Daily Life

Act your age: Let others see in, so you can learn to listen

By DL

I'm sure everyone is tired of hearing about the campaigns and elections, etc., so I'm not going to go there.  Drunkless isn't about that anyway. What Drunkless IS about, however, is this:

I started doing this over a year ago, to learn how to express myself, to talk, to get things out of my head.  I wanted to open up and begin to talk, but I wasn't sure how to do it -- so at the advice of my counselor, I began writing and emailing to her, and this began a beautiful thing for me -- I began to learn how to feel.

Now, I've touched on that before, so I won't repeat it or go into details at this time -- perhaps we'll discuss that in depth another day.

However...

... Drunkless was originally intended to be about my daily life.  What I deal with on a daily basis, what I've learned from it, what I've failed at and yet made it through, what my victories have been and how I've achieved them.  And I believe that, for the most part, I've stuck by that.

We have changed drastically from those days, though.  I mean, for instance, going from me as the sole blogger to an additional five, plus guest bloggers!  And that's not mentioning the podcasting (with many more arms stretching, I might add).  These are GREAT THINGS!  More people are able to tell their stories!  Each story could very well be THE LIGHT that helps another person find their way out of the trap they've hopelessly found themselves lost in!

But all that growth means there is more work.  More work is okay, it's good -- Left Side and Right Side have less room to argue, so it's been rather peaceful as of late... in comparison, anyway.  But more work means less write.  Less write means less expression.  Less expression means... ya.  means closing up.  Believe me, complacency follows contentedness very closely, and if I'm not careful -- well, let's just be reminded that the Beast is in the shadows with Left Side and Right Side, pumping iron.  How do we get the Beast out of the shadows? 

One of our mottos (the very one on our home page at this time) came from my first sponsor, who said it to me time and time again:

"You've got to let others see in so you can see out."

I used to think that was a stupid saying.  It didn't make sense to me at the time.  But if I were to let others see in, it must mean that there's light seeping in from somewhere, otherwise, there'd be nothing to see... hmm... maybe it's the door actually opening ... it ties in so beautifully with what I had started out doing with Drunkless and the blog spot I'd taken to writing.

I was talking to a friend the other day as we sat in my truck for nearly two hours.  We discussed all sorts of things, and among them was "act your age."  Well, no -- he wasn't telling me to act my age, but what he was doing was making a statement that we can't act any different than we are if we're not shown how to act different, or if we're not told how to act different, or we haven't experienced the need to be different.  We do what we can with what we know, and what we don't know, we don't know.  That's neither "good," nor "bad," it just is.  So we have to learn it somewhere.

I've written it before, I've said it before, I've processed it over and over again -- every day is a training day for me.  I may not know what for, and sometimes I get tired of the same damn lesson over and over, but usually, I learn it.  And that day in the truck, I began to learn what my sponsor actually meant.

  1. Not only did I begin to open up to someone besides Left Side and Right Side
  2. I also genuinely began to listen to what was being said to me.  I was beginning to pay attention, comprehend what was being said, and give proper feedback.

I was listening to listening, not listening to react.  Once I heard what was needed, I could then build a response.  This created a more meaningful conversation, a stronger connection, and began to open my door

I had actually let someone else see in.  In turn, I could now see out.  I no longer held that conversation in anticipation of either 1) defending myself, or 2) making sure they knew I had a good answer.  Instead, I could simply talk with neither judgment, nor fear of being judged.  This very act opened me up even wider, and I found myself talking and telling him things I swore I'd never tell anyone -- no way!

And then -- I realized it and slammed the door shut.  Stupid alcoholic fears!

I never said I that the heavens opened and angels sang and birds and butterflies and rainbows and unicorns flooded my life.  Only that I had a brief glimpse into a realization that by letting others see in, I could see out.  And "out" scares me, even still today.  It's not as bad as it was back then, but it is still there.

But now -- now I cannot unknow what I know.  Once again, I find myself seeing the light.  I felt its warmth. . . my soul is craving that again.  All because my "ah-ha" moment of listening to listen, and that very act enabling the speaker to do the same, which in turn caused me to open up even more and let him see in... so I could see out. <sigh>  Trust me, it's a cycle... I know this now.

Speaking of which, now that I know it, I cannot unknow it.  I now understand how that works, and I can't erase the fact that it did.  I guess in a sense, I've grown up a little more.

Damni it.  Does that mean I now have to act my age?  

(oh man, I'm tired -- but I am going to stick to my guns on this blog -- i'm writing it and publishing it as it is, because it is how I originally intended to do this anyway... if someone can relate to another person's daily struggles or see their joys, maybe they can become hopeful, too.  okay, moving on...)

THIS is what the Daily Life blog has always been intended to be.  Just writing about my day, or week as it now stands (when I can).  Even if it is written poorly.  I just get too busy nowadays to have the time for daily writing, but I still write.  And I will continue.  Maybe someday, someone somewhere will read the struggles or ah-ha moments I have, the victories and revelations that have made my life both easier and happier, or stronger and more resilient, as I fight through the tough times with someone but become more self-accountable and independent; and hopefully, they will find HOPE for themselves.

I'm going to bed now.  it's nearly 3:00 AM.  Which brings up another topic I seem to have troubles with: Self Care and Rest.  Ugh.  Perhaps next week...

Namasté

DL