I HATE being uncomfortable. HATE. IT. It fees icky and wrong and makes me want to peel my skin off. Yes…it’s THAT bad. I will go to nearly any length to avoid being uncomfortable. Hell, I’ll go to nearly any length to avoid the possibility of somehow getting myself into a situation where I MIGHT feel uncomfortable.
Read that sentence again.
Now read it one more time.
It’s easy to imagine how much of my own life I have missed out on because of this, isn’t it? Trying to get through life avoiding any and all triggers is exhausting. You know what else it is? Imprisoning and paralyzing. The amount of forethought, analyzing, and planning that goes on in a day is mind-numbing. Where am I going? Will I be able to get there without getting lost? Will I be able to get there early enough to sit in my car, pretending to talk on the cellphone, so I can scope out where the rest of the people are going so I don’t go the wrong way and look stupid? Who will be there? Will I know someone well enough to hang out with them to hide the painful awkwardness that is me? Will it be crowded? I don’t do well in crowds. Too many people; too many variables. Too much I cannot control. Will I stick out like a sore thumb¸ or worse yet, a giant? Remember what mom taught me, “Nobody likes the fat kid. No one will want to play with you.” I wonder if it will be too hot or too cold. Too cold is OK, but too warm will cause a problem. Too warm means clammy and sticky skin. I hate when my clothes stick to my skin. If it’s really warm, my face will flush (Oh look, that fat girl’s face is really red!). If it’s too hot for too long, I might even start to sweat. This is unacceptable! (Look at that red-faced fat girl sweating all over the place. GROSS. I can’t believe she leaves her house like that. I’d shoot myself if I was that fat! I mean, put down the donuts and go for a damn walk already!).
By now, I’m nearly hyperventilating and decide that it’s best not to go. It will be too much work. Better to stay in my nice cool house, or go to my nice cool office at work. Phew! Dodged a bullet, I’m sure.
I used to have a solution for all of that noise.
...and lots of it, and when I’m done with mine, you should get me another, or I’ll drink yours too. Yep, that’s right, yours too. I’ll wait until you are otherwise occupied before I drink it though - I wouldn’t want to appear greedy, or rude, or gross. Then, when you come back, if you happen to notice and question where your drink went, I’ll convince you that you already drank it silly and come to think of it, it’s your turn to buy a round. Yep. I’m that kind of alcoholic. I’m also a sober alcoholic. Therefore, I no longer get to use alcohol or drugs to numb myself to the point of not being uncomfortable. Sobriety can be painful as hell, but my only alternatives are jails, institutions, or death (oh my).
So…what does an addict do when the buffer zone between them and the real world is taken away? Well, this addict does what many others do. She finds something else to fill that hole and FAST. Caffeine, nicotine, food, sex, relationships, shopping…it’s a long list. You just keep throwing things into the giant hole, hoping that something will fill it up and make things feel ok again. The bitch of it all is that no matter HOW MUCH of that stuff you throw in that hole, it doesn’t fix it. Not only does it not fix it, it always makes things worse. Damn it. A lot of times we end up fat, destitute, and alone. Alcoholics do not die gracefully and it’s never pretty. We kill ourselves slowly and take other people down with us…even if we don’t want to. That’s how we do. But…
…and thank goodness there’s always a but..
There IS a solution. There is hope. I’ll even tell you about it.