My lovely sponsor (yes, I do have one of those) has pointed out to me that I do not reach out to people nearly enough. Apparently, this is a key characteristic of the alcoholic as a species. And I thought it was just me (another quality of the alcoholic).
I have always been a loner, and I do not reach out for help, ever. NEVER-EVER. That’s part of what got me into trouble in the first place with my drinking; when I couldn’t handle anymore pressure, I did not reach out. I internalized. I didn’t want to bother you. It was me and a bottle of whatever was handy. Taking on the world together.
Now, I just do this unconsciously. I reflect to understand how I feel, because I DON’T EVEN KNOW HOW TO TELL WHAT I’M FEELING. That’s how screwed up I am. I have to stop and ask myself, “Am I angry? Should I be angry about this?” Sometimes after a conversation, I will go on my merry way, then get angry about something the other person said a few days later. By that point I feel silly bringing it up, because so much time has passed. So I just…don’t say anything. Internalizing is usually a reflex one develops after going through something traumatic. I don’t know what my excuse is; I feel like I was born with all the right equipment to being human, but without an instruction manual.
So I don’t know why I do this, other than a fear of other people. Or maybe rejection. I really don’t even want to go into that issue right now, because it feels like unearthing a nest of ill-tempered wasps and I don’t need any more angry insects in my life, thankyouverymuch.
When I was a little girl, my Dad would tell me I was just like the rock in Simon and Garfunkel’s song, I am a Rock. Do you remember it?
I have my books
And my poetry to protect me;
I am shielded in my armor,
Hiding in my room, safe within my womb.
I touch no one and no one touches me.
I am a rock,
I am an island.
And the rock feels no pain.
And an island never cries.
Well, part of that isn’t true, because I cry like no other. But that was my general philosophy; if I don’t let you get too close, you can never hurt me. Nor can you ever be mad at me. What kind of child builds up those kinds of walls?
The kind who gets made fun of a lot, and doesn’t have the equipment to deal with it, perhaps?
Or the kind that doesn’t get that pony for her birthday, I don’t know.
This isn’t to say that all children who endure teasing will grow up to become alcoholic monsters, it’s just to say that this little girl did. The world is a cruel place, and we all develop our own ways of dealing with it. Mine just happened to be a very emotionally unhealthy way. I do not recommend it.
For now, I’m trying to reach out. It’s hard. It feels unnatural. But I guess I’ve got to do it if I don’t want to end up hiding in a closet, cradling my bottle of citron vodka like a precious newborn puppy.
I’m not that person anymore. I can reach out, even if I have to remind myself to do so.
Please, feel free to tell me all about your psychological defects in the comments section. That way I won’t feel like such a lunatic. At least we can all be lunatics together! Hooray for togetherness!
Linking up at the I Don’t Like Mondays blog hop today!