Feb. 3, 2016

Inside Out

“A little calmer.  How needed it was.  No sooner is it a little calmer with me than it is almost too calm.  As though I have the true feeling of myself only when I am unbearably unhappy.  That is probably true too.”  Franz Kafka, Diaries, January 20, 1922.  

When I am alone, I am calm, and I meditate on my thoughts.  I can also do this in a crowded place when surrounded by strangers.  I think this is why I feel so at home in a large city.  I can be alone in a sea of people; this gives me great comfort.  I have been a melancholy person since I was a child. I always felt it, but I never showed it.  I was a happy person on the outside, but on the inside I was always searching, and this made me sad.  The reasons for this are nebulous, but I believe it was because I was the new kid many times in my life.  I didn’t feel that I fit in because I was always coming into established groups who had already cemented their friendships.  I learned to please others, or so I thought, by laughing and appearing happy.  I masked insecurity and pain with laughter and smiles.  I don’t just blame circumstance on this; I am sure I probably have some gene which makes me this way.  In recovery, I have unveiled parts of my psyche and the reasons I am the way I am.  I was born this way, but I learned to adapt to those around me to fit in and my way of fitting in was entertaining.  I admit I lost some of myself by trying to make those around me laugh and be happy.  I forgot to look deep within and take the time just to be me.  When I began drinking many years ago, I drank because I wanted to have fun, then as I got older, I drank because I had to drink.  I drank when I was happy, and I drank when I was sad.  The alcohol then allowed the sad feelings I had not dealt with to surface, and I became unbearably unhappy.  Today I take the time to ponder relationships, my surroundings and life, but I am learning to take those feelings and the morosity of life and replace them with joy and not the fleeting happiness of one who runs around trying to show others a good time.  Many times I am happy just to please others.  Today I am learning to be joyous from the inside out.