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.