I Suck at Asking for Help

So yesterday was… a day. I went to my recovery meeting. Something hit me the wrong way there. Our reading was about recognizing that you are already whole or something like that and I had a tantrum in my head while meditating: “Dammit I don’t feel whole.” Lots of crap rushed in: Missing my kids. Financial insecurity. Feeling like I lack purpose and a place to “belong:” two things I deeply crave. And WINE. Wine in the big beautiful glass that looks beautiful and elegant and helps you to think you are drinking less than you are.

Folks go for coffee after the meeting. For me that’s a loaded proposition. I’ve enjoyed going for coffee but am highly self-conscious about it. I’m always great in structured settings: board meetings, seminars, even recovery meetings, because there are rules of sorts there — social rules that determine who belongs, and how people behave. But I get super unglued in casual settings because I expect to be rejected.

There’s a lot of backstory to that statement I won’t go into, but the deal is I am loathe to be vulnerable in these unstructured social settings at the best of times. So when I’m hurting and close to bawling, forget it. I didn’t go for coffee after the meeting. I didn’t ask for help. I stood on the corner by the coffee shop for ten minutes trying to will myself to just go in there, and I couldn’t do it.

Thus far I have been trucking along pretty well on my own with this recovery business. What was different about yesterday, I think was it was the first time I’ve had a hardcore case of the fuck-its with their accompanying cravings for alcohol where it just didn’t feel like enough to sit and ride it out. It was the first time I realized that I might need people to talk to on bad days.

I guess I’ve had some sense all along that “community is good.” It’s why I sought out a weekly meeting and have been attending. But it turns out I probably suck at doing community in ways that require risk and vulnerability. I loooove being there for other people. Having people be there for me is another matter entirely. It scares the shit out of me.

Clearly I’ve got some thinking to do here…


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