Sober since April 6, 2006


Tuesday, January 09, 2007

"fear of people"

Okay, time to spew some discomfort before it goes nuclear:

It's not that I FEAR people. They just freak me out. I don't mix well.

I would rather watch people from a safe distance than participate with them. It reminds me of how the cameraman must feel on National Geographic. He just films the animals from a distance and never interferes. That's my comfort level when it comes to people. Any more interaction than that makes me uncomfortable.

I find comfort in being excluded. When several people plan to go somewhere to do something social, my first impulse is to pretend not to hear them and to leave quickly without being noticed. That's more comfortable than someone noticing me and awkwardly offering an unplanned invitation that they didn't want to offer in the first place. The idea that perhaps they want me with them makes me feel suspicious. Nobody wants me. They just want something from me. (At least, that's what my stupid alcoholic brain tells me ... but I usually know better than to believe it.)

But I seem to do okay with people if given a structured task. At the meeting tonight, I found myself being a self-appointed "greeter". And I just realized that I subconsciously assumed that role at this meeting every week for the past two months. I guess I did it because 1) I can't stand the chaos of an open social setting, and 2) I'd feel guilty if I sat in a dark corner and just waited for the meeting to start. At least in a greeting setting, I'm limited to saying "hi" and not expected to carry on a conversation.

Conversations scare the hell out of me lately. I'm usually either too tired or too hyper to think clearly. For the past couple of weeks, I've been absolutely braindead. Coordinating a smile and a "Hi" now possesses a level of difficulty similar to rocket science.

And I just love it when my sponsor asks, "How was your day?" And all I can think to reply with is, "Fine. How was yours?" Although I know in the back of my mind that there were a dozen different things I need to talk to her about, but I can't remember any of them. Dammit. Braindead. Again.

I'm tired. And feeling kinda stupid :P


Khakra said...

hey wanna hear about my day? i dropped coffee on a woman's fancy shmancy pants in the bus and she slapped me. happens so we work in the same office and I bumped into her 3 times, two times when picking up coffee in the floor cafeteria

Trudging said...

I know what you mean. For me it got better the more and longer I worked the program.

dAAve said...

If it's rocket science, consider getting a job with NASA.
Til then, make notes about things to tell your sponsor.

Anonymous said...

Me too. All of the above. To the letter. Thanks for sharing!

Gwen said...

LOL ~ I relate to all of it!

Gwen ;)

Anonymous said...

I do and feel the same stuff, but I have found that's it's actually a profound desire to WANT to be SEEN and INCLUDED that fuels me to think I want to run the opposite direction. Lush for Life writes about this very thing fairly often.

Mary Christine said...

I think all the things you describe are why humble service is so important. While washing coffee cups, or greeting people at the door, I am not likely to worry about socializing, even though I am in my own way.

Noor Azman Othman GBE said...

Maybe I don't mean much to you but feel free to email me. Who knows, maybe you feel better with an unknown person but can relate to addiction.

Waiting for your email all the way from Malaysia.

Anonymous said...

Your analogy today about the complexity of reaching beyond "hi" has cracked me up to the point of tears!

I look forward to reading more of your blog, I can relate.

Anonymous said...

Maybe you just dont really have a "herd instinct".Lots of us alkies dont.There are a lot of people in AA I just dont "click" with.I seem to gravitate towards the folks who are very serious about recovery and are not afraid to mention their dependence on God.Alcoholics are hard to find.Alcoholics in waiting are everywhere.Birds of a feather,flock together. Seems like alot of groups, after you hang around awhile turn out to be nothing more than some kind of social club.If booze aint there I cant be social,if God aint there I cant be social.Remember the phrase "self seeking by being kind?".Point to ponder, If we are one with God,do we really need to ask for anything?:-P see ya Gods kid

An Irish Friend of Bill said...

if youre tired and sleep deprived your emotions will always be somewhat out of whack nomatter how long sober you are. CATCH UP ON SOME SLEEP. sort out a decent sleep pattern and see if this persists.
once you have sorted the sleep out, start making an effort to speak to a newer person with the aim of trying to be helpful, and see how interacting in that fashion feels compared to what you describe in your post. the way it works with me is that i first practice with new people then kindof work outwards. meaning i use 12th step to reduce various neurosis before practicing with others. I am not very keen on what i call ;pointless conversation'. I only ever feel good when my conversation helps other people. i frequently say pointless things, but my AIM is always to lift peoples spirits by doing so. a worthless conversation for me is when i am not looking at how i can contribute. its all in the motive. if you are trying to be helpful things just work out. but if you ar exhausted then no amount of programme info will help untill you GET SOME REST. you cannot ignore the basic stuff im afraid. if you let yourself get really tired it will be uncomfortable and awkward for you. right, on that note im off to get some kip myself!

recoveryroad said...

"I would rather watch people from a safe distance than participate with them."

Been like that all my life. I can still be like that a lot of the time now. Isolating etc,.

Good post.

matthew said...

Reading your blog really made me think ... I often pretend not to hear conversations about plans being made, get fearful that I will be invited, and resentful when I dont! And also the stuff about the sponsor .... ha ha. I so often hear the words "Im good thanks" coming out of my mouth, when that's the last thing on my mind. Thanks for the identification!