Week 7: Disappoint

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It’s not Sunday, I know, and my weekly post for this blog is long overdue. With my trip home to South Dakota, and then resettling back into normal life, I’ve had few opportunities to write. When I did manage to open a fresh post, the words came out cluttered and chunky. The topic I had planned to write about this week is one I do want to share, but it will have to wait until I get the thoughts into some kind of cohesive format. So, for nine days, there has been silence on this blog.

I hate disappointing people. It’s my greatest fear in everyday life and panic over whether or not I let someone down can consume hours of my day. Is she mad at me? Did I say the wrong thing? Is there more I should have done? I’ve made other people’s happiness my personal responsibility, and it’s a never-ending cycle of torture when not every single relationships in my life is light and friendly. All I ever wanted from life is for people to look at me and say, “She was a kind, loving person. She was one of the good ones.” And, a person who is worthy of such praise just doesn’t let people down.

Life doesn’t work that way. We do let people down and they do us. I let people down, probably more often than I care to recall. I must cope with the fact that I disappoint and that I am disappointing at times.

Drinking helps. Under the milky haze of craft IPAs, the constant chatter about how others see me dies down. It’s crowded out by a fake confidence birthed from some place that only alcohol can access. With a glass in my hand, I only have to answer to myself.

Of course, util the morning, when the drink has worn off and I am scrambling to remember the things that I said or did and then analyzing how those around me the night before may have interpreted them. I’ve spent whole days in bed not hung over but crippled with guilt and shame from the the way I acted towards others while drinking.

I don’t have drinking now to drown out the voices, instead I have to listen to them and gulp them down. Let them swirl within me and not react. I am a fixer and any time I think I have disappointed someone I try to fix it, often aggressively. That often makes it worse.

But I am exhausted from caring. Maybe it’s that 32 years of trying to be everything to everyone has finally caught up to me or that I have less patience with bullshit emotions in sobriety, but I am over feeling like I need to pull myself together to make everyone else happy. I am removing everyone’s happiness off of my to-do list.

I disappoint and I am a disappointment, not all the time, but definitely sometimes. Still, I would rather disappoint than pretend.

The hardest part of sobriety this week: Wanting to drink away stress.

The best part about sobriety this week: Having the self-control not to give into that want.

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