[In my ears: The Man Who Never Lied, Maroon 5]

Well, wrote a ton of shit and now it’s lost in the ether forever. Che fucking sarà, sarà. My brother heaves the greatest sighs of anyone I’ve ever met. Right now I wish I could sigh that thorough-like and heavy.

I slept 6-7 hours last night – pleased. Had coffee, well tea in my case, hate coffee, with my dear friend Patrick after my fav AA meeting. He’s mid-60’s and every time I say that I can see everyone’s wheels turning… he’s obvi a lecherous old man. But he’s a gentle soul (gentle with a fabulous dark, sarcastic streak, often but not always self deprecating). One of those people who are so smart it’s painful.

I went to school – the 1st time – with a lot of socially inept geniuses so his reticence isn’t quite as disconcerting as it could be. I’m trying to stay on top of my own rampant social anxiety every second I spend existing outside the confines of my apartment, and initial conversations with him were almost unbearable. I’m pretty damn good, ok really damn good, at keeping a conversation going but it’s pure torture on the inside. Exhausting. Without even meaning too I strategically divert attention away from myself and my conversation partner(s) get(s) drawn into telling me all kinds of shit.

Did some dating and I kept getting annoyed because all these guys did was talk about themselves, but it was really me instinctively hiding in plain sight, not offering up anything in return. Well, offering up just enough to trick them into believing that it wasn’t actually a one way conversation. Knee-jerk manipulative self preservation instincts that do me a grave disservice. Patrick was un-draw-out-able for a long time in the beginning. Totally worth it in the end tho. We talked for a good hour today and I can tell him all about my bipolar and my writing, two things I’m not comfortable talking about with very many people. Except anonymously to total strangers on the internet. That’s easier. Even with Patrick, who I feel as safe with as anyone else, I have to make a concerted effort to talk about myself. Not that there’s nothing to say, there’s a lot I want to say and with him I actually say most of it. It just feels profoundly selfish to have a perfectly normal conversation.

So now I feel like I have to be both brilliant and unflappably PC with this blog thing but sacrificing authenticity to pay homage to fear completely destroys the whole point. I’m such a fucking chameleon it’s really hard for me to be consistently myself. Clarify: I’m always some version of myself but rarely do I let enough thru to feel any satisfaction. I’m  chock full of (brilliant) things unsaid. I’m constantly making calculations in my head because God forbid someone and I differ on our opinion of the weather because that’s way too close to outright hostility. I can’t handle a scowl, I can’t handle the lack of a smile, much less argument or conflict. It’s a visceral lightening bolt of fear. I just roll over and offer up my belly, don’t even try to assert myself because I’m terrified and all wide-eyed and frozen like a child.

It’s trauma from a childhood where we were required to pretend everything was perfect but pressure can only build for so long before someone cracks and when my parents cracked it wasn’t so much a crack as a massive explosion. To my small self – armageddon. So I lived desperate to feign normalcy as diligently as possible because the only other alternative I was aware of was veritable catastrophe. These days I think the most poignant rage I feel towards myself is when I fail to stick up for myself for fear of the barest whisper of contention. Even over stupid shit, it is a horrible, horrible feeling of loathing that’s new to me and I have IBS so I’m very intimate with bad gut pain but this kind of gut pain is worse. I’ve betrayed myself. Disgusting. Most of the time myself telling me that I am worthless is just on a low burn. I’ve got to ignore it to be able to, you, know, go on living.

I think that’s pleeeeenty. Grateful to be sober, sane and safe today. Everything on top of that is just really fucking sweet pink icing. With sprinkles.

*image not my own