Jan. 7, 2016

I'm Not Me


“The same thought continually, desire, anxiety.  Yet calmer than usual, as if some great development were going forward the distant tremor of which I feel.  Too much said."    Franz Kafka (Diaries July 6, 1920)


Anxiety always.  The desire to be who I really am.  Today I feel calmer because I was honest.  I felt real.  I said it.  I am not who you think I am.  I am not who I thought I was.  Let me correct that.  I became something I thought I was supposed to be.  Sometime somewhere there was a little girl who thought the way to get love was to act happy, make people laugh...even if they laugh at you...and make them think this comes easy for you.  Well, I came out today.  I am not this person.  I have great social anxiety.  I am not the confident happy person who loves being around people and flitting around as the social butterfly.  Social situations send me over the edge.  I was always a pleaser even as a little girl, but the first time I remember feeling social anxiety was when I moved to Montgomery, Alabama in the Ninth Grade.  Everyone was so welcoming to me; I was the new girl from Florida. My family didn’t have much money which never bothered me at all.  I just became aware of it when I moved this time.  It wasn’t the way anyone treated me; I just realized it.  I didn’t feel good enough. I was invited to a formal dance.  The dress I wore to the dance was a bridesmaid dress several years old I had worn in one of my aunt’s weddings.  All the other girls had new cute dresses and I did not.  I felt so out of place.  I think that was the night that I decided to shine brighter than what I was wearing.  In recovery, I work a 12 step program.  As part of these steps I “made a searching and fearless moral inventory” of myself.  This inventory helped me see who I really am and how it has manifested in my life.  Yes, I was born with the disease of alcoholism, but why did I keep going back for more if I knew what the result of my drinking would be?  I kept drinking because I couldn’t accept that I would end up drunk and I drank because I knew all those hurts and feelings of inadequacy felt happier or numb if I took that drink. In doing my 4th step, I realize so many of my resentments were from the way others perceived me.  But, how can someone see me for who I really am if I am always wearing a mask?  Through recovery, I am finding serenity and I am overcoming fear to be who I am.  Before I would have agreed with Kafka and thought, “too much said,” but just for today I think it is enough said.