Lessons From My Haters

What I had been fearing most since getting on social media finally happened last week after I posted about the night I spent with Billy Idol. If you didn’t see the post, I recount an evening back in August, 2008, where I was “scouted” and taken back to Billy’s hotel room after the concert and an evening partying with the band in Ottawa’s Byward Market.

The evening changed me in many ways. It reminded me of who I am and who I want to be. It showed me that I can hold fast to my morals, stick to my decisions and remain true to myself.

I am grateful that I had the experience, and I have no hard feelings towards Billy or anyone else who makes a business out of creating the rock and roll scene. It is theirs to make, and we all get to choose who we associate with.

I am deeply grateful for the people I get to associate with now.

I have developed a definition of what a friend means to me, and I was inspired by the love and support of several friends when my first “hater” attacked my story about my night with Billy.

Being Held

He not only attacked my story; he attacked me.

He called me a liar. He said I made the whole thing up. He purported that the concert didn’t even occur. He proceeded to respond to several of my friends’ comments calling me a liar to make sure they would read his hateful words.

As I read them, a few things happened.

First, I felt surprised; although I had been worried about what people would think of me after reading it, up until then, all of the comments had been positive.

Second, I froze; unsure of the next right move.

Third, I closed my eyes and took a few deep breaths. I reminded myself that people know the truth when they hear it, and if these people truly are my friends, they will know I didn’t lie.

Fourth, I went online to search for proof of the date of the concert and the existence of Billy Idol in Ottawa on that fateful night.

But before I could even post my link to Billy’s set list from that show, a friend jumped in with a link to concert dates at the stadium, proving the concert indeed occurred.

She defended me. She stood up for me. 

She continued to post more links, proving that Billy Idol was indeed in Ottawa that night.

Others came to my defense.

Shortly after, my hater responded with: “You’re right, I concede. Not sure how I missed that concert, I’m obviously a big fan and wouldn’t have missed it but I did. My apologies. Feel free to block me or whatever you people do with an apology.”

I felt an immediate sense of relief. But what struck me were his words, “feel free to block me or whatever you people do with an apology.”

You people.

While I was grateful for the apology, I knew it was just my ego wanting to feel validated, and so instead, I tried to put myself in his shoes.

It isn’t fun being wrong. It feels crappy, especially when we feel SO right! Instead of feeling smug, I felt empathy towards him. I felt no hard feelings. We’ve all believed with 100% certainty that we were right…and then we’ve been proven wrong.

We’ve all been there.  

I told him I had no intention of blocking him. I told him I appreciated the apology. And I took the opportunity to remind him that if he ever reads anything else from me, to know that it will be the truth. Because that is all I know how to do anymore.

As an alcoholic, I was a terrific liar.

As a woman in recovery using what I’ve learned, I am a truth teller and a light seeker and I don’t have time or room in my life for making up stories. I have more than enough real ones that I am terrified to share, but I know they need to be if they can help even one person to know that they are not alone.

Sharing My Life

Just yesterday, a woman commented that I was guilty of shameless self-promotion and being insincere. She believes I portrayed an “obtuse ruse” that was completely unnecessary. Although I can completely understand why she may feel that way, she is someone who doesn’t know me or my journey, and so she can’t know my intentions.

With the story, I used an example in my life to let people inside my walls and to share who I have become since getting sober; a version of myself that is much different than the one I was when I was drinking.

Another woman agreed with the first and went on to suggest  I had “teased” Billy and that it is hurtful to share stories like this in case his family reads them. To be perfectly honest, the behaviour of others has nothing to do with me; but when I learn an important lesson about who I am because of someone else’s actions, I am going to share it.

And I will keep sharing. I will keep going on this path that is leading me somewhere…I’m still not sure where…but I am inspired to keep going because it feels right and it feels good and it feels purposeful.

Before, I would have hidden it and felt shame about whatever was going on in my life; but things have changed, and I am stepping into my power. 

Although I can tend to concern myself with the few people who don’t like me or the message I am sharing, rather than the many who do, I am growing. I am learning that not everyone is going to agree with me or understand me or support me, but it doesn’t mean I should stop doing what I’m doing.

It means I should keep going.

I am glad this happened as, once again, I was pushed outside my comfort zone. It allowed me to face my fear of criticism and judgment and it allowed me to know that although I won’t always like what others have to say, I can certainly put myself in their shoes and I can respect their opinions.

It also reminds me that I have a choice to make in any given moment…and I can choose not to be hurt by the opinions of others, especially when those opinions are of me.

Thank you to all of you who felt something from the story and who sent me public and private messages about it. I loved learning more about you and hearing your own stories or how mine impacted you.

I appreciate you sharing your messages with me…even the ones from my haters.

I am so grateful for all of you and I look forward to what’s to come.

Because I want you to love your life one bite at a time.

P.S. If we aren’t already friends on Facebook , let’s connect! We can also connect on Twitter and Instagram.  Plus, if you haven’t already subscribed to my blog, you should! That way, you won’t miss anything. For joining, you get my personal meal plan, shopping list, and a week’s worth of easy, tasty recipes. https://sarahtalksfood.com/

P.P.S. The book is seriously, for realsies almost ready! We are working with the printer on getting it into your hands more easily, and so the technology is holding me back a bit….but hang tight. It is happening soon!


  • Samantha

    Reply Reply July 12, 2016

    Wow lady ,

    I must say you have little to no class , you must be one of the most ignorant self entitled people to continue on with this bs .

    • Sarah Roberts

      Reply Reply July 13, 2016

      Samantha, that’s just not nice. I won’t give this any more of my energy, but if you read any of my other posts, you might be able to see where I am coming from. I am a writer. I choose to write about my life. I use the lessons I have learned to heal myself and to hopefully help others know that they are not alone. This is my sole intention. I am sorry you don’t see it that way. I can understand why you don’t. But I have no ulterior motives. I simply want to share my life with others after decades of hating myself and hiding myself. Peace.

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