Transparency - Erin's Inside Job


I lied a lot during my addiction. Some were blatant and some were those “lies of omission” where I figured that by shutting everyone out I wasn’t actually hurting anyone. I lied during my childhood because I realized that it was easier to ask permission for something I knew would be allowed than to take the risk of being told “no” (sorry mom). Basically, I became pretty good at manipulating and putting on a good show.

That’s what I’ve been doing for the past couple months. I haven’t been deceitful with you, but I definitely haven’t give you the full picture of what’s going on in my life. I’ve struggled with how much to talk about and have compared myself to other people with an online presence who can easily separate their personal and professional lives.

So here’s the scoop: Through carefully worded and revised writing, I’ve alluded to the fact that marriage is hard. I’m definitely not lying about that, but what I’ve left out is that through that work Neil and I have confronted issues that may not be able to be overcome and right now the fate of our marriage is up in the air.


It just hit me the other day that the reason I started this blog was because I felt like I had a message to share. I wanted to break the stigma surrounding addiction and what an addict looks like and I wanted to share my journey with others in hopes that someone could identify with something I said.

What I found is that in trying to help others I also helped myself. By being transparent in my communications, there was no more lying. There was no more fear of being found out or trying to remember who knewΒ what. By laying everything on the table, I was able to be myself and if people liked it, great. If people didn’t, that’s ok too. I felt confident in myself and the messages I was putting out.

So for the past few months, I would write posts for you guys about knowing your self worth and living your best life, but I kept feeling unsettled. It felt like you weren’t getting the whole picture. It felt like I was telling you all the things that I wasn’t able to hear. It felt like lying.

Neil and I are working through a lot of things. I want to try and focus this on my own thoughts and feelings because as much as I want to be transparent, there is another person involved and I can only write about my reactions to the situation.Β He did give me the thumbs up on posting about this, but that doesn’t mean that I can disrespect his autonomy by forcing transparency from him too.


I wanted to wait to write until we made a decision on separation because that’s an option on the table, but what that would do is give me enough time to box up a poignant message and share it with all of you. I wanted to get to a “perfect” place with “perfect” words before sharing, but in this situation I think I need to ask for help sooner than later.

I have a lot of fear around the future because I don’t know the outcome. For me,Β the process is the most important part and I haven’t been sharing any of that with you. I know that there are some of you who have gone through similar situations and it’s unfair of me to present myself as someone to offer hope about addiction but not allow myself to be vulnerable and accept any help or hope from any of you who may be able to help me.

Last Friday was our two year wedding anniversary. I could have posted a glorious recap of our wedding and professed my love for Neil for the whole internet to see, but it would have painted a picture that felt too reminiscent of living those double lives during my addiction.

So instead of doing that, I wrote this. And it feels like a huge weight off my shoulders. I love you guys so much and you have always been there to support me day after day. So I want you to know that there are times when I am not ok. There are days when I think we have things figured out and it’s a good day. Then there are days when I wake up and I just can’t see the hope. By letting you know what’s going on with me I’ve made it possible to tell you when I have those days in the future.

Neil and I love each other very much. We are both working on this. We are both each other’s best friend. This is hard for both of us. Know that when you see smiling pictures of us on here or Instagram, those are real smiles. It’s real love, but there’s an equal number of tears on both sides. We’re figuring it all out (and sometimes dancing).


Thank you so much for being here and for letting me do scary things like tell you that right now my life feels a little out of control. I’d love to end this with words of wisdom or a motivating call-to-action, but I’m in the middle. I’m on the road and I don’t know where it leads. I can’t tell you all that I’ve learned because I’m still walking the path.

Thank you for walking it with me.


Thanks to Amanda for letting me think out loud.

63 comments on “Transparency

  1. You know that I am 100000000% there for you all. I think that it is really brave for you to put this out there, not just because, hey, it is your life out for all to see, but because you are being brave with yourself–your uncertainties but also your desires and wishes. I couldn’t wish harder for happiness for you–and I want that to come however it must. Just know that regardless of what is happening, you have someone who will turn tail and book it to meet you, and there is always a place you can feel safe, whether it be mentally or physically or whatever.
    Be brave. You have been brave already. Be brave again.
    Susie @ SuzLyfe recently posted…Top Ten Takeaways from Blogfest and IDEA WorldMy Profile

  2. Your transparency is what I love about you and your blog. I started blogging for the same reason — to help me work through my eating disorder recovery and maybe help others during the process. It’s never comfortable to open up and share the less-than-pleasant aspects of your life, but it’s so much easier than putting on a face and trying to make your life out to be something that it’s not. Sending you all the best vibes, girl. You’re kind of awesome πŸ™‚
    Amanda @ .running with spoons. recently posted…. thinking out loud #140 .My Profile

    1. Thank you Amanda!

      It’s never easy, but I’m sure you know how helpful it is not only to you, but also to other people who realize they’re not alone.

