself. It is a mucky, disgusting, confusing mess. Countless tiny embarrassments, nervous cover-ups and assurances to people, to myself, that I was okay. Even now, nearly four years later, I am still processing what happened to me and why.

It seems the only way I could meaningfully compose this part of my life was to couch it in a frame narrative about stress. In fact, when I read the Huffington Post’s call for submissions about stress, my very first thought was, “Stress? Oh, I can tell you about stress.” I sat down, and the story poured out of me as if from a pitcher.

It’s admittedly a little dry, but that was the only way I could keep the focus of the narrative. The second I would start to interject a moment of how it felt, I would spin off into a 500 word tangent that would somehow lead me to railing about the injustices of the U.S. Healthcare and Educational systems. There is no simple way to describe the experience of your life falling apart except to simply describe how your life fell apart; at least for now.

So, here is my very first article published somewhere other than on this blog (or in the California State University Library system). I could not have done this without your support. Thank you all.

HuffPoScreenshot

Second only to yoga, which oddly, I don’t mind.

 

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Comments

My First Publication: Huffington Post! — 58 Comments

  1. Dude! Awesome.

    Congratulations Natalie =P

    I think it’s great you created a story that provides an honest look at the struggles of alcoholism. That honesty is obviously what’s given you a foundation for the life you truly deserve and are now building. I’m in the middle of writing something a bit scary, so it was inspiring to me as well.
    Joe Cardillo recently posted…Your life is an information design projectMy Profile

  2. Phenomenal Natalie!!! What awesome news!!! I’m so happy for you. Your hard work and persistence has paid off. What a HUGE credit for your writer portfolio as well.
    I’m off to read your article. Congratulations again.
    Pam Huggins recently posted…TOO PERSONALMy Profile

  3. Congratulations Natalie! Beautifully written about such a difficult and personal time in your life. You will no doubt help many people overcome their own struggles. Keep writing and stay brave :)

  4. Natalie,

    Your article shook me to my core. It could have been written about me, over a dozen years ago, before I finally got help and got sober.

    Our behaviors were incredibly similar: Instead of going to school, I worked my brains out; instead of struggling for money, I was rewarded with promotions because of hard work (more money for better vodka). I ignored family, had no friends. I needed two shots of vodka in the morning, just to put on my eyeliner.

    I became depressed (who wouldn’t be?) and obtained anti-depressants from my doctor, with whom I didn’t share about my drinking. (Note that drinking all the time became so commonplace to me that I really didn’t think it was important to share). The combination of those drugs with my daily consumption of vodka eventually caught up with me, though, and I finally hit bottom. One broken rib and an intervention by my family got me to a treatment center, where I went passively, not unlike a beaten puppy.

    I have heard and read a lot of stories during my dozen years of sobriety, but yours affected me in a profound way. It was my story, too.

    Glad you got help. Glad I got help. Life is wonderful and, in my opinion, sobriety rocks.

    • I agree – sobriety, as hard as it is, is a vastly more fulfilling way to live. Stories like mine were rare in the rooms I visited in early sobriety; I was not a party girl, I was trying to cope with the wrong tools. I am SO GLAD for people like you, who understand the difference and with whom we may walk together on the other side.
      Thank you so much for stopping by & sharing your story, so similar to mine. It makes me feel less alone, too.

  5. Well done you! I am impressed and awed all over again. You are a wonderful writer and a beautifully flawed human being. You give me hope.

    • Thank you Chris! You are one of my most faithful reader/commenters (don’t think I didn’t notice), which I appreciate SO MUCH. We’ll see what happens, but steps in the right direction are always encouraging.

  6. I was so happy to read your story in the Huffington Post! Congrats! You’ve been through so much, and now you’re wise, balanced, and an inspiration to many. Your writing wasn’t dry, it was direct. That is the best way to tell an emotional story. You’re beautiful and brave, and I’m so glad I discovered your writing.
    Blogging Bibliophile recently posted…The 16 Rules of Facebook EtiquetteMy Profile

    • Thank you! And thank you for the feedback. Writing for the public is kind of like sending a child off into the world to possibly be ridiculed, so your encouragement is very appreciated!

  7. so amazing!! congratulations!!! You are honestly one of the most talented and passionate writers/bloggers I know. I always look forward to having some quiet time to catch up on your posts. Amazing doors are about to open…
    Hailey recently posted…What We’ve Resort(ed) toMy Profile

  8. I tried leaving a comment over there, but I couldn’t remember my stinking HuffPo account info. Great article, so courageous. Loved reading it. It made me think about how hard it is for me to accept help, mostly bc I believe it will cause me more work or stress to deal with the helper. The six months after each of our adoptions were times when I should have accepted some of the help offered. Of course, most of the time people would say, “let me know how I can help.” And honestly, I didn’t even know how they could have helped.
    Kate Hall recently posted…Caption That! (Round 41)My Profile

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