Finding My Voice
It has been pointed out that I have not been myself lately.
Side note: this is never a compliment; no one ever says “You’re not yourself,” and means it in a good way. Which, now that I think about it, is probably a good thing.
So I’ve spent some time reflecting on what could possibly be wrong. There is nothing that stands out for me, a few smaller items, but what human being doesn’t have a few anxiety-producing, frustrating or negative-in-some-other-way issues in their lives?
So I look back to the past few days and examine my behavior, and the corresponding thoughts rolling around my head.
And here’s what I’ve come up with: I am finding it more difficult than usual to express my opinions and my feelings.
“More difficult than usual” is a key phrase, as I have always found it difficult to express opinions that are important to me personally, or that I fear will be controversial. I. Am. Non-confrontational. This cannot be overstated, when it comes to me. So if I mentally project that what I am going to say may upset you, or rile you up, or you simply won’t agree with it, then, more likely than not, I’m not going to say it.
Certainly not the healthiest mindset, a fact of which I am growing more and more painfully aware.
So, back to the past several days… I have had a few incidents, minor in nature, but incidents nonetheless where I had an opinion, but felt unable to express that opinion. The variety of reasons that I felt unable to express myself would take entirely too wrong to explain, but the bottom line is: I feel frustrated that my opinion is not being heard.
And it’s my 12-step program that’s tripping me up!
Two different well-known phrases have been line-dancing through my head of late, and I finally realize that I am having an issue with them:
1. Restraint of pen and tongue
2. Clean up your side of the street
In case they are not self-explanatory, the first talks about the idea of prudence in communication, rather than giving into impulse, flying off the handle, and saying things that I will later regret. The second is the idea that the only actions that I can control are my own, and it is not my place to judge the actions of someone else.
Both very sensible ideas with which I find no fault. On the other hand…
As someone who organically over thinks before I speak, the restraint of pen and tongue may very well be doing me a disservice. One incident in particular stands out, where I, at long last, voiced an opinion, and that opinion got shot down quickly and strongly. Oh no, confrontation! The problem (as I saw it) was that the person in question misunderstood my position. But all I’m thinking is, “this is what you get for speaking up,” and I basically let it go.
This has happened more than once this week, and I realize that I am the common denominator, so I need to figure this out.
Finding the balance between expressing yourself in a healthy way, setting boundaries with the people expressing their opinions to you, and not going off-the-rails crazy, is a challenge… and that is an understatement.
But, what the hell, if I could stay sober for 643 days, then surely I can figure out the solution to this problem!
Halloween, adorable kids in costumes, and loads of candy… need I say more?
Posted on October 31, 2013, in Recovery and tagged Addiction, Alcoholics Anonymous, Arts, confrontation, Country and Western, Dance, finding your voice, Folk, Line dance, Performing Arts, Recovery, self-development, self-expression, Sobriety, Twelve-Step Program. Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.