Most of the bewilderment over what happened with the client has gone now, thank God. I had a really nice day yesterday with my friend and a friend of hers (wine-tasting!) so that helped boost my morale. If anything, perhaps it’s a good thing that I met a manipulative sociopath. It serves as a reminder that I’m really vulnerable, and need to be more serious about SLAA.
It’s great to be on vacation, but I’m looking forward to being home, and starting to meditate again, and attending the zen center. The seven weeks when I took the zen meditation class were perhaps the calmest weeks I’ve known in a long time. They gave me hope that things could get better.
Zen/meditation teaches me not to give myself a hard time and compare myself to others, and that’s something I’m really struggling with while hanging out with my friend. She’s so accomplished (just about to finish her PhD at a really prestigious university) and apparently has an infinite amount of energy to take on a million other tasks as well, and do everything brilliantly. She admits herself that her ability to multi-task and over-achieving personality allow her to avoid thinking about unpleasant things (e.g. she’s now forty-one but has never been able to trust a man again after breaking up with her fiancé about a decade ago), but, hell, I’d rather be her than me. I also don’t trust men, but, unlike her, I get fucking nothing done in life.
It also doesn’t help that my friend just doesn’t understand why I’m the way I am. I’m a talented singer, and writer, but I’m somehow never able to do anything with these talents. There’s just so much fear associated with creativity for me, but my friend doesn’t see that. She just sees that I’m not a “go-getter” like her, and I thinks she considers it to be a personal weakness. It makes me feel so bad that she sees me this way.
Being around her is making me panic about my future, which I wasn’