Wednesday, July 11, 2012

On Being Nurtured

Letting people nurture me is proving way harder than I ever thought it would be...but I'm still trying.

See I'm the nurturer.  I always have been.  It probably comes from the fact that I'm the oldest in a dysfunctional family who often was the only grown-up in the room - starting practically from the time I could walk.  When you're holding a family together you learn how to give everyone what they need emotionally...except yourself of course.

All of that crap served to make me a warm and loving person - it also served to build a wall around me that allows very few people access.  Since I was never nurtured, I have no idea how to let people take care of me. 

Now that I'm sober and trying to get to the root of my addictive self (you know...why I'm so fucked up), I'm trying to break down some of those walls and not only take better care of myself but let other people nurture and take care of me as well.  After all, it makes me feel wonderful to take care of people, who am I to deny others that feeling?

Except that so far...I really suck at it.

Like when I'm out with girlfriends and I'm listening to all of their tales of woe - that's a very natural place for me to be.  I listen and counsel and provide a shoulder on which to cry or lean or...whatever.  It's what I do and I'm very, very good at it.

But now I'm trying to open up about myself and share and then take the advice and counsel and lean on the shoulders and even cry on them if necessary.

And I really, really suck at it.

As soon as I start to open up I begin to feel uncomfortable...vulnerable...naked.  That makes me start stumbling over my words and worrying about what I'm saying and whether or not I'm saying too much or sounding like a jerk or whining or...whatever.

Funny, that never seemed to happen when I was drinking.  I never had any trouble opening up when I was drinking.  In fact, that's precisely one of the things that I liked about drinking (in the beginning).  It helped me to relax and not second guess myself so much. 

Of course it also helped me make an ass out of myself more times than I'd like to remember; but that's another story entirely.

Then, when I do manage to start sharing and someone says, "Yeah...I know what you mean.  For me it's like...", I immediately flip a switch and I'm back in nurturer mode and I'll do everything I can to keep the conversation focused on the other person.

Because that is where I am most comfortable.  That's my "comfort zone". 

Just like my comfy chair and quart size glass of wine used to be.  Sigh...

I know this is a rambling kind of post but it's because I'm trying to sort through all of this.  I know I need to allow people in and, more importantly, lean on other people more.  But I really, really, really suck at it.  AND it makes me uncomfortable and I am not good with being uncomfortable.

But I'm going to keep trying because avoiding being uncomfortable is what got me into this mess in the first place.


1 comment:

  1. It's understandable that it's hard for you to be sober, especially during the first few weeks. But I assure you that nothing feels more fulfilling than realizing how you managed to control yourself from another alcohol intake. Drinking heavily just to open up isn't a sign of bravery. It's a sign of weakness. Prove yourself that alcohol doesn't control you. You can do it!

    Dinah Gerdts


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