Thursday, August 12, 2010

people

As much as I prefer to "hibernate" and isolate myself at times, I've found in recovery that I really do love people. My day is non-stop people: meetings, phone calls, texts, folks walking into my office, presentations, teaching, blogging, my family at home. I enjoy being around people for the most part, like any other "normal" person.

Who cares, right? Why the heck does it matter or should it matter to you?

Well, back when I was drinking, I was very much afraid of my own shadow, when it came to new people and new situations. I had been a pretty shy kid and adolescent until I found drinking and partying. I felt better when I drank, and then pot came along and really made a difference. However, over time and very subtly, that all began to have the opposite effect on me. I became more and more withdrawn and fearful. I lied more, I did everything I could to blow off situations I wasn't going to be comfortable in. I became very anti-social, and hated being around people because they annoyed me, or they were too dumb, too slow, too loud, too needy. They were encroaching on my space, my "me time".

Slowly over time in AA, I grew more and more comfortable around people again. My confidence slowly began to increase, with less and less of the over inflated ego I had used as a tool to keep people "in their place." I became reliant upon a power greater than me, without losing myself in that Higher Power. I found friends in AA who loved me until I could learn to love myself, and at first it was scary but I was finally able to look myself in the eye in a mirror and not feel overwhelming shame.

This has all begun to come full circle for me now. I cannot go too many places around and about without running into someone I know and having a conversation. And somehow I've managed to pick up an ability to talk to strangers comfortably, to initiate pleasant, interesting conversations with people I've never met. I think I've grown immensely in this area, thanks to God and the fellowship of AA. For years in recovery, I was able to be very outgoing in meetings, where I was safe and comfy. Now, my circle of comfort has expanded greatly to the point where I am comfortable in my own skin wherever I may go. I sure, I get nervous like the next guy. But today its not that debilitating, devouring fear the formerly had crippled me socially and emotionally. For that I am grateful! (Although, in all honesty, it still annoys me when the phone and/or doorbell ring in the evening. A person has to have their quiet time some time, right?)

3 comments:

drybottomgirl said...

Wow great post today. I am always amazed that what I used to draw myself out (drinking) was the same thing that drew me in. Towards the end I was avoiding everyone and everything. Now I lead an AA meeting with strangers! I guess no longer fearing all the stuff that we made a big deal about or thought it was a big deal helps too. Getting out of myself and into other people has helped me grow too. Thanks for sharing this today!

Stark Raving Sober said...

LOL - yes, a person DOES have to have their quiet time! But I know what you mean about feeling more comfortable in your own skin and with other people. Thank you program.

Syd said...

I feel much more comfortable around people now and do like them. I am an introvert so I prefer one on one conversations to a big party scene and small talk.