  3. I think it’s wonderful that you’re being brave and showing transparency. I used to lie all the time too, and you’re right, it’s so much easier to ask for (or only show the parts) of what is most compliant in exchange for being honest with ourselves and everyone else. I’m sorry to hear that you and Neil are facing challenges, and I know, from my own past relationships and the troubles I already have in my very new marriage, that when you’re dealing with addiction and recovery as being part of who you are and your everyday reality — it is really hard work. Like, all the time. It definitely places a strain on relationships. I’m not trying to guess at what’s going on with you or your relationship, but I know how I feel AND I know the frustration people who love me have felt (and that I’ve felt in return) when things get tough or rocky. I hope regardless of what happens you continue to be so brave, and the fact that you’re stressing that there’s so much love between you guys, means that no matter what you will be okay. Like everything else you post, this will help others too. Being transparent, in itself, is the best way to show support for every other person reading this who is struggling too. Hugs.
    Erin recently posted…How To Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth (Sensibly)My Profile

  4. It is very brave to share this with everyone. The power of your honesty and vulnerability will help you and others to feel less alone and that is so important. Thank you for showing up and doing the scary thing because it helps me to do the same. I’ll be thinking of you and Neil.

    1. Thanks Keli. That’s my goal…to help other people talk about things that they may not feel like they can πŸ™‚

    1. Thanks Jen πŸ™‚ Yeah, I’ve gotten a lot of support so far so I’m glad I’ve talked more about it.

  5. I just want to say that I’m so sorry you are going through a hard time. It’s tough as a blogger trying to decide what should be shared about your life. You were brave for sharing though and if there are other people going through what you are, I’m sure they appreciate hearing they are not alone. I wish you the best going forward!

    1. Thanks Cara! Maybe you can bring your baby’s cheeks back and that will make it better πŸ™‚

  6. So many hugs and so much love to you. Marriage is really freaking hard. I hope that you and Neil can figure out what it is you both need, whatever the outcome is. And if you ever need someone to chat with, let me know–I’m always happy to hop into the city for coffee, desserts, or whatever. πŸ™‚ xoxo
    Beth @ Running with the Sunrise recently posted…Intention Setting and YogaMy Profile

    1. I totally agree. This is not/cannot be an easy thing to share. I think it is fabulous that you are using this platform as part of your healing process, and it is very admirable that you are respecting your husbands privacy during this time. Sending many positive thoughts your way.
      Jamie recently posted…That Time I GrilledMy Profile

    2. Well thanks for reading! You definitely picked a serious post day haha. I totally agree with what you said about the transparency. I know I respond to that the most out of any kind of writing.

  7. Wow, thank you for allowing yourself to be vulnerable and always keeping it real in the name of recovery and living your best life. You are amazing! Whatever you are dealing with now, I’m praying for the best and believe in you. You are capable of anything you set your sights on, look at much you’ve achieved already. Wow times infinity! Keep being true to yourself and the right thing will manifest, thank you for sharing and being a source of inspiration and light <3
    Danielle recently posted…Then & NowMy Profile

  8. Thank you for such a brave and honest post. Good luck to you and Neil and whatever you decide, may it be the right decision for the two of you and pave the way for a bright future. Best wishes <3

  9. Relationships are hard. I’ve hit a bump in mine with lots of life changes and I think it’s why teh idea of marriage is scary. It’s nice to hear of some real struggles and less of the “everything is great we are best friends and married” portrayal that’s more out there, rather than the struggles of being with a person as adults and married people. I’m sending good vibes your way!
    Lauren recently posted…If You Run, You are a Runner {No Matter What Size, Ladies}My Profile

    1. Thanks Emily. They’re tough, but I think we will figure it out. Families tend to love us through thick and thin, as I learned through my own journey. Thanks for reading!

  10. Transparency is what makes you (and bloggers like you) authentic and why readers (like myself) keep coming back. I appreciate your vulnerability and your passion to remain authentic. Wishing you and Niel the best in whatever fate has for you two, but you have plenty of people sending you good vibes and thoughts, for those helpless moments and the good moments too! xoxo, ganeeban

  11. It takes a lot of guts to post something so truthful and raw. I definitely admire that about your posts. I wish that I had enough courage to be completely transparent with people about my struggles, but I am working on it. I hope you find happiness & strength through this situation.

