Going Inside: And Paying Attention When I Am Dying to Look Away

I went to a meeting tonight.

I’m not clear on what I want lately, or even how I feel…yet. But I know I should not be alone for long periods of time. I am super relieved and kind of happy that this open AA meeting is just down the street from me on Sunday evenings. I go, not every week, but regularly. It’s a nice meeting. Lots of people have been members of the group for a long time. And there is a sense of community and close camaraderie that is visible amongst people there. I go to these meetings because…I think because they help me to access something inside me that I keep locked up most other times. My vulnerability… Listening to people’s stories and sitting with a bunch of people that have put their lives, to a large degree, in other people’s hands is a different but welcome reality for me.

Although I began to go to AA meetings because my ex is an alcoholic, and I hoped that it would somehow get us closer to him facing his ‘demons’. But I found myself continuing to go for me…It was to humble me, and to find some empathy and understanding for him… But now, more and more, I know it is a place where I can learn what it means to face my own demons.

I usually like to ignore myself a lot. Ignore and rationalize my fears and resentments. Mask them, hide them, hide from them. Tonight I tried to do that less. I think I am just letting myself do that a little less. I try to pay attention to my feelings and my feelings are mixed but are things like:

– embarrassed to go to meetings: I don’t want people to really talk to me, because I don’t want to be honest with myself about how hurt I am, how mean I am, how angry I am, how much help I need.

– I judge people: “wow, she looks a little worse for wear” “wow, I wonder if his jeans smell, because they look like they do” “wow, I hope I don’t feel like they look like They feel!” “I am stronger than them” “they sound depressing” “they look depressing” “if I stick around here I will actually get more unhappy than I already am” “They are weak to have to depend on others like that…”

And when I am judging, what I am feeling deep down is fear that: – I look like a used, damaged, worse-for-wear old woman; I look so unhappy that no one probably wants to be around me. When people look at me they probably hope I don’t go and talk to them. I feel like I am really screwed up, confused, direction-less. I am probably looking stale and disheveled or tired and pissed off, hunched over and ashamed. I look really unhappy. I will contaminate others will my loser-ness. My bitterness will spread and ruin other people’s day. I probably look needy. Some people can probably see right through me and are chuckling to themselves watching me pretend that I am ok when I am not…

– I go to meetings because I know I need help. I know I can not deal with my issues alone, but I never ask for help when I am there. I think people will look at me like “poor her” or “wow, you’ve really got it bad” or maybe even “look at her, she doesn’t have a problem! what’s she doing here. – Hey! go somewhere else and feel sorry for yourself!” I feel like I might be the biggest fraud. A fraud because I go and then I don’t actually participate. Or because I go and am afraid that someone would think I am just being a weak, pitiful, helpless twit who just wants someone else to feel sorry for her and can actually take care of herself.

How do I start to engage, in a way that I am comfortable with… I need help. It’s almost like that alone is so big that actually getting help feels like a whole new distant step… (And it is, I think – in the 12 steps, we admit first, then we imagine getting help, then we ‘put it out there’ that we need help and depend on the kindness of our hp and others.


So instead of feeling down, maybe I can feel better…knowing that my embarrassment is understandable, knowing that my judgments of others are entirely rooted in my judging me, that I am actually judging me, which means that I am probably not a crap person for all of the things I am afraid I am, and like any human being, I need help. And like any human being, I feel a little ‘off’ for feeling that need for help.

Shantelle is human.

What a concept…


About wonderfulshantelle

Journey To My Wonderful Self

Posted on February 24, 2014, in 12-step, AA, Addiction, Adult Children, codependence, emotional abuse, emotional sobriety, Inner child, Meditation, recovery, Relationship, Uncategorized, withdrawal. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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