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  • Writer's pictureeschaden


I think I have a PhD in this. I do it so well, almost without my knowledge or permission. I long for connection, real and true, but my internal mechanisms are designed, so it would appear, to keep everyone just out of reach. I am working on it and know that this will be an issue that never fully resolves.

It isn’t that I don’t care. It isn’t that people do not matter to me, it is really a matter of safety. And feeling like being too close causes me to become someone other than who I am. The only way I can stay me, is to stay disconnected.

I am feeling it right now. So much. So very much. Like I am holding myself back in several areas of my life. Trying very hard to be who I am and failing. There is so much new right now and I am not sure what to do with it all. It is scary. And when scared I do one of two things: run or run. The only thing that really changes is the direction and how fast I run.

I really wish that I had that “I don’t give a fuck!” gene. But I don’t. And I don’t think after 52 years that I am going to develop it. I care. Way too much, or not enough in the right moments. And I seem to lack the ability to really show up and tell you how I am really feeling. I feel like, and I have felt this the whole of my life, that there is this barrier between me and others. Perhaps I put it there intentionally. Perhaps it is just there. Regardless, it feels impermeable by me. I can’t get out and you can’t get in. I mean, sometimes, you are in, but then without my really wishing it to be otherwise, out you go.

There is a part of me that just wishes that I could just stop. Stop trying. Just accept that connection is painful and hard and just not worth the effort. But my life, literally my life depends on connecting. If I do not connect to God, I am done for. If I don’t connect with other alcoholics, I am done for. And I have connected enough in my life, to see that connection, true, intimate, real relationships are worth the fear, the angst, the agony and the pain when they leave. People are worth the effort.

My two brother like friends left this morning. So good to be with them, to love them, to laugh with them, to enjoy the presence of being together and being in each other’s company. To laugh, to enjoy, to relish even the wonderful parts of friendship stretched out over years and time and distance and space. I am grateful even though I am preoccupied with how much I didn’t connect even though I spent the whole time doing my best.

It is just how it is right now. I feel disconnected and for me that is a dangerous feeling. I want to pull back and withdraw, isolate because it feels way safer than engaging. Way safer than showing up and telling you how I am, how I feel and what it all means. I am here living this life, doing my best while at the very same time, if I am honest, inventory the glaring and stark flaws on the hour. I do not measure up even though I try, and try and try.

I see it. I feel it. And I am sharing it in some sort of effort to do it differently. Some way or manner to be different, to show up for this amazing life of mine and appreciate those who dare move close to me, and relish those who have withstood the test of time. I am grateful for it all, even though right now it is acutely painful. I get to do this. It is all happening to and for me. And I would have missed it all.

This is the miracle of recovery for me, that I can be in pain and still grateful for this life, appreciate it for what it is even when I fall short, life feels like it is falling short. I can still be immensely grateful that I can see my own disconnection, I can share it and I can take contrary action one moment at a time. And perhaps I can find some grace for those that disconnect from me too. I mean, I should really be able to understand where they are coming from, I mean, really. I should. And maybe right there, something new can be born. An appreciation of life, of all that I am connected to and to this desire, this need, to not be connected at the very same time. To create a life that can contain it all, perhaps I already have, and maybe, just maybe, my time is better spent owning, appreciating and loving what is already here.

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