    1. To each his (her?) own. I think I got used to it from speaking so frankly about my past, but I know it’s not an easy thing to do. I hope you can talk to someone about what’s going on in your life. If not, you can always shoot me an email πŸ™‚

  12. I’m really sorry you’re going through this, and THANK YOU for once again sharing your truth with all of us. You’re incredibly brave, and I wish you all the best.

  13. Erin, I’m so sorry to hear you’re going through this. I know first hand how difficult it can be when faced with challenges in your marriage. I’m so glad to have met you this weekend and I’m sending all the love your way.
    Ange @ Cowgirl Runs recently posted…Thinking Out LoudMy Profile

    1. Isn’t that the truth? It’s just the waiting and the process that I always hate πŸ™‚

  14. Thanks for sharing. That is really rough. Hang in there. I separated from my husband of five years seven months ago and I am still breaking down crying every week (it used to be ~5x per day). Try to take care of yourself and focus on things that make you happy so you have strength to deal with personal life. Hugs.

    1. Aw. I hope you are doing alright. Feel free to shoot me an email if you ever need someone to talk to.

  15. So I have personally never been married Erin, but my parents marriage almost fell apart because of my Eating Disorder. They still don’t have a lovey dovey marriage, but they came to realize that they needed each other. No one else could understand like each other did the struggle they went through with me. I hate to think that I was the cause of their issues but thats the part of being transparent.

    1. Yeah issues like that are tough to deal with for parents, but don’t be too hard on yourself about it. It added some extra stress, but even if they weren’t able to work through it it wouldn’t have been your fault. Look how far you’ve come now too!

  16. Erin you’re a force to break that stigma! Transparency can be so scary but like you said, it often feels like a weight is lifted from your shoulders. We often think we’re alone in our struggles but we’re not. Many are or have similar experiences. Much love to you friend. xoxo
    jill conyers recently posted…Grokker Yoga, Fitness and Cooking VideosMy Profile

    1. Thanks Jill!

      I’ve found that we all have a lot of things in common but that not everyone wants to talk about it. I admire those people who bring things to light, so I’m trying to follow in their footsteps πŸ™‚

  17. Wow. Not sure how I missed this the first time. This is a big post. Marriage really is freakin’ hard – there’s no other way to say it. And recovering from addiction is really freakin’ hard. REALLY HARD. I’m super impressed in reading about your recovery because you’ve been putting so much effort into it and making big changes and being honest with yourself ABOUT yourself. And now, to see you put this out there? I just don’t even know. You may not believe it but you are strong. You have a strength that’s truly to be admired. Marriages are full of ups and downs – been married 19 1/2 years and it hasn’t been all roses, butterflies, and happiness. But, we’ve had the strength to talk about it – honestly. We still have our moments sometimes but we came out of some dark times much stronger and more in sync. I wish you the best and hope for honesty, love, and peace in your discussions and decision. <3
    Jennifer @ A Hungry Runner recently posted…Urban Accents flapjack mix – blueberry lemon lavender (TT #21)My Profile

    1. I think that’s the most important part…the communication and honesty. If both of us weren’t willing to do that then I’m not sure we would have even made it this far.

    1. Good I’m glad to hear that other people have also had struggles. We are working on it. Man, being an adult is hard!

  18. Love you ever so much & am thankful that we are sisters in recovery. I remain grateful & humbled that you chose to open up to me about your marital challenges while I was in Chicago last summer. THAT was vulnerability & transparency shining even though I know how tough “telling our story with our whole heart” (Glennon) can be. You inspire me to continue my own challenging path in life, & I thank you for being a part of my journey. Hugs & prayers XXXOOO

  19. Hi Erin,
    Just came across your blog today and randomly landed on this post from last year. I am amazed by your honesty and vulnerability. My husband and I have been married just over a year and we have already had moments that we both want to call it quits. Marriage is really hard and it is so nice to read that other people struggle with the same thing. Social media can definitely make you think that other couples have this perfect relationship, when in reality, none of us have the “perfect” marriage or anything close to it.

    1. Thanks so much Taylor πŸ™‚ Marriage is tougher than I imagined and sometimes it can be more work than others. I hope that you guys are able to work through things and it’s important to think about the relationship and that you guys are on the same page about what you want. It’s definitely not always perfect! Thanks so much for reading πŸ™‚

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