Standing Amongst the Herd
I find it interesting that...
Wait, wait. Just wait.
It seems to me that when I sit down to write something, if I begin with, "I find it interesting that..." then I am setting myself up for a super long, overly drafted, and difficult-to-edit piece of work. Or "work." Or truly, it would be work... hmm.
Anyway, I'm going to give this writing a quick reboot...
... wait for it...
When the fans of this particular blog series are reading it, I'm betting that they are thinking of the original author, Adrienne, and how she shares her wisdom and insight about recovery in such a wonderful, simple way. Perhaps its the way the words flow off of the page, or the way she makes her statements that make it so easy to follow... I don't know how she does it so easily, because I'm not her (at least, I don't think I am... hang on...
... nope! She definitely isn't this guy's ugly mug! ;) )
Anyway, when I click to open the Keep It Simple Silly blog series, I know I certainly think about Adrienne and the way she writes, and it is always a breath of fresh air as she describes the "ah-ha" moments she's had in her recovery.
Okay, so -- this will be my attempt at K.I.S.S.ing this thing, and since Drunkless is doing a new topic-seed thing, I figured I had no excuse. This month's #TopicSeed?
Standing Amongst the Herd
Often one will hear in the rooms, "Get in the middle of the herd and stay there." I didn't really understand that early on. It made no sense. To me, being the terrified-socialite I was(n't), I was too afraid to "just hang out" with the group. Hell, the meeting-after-the-meeting was hard enough for me, and half the time I couldn't do those!
It was always the fear of being picked out, "There's the loner!" "Why is that guy's issue?" and on and on. All, of course, in my head.
I was standing in a room just after a meeting had ended one day, forcing myself to stay, hugging the phone with my face so everyone would leave me alone (which worked 99% of the time, by the way - and if you're one likely to do that, then stop it. it doesn't have to be that lonely, I assure you). As I stood there, a gentleman walked up and rested his shoulder opposite of the same beam I was leaning against, and said, "How you doing?"
"Is this guy talking to me?" I wondered. With a quick glance around the room, it was apparent that his eyes, locked onto my face, meant that he was indeed speaking to ME. "Oh man! Now I have to talk! What do I say?"
"Hello, hi, i'm fine. You?" I raced.
"I'm good..." he said and proceeded to ask me about... me.
At first, I didn't appreciate what he was doing. I was just trying to mingle, and I thought at the time that I had been doing pretty damn good -- so why was this guy bugging me?
Well, time moved forward, and slowly this guy would ask me a few questions, never a lot, never pushy. He just slowly asked a question or two here and there. And I assure everyone -- I didn't make it easy to get to know me. But as time went on, I got more comfortable not only with him, but with being in groups. Period.
(okay, this is my attempt at not overcomplicating my story and sticking to the K.I.S.S. standard now... ready?)
Recently, I went to a convention for folks who's primary drug of addiction (PDoA) was cocaine. Well, that's actually kind of misleading... the "groups" PDoA was cocaine -- as for the members? They were as diverse as the species of animals on the planet. There were probably about 100 to 300 people there, all with various PDoAs -- and yet, there I stood, among them, an alcoholic in a "cocaine world." I didn't really think anything about it at first, but then my sponsor, who happened to be my ride, made a statement that I'd heard time and again, but it hadn't clicked until that moment: "Now THIS is getting in the middle of the herd."
FLIP! on came the light.
Here's an interesting side effect of when the light comes on: We can see. And it's a pretty amazing sight, too, I might add. Well, most of the time anyway. The very next weekend, I found myself at a meeting I'd never been to before. It was a small meeting, and I went there to support a friend who was substitute-chairing for the group. Wanna know what happened immediately after the meeting? I'll bet you do!
I found myself speaking to complete strangers. One I'd seen in the room a time or two, the other I'd never met before in my life, and yet, we sat there conversing like we'd known each other for decades.
Now, I realize that "getting in the middle of the herd" is much more than just gaining the ability to walk up to and comfortably hold conversations with a "stranger," but in this particular case, that's exactly what it meant for me. Previously, I had been so afraid of being put in the spotlight (for whatever reason went through my ill head), so in order to prevent me from having to deal with it, I just didn't do it.
fear of failure
If you're afraid of doing something today that could be beneficial to you, but you don't want to look "stupid" or "imperfect" or "incapable" or whatever the case may be, don't let the fear prevent you from doing it. I assure you, it's worth more sooner than later.
Okay, entirely off topic, I just wanted to throw this out there:
For you Adrienne fans:
- I hope I did her some justice! I'm afraid I may not have, but considering this month's #TopicSeed, I tried anyway. ;)
- I'm not going to tell anyone Adrienne's story, but I am going to say this: She's been a traveling woman! Again! Last I heard, she was having fun in the sun! She's back now I believe, but she's been a busy, busy gal! So no worries over her, okay? She's good.