Thursday, October 24, 2013

And another thing...

Something Furtherton said in a comment to my last post has really jump started my brain.  How do "normal" people handle stress, angst, identity, etc.  I know for a fact that 99.9% of the population is not "normal" but I also know that there are degrees of normal and I wonder how those, on the upper end of the scale, handle life.

For example, I work with a woman (whom I adore and has become a real friend and is getting married and moving away soon...oops...I digress) who reacts very differently to our boss than I do.  I take things like mood, attitude and distribution of duties personally.  She does not.  My brain immediately goes to, "Uh oh...what have I done wrong this time."  Whereas her first reaction is, "Uh oh...boss lady is in a mood.  I'm just going to get out of the way."  She never makes it about her unless someone actually tells her that it's about her.

This fascinates me. 

I have another friend who used to be my Mary Kay director.  She and her husband have existed for many, many years on salaries from direct sales and a family owned business.  It's not a 9-5 kind of existence and they have no guaranteed income every two weeks.  No stellar benefits package.  No 401K.  And yet, they are happy.  They've recently sold their home and are renting until they figure out what they want to be when they grow up.  The family business has failed and he's taken a retail job.  She's left Mary Kay and moved into another direct sales business.  And did I mention that they are happy?  They've put two kids through college and been married for over 30 years. 

This also fascinates me.

My best friend in the world (my sister from another mister) has been working at the same company for over 20 years.  Her husband has been at his job for about as long.  They don't stress about what they want to be when they grow up.  They go to work.  They collect a paycheck.  They love each other and their family.  They are normal.  They are happy.


So this brings me to the crux of this post.  Act 3 Scene 2 - the turning point.  Which came first - the not normal part of me or the alcoholic part of me?  Am I an alcoholic because I'm a mess?  Or am I a mess because I'm an alcoholic.

Let's look at the facts:
  • I have a predisposition to alcoholism because of my family.
  • I am also an Adult Child of an Alcoholic (ACA) which messes with people big time.
  • I am also a child of a woman with undiagnosed Narcissistic Personality Disorder - that really fucks with people.

As a result I am:
  • A Type A personality
  • A control freak who likes to be in charge and take care of EVERYTHING until I am drained, exhausted and cranky.
  • I have low self-esteem and self-worth.  ( is what it is you know?)
  • I am borderline obsessive compulsive about some things from needing my kitchen counters to be clear to starting projects and insisting they are worked from beginning to end in one session (which is why the hubs hates it when I paint the house).
  • I have a need to be loved and I nurture everyone and everything.  This isn't necessarily bad except that it includes some people-pleaser tendencies which can make me ignore what's important for my life and those I love.
  • Plus about a million other neuroses that are too numerous to list.

Now for the ALL alcoholics have these same tendencies or do people with these tendencies all have the potential to be alcoholics?

For me, I think it's a little of both.  Some of it's hard wired from birth.  Most of it's a result of being raised by broken people.  The good news is that I've forgiven the broken people and I'm working on forgiving myself (which is weird because if I read back over this post I really don't have anything to be forgiven for...ugh!).

For now I have to close because all this circular thinking is giving this very linear person a brain cramp.



  1. Peace and happiness definitely appear to stem from perspective more than circumstance. But damn, that elusive ability to take things for what they are rather than interpret or own or otherwise make it all about me. I'm sure that's what drove me to drink in the first place, and I'm hoping awareness of this is an important first step. Great thought-provoking post, as always.

  2. Acceptance. It strikes me those that accept their situation are the ones who are happy and content which way round that is I don't know.

    Oh your list my experience is that a lot of alcoholics would tick a lot of those in a test. But is that more than normal? Don't know.

  3. I've often wondered, myself, which came first: the crazy or the alkie/druggie? I think that at this point in the journey, I'm going to have to say the crazy came first. I'm not even sure why, except that from a very young age I knew there was something "not quite right" about me. Maybe that's just a result of coming from a disfunctional family? Or maybe it's just the truth. Either way, today I am happy more often than not, but sometimes it's not by much. :) Thanks for sharing.


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