Following yesterday's post, I was thinking (sometimes dangerous for me) about how a perceived feeling of hopelessness can feed on itself, growing tentacles until it permeates every fiber of our being. I've sat in restaurants, which is one of my favorite places to people watch, and observed how alone people seem even when they are with another. Just a few days ago, I watched the blank stares of a middle aged couple, intent on chewing and staring at their mashed potatoes as if they were tea leaves foretelling the future.
I would wonder what these two were thinking. And why weren't they looking at each other, or saying something even if it was a trite comment such as "This gravy is a little watery." Yet, each seemed oblivious to the other, each lost in thought. Unfortunately, I don't think that this is unique. From my own experience, I've been in a room of over a hundred people and felt as alone as if I were on an iceberg floating in the southern ocean.
Such retreating inside my head was never a good choice for me. And that's because I tend to think too much, over analyzing just about everything. I often catch myself talking out loud when there is nobody in the room. Although most of you will say, "okay Syd, you are over the edge and ready for the rubber room", I can tell you that speaking something out loud that is stuck in a "do loop" in my head helps.
I think that is probably because I need to export the stuff that I'm thinking out of my head. I need to get out of myself and stop having a monologue about me. Because when I'm in my own head, oblivious to what or who is around me, then I am alone with the "killer".
This "killer" keeps me isolated, insecure and full of fear. It keeps me unaware, shut down, and will eventually kill all joy that I could experience. So what I see on many faces as I people watch is that they are alone with their "killer". I can see the thoughts grinding in their head as they chew their food. I don't know what their thoughts are, but I can bet that they aren't about adventure, excitement, joy, or spontaneity.
Suffering in silence seems to be a tragic part of alcoholism. One of the astounding things about being in recovery is that all the silent suffering I did, all the intellectualizing, all the hurtful thoughts that I kept inside, did nothing to make the problem go away. In fact, it only made me feel worse. I think each of us has been alone with the "killer", but I don't have to do that anymore. I may still suffer, but I don't have to do it alone.