Letting it All Hang Out

I’ve always been a heart-on-my sleeve kind of girl, but not by choice. Mostly its been because I had big, big feelings that came out way more than I wanted them to. This caused me nothing but grief as a kid and a young adult. One of the great successes of adulthood for me has been figuring out how to take those emotions and just *sit on the fuckers.* They’ve cost me too much chaos on my life.

Now, most of the time if  I feel awful inside and can put on a mask, or shut my feelings down and pour them in to work. I am rather proud of myself when I do this.

“I’m super good at chewing my feelings in to high density spit balls and flicking them away.”

“Ummmm… good for you?”

I mean, squashing your feelings down is supposed to be a bad thing, right? Only for me it seemed to be the only way to get a handle on storms of depression and anger. I was some seriously umpredictable weather.

So now I’m more even. More predictable. Less chronically angst-y. I feel like a grown up, dammit!

But then I wonder sometimes whether I’ve stunted the whole garden instead of just the weeds. I lack creativity and spontaneity. I’ve learned to fake an energetic, friendly demeanor that makes other people happy, but not me inside. I’m also really shitty at hugging. I’m a bad hugger. And I can’t write poetry anymore.

Lots of times I’ve fantasized about drinking to “let it all hang out,” so to speak. To express stuff without auditing everything I say and feel. I have fantasized about drinking as a way to have “heart-to-hearts” with other people, complete with ooey, gooey emotions that make me cringe when I’m sober. Maybe I’ve watched too many movies where alcohol is involved in falling in love, or epic chick-bonding.

In real life, drinking to bond, at least for me, has failed either because 1) I fall asleep (boring/inoffensive drunk — c’est moi); and/or 2) it gets sloppy and maudlin and no one remembers the details anyway and it just feels stupid in the morning.

Maybe I had this dumb idea that if I quit drinking I would magically feel less lonely? Then again its only been 23 days. How much is my life going to change in 23 days, even if I am being all sober and stuff? I have the patience of a three-year old. The kind of three year old that fails the marshmallow test.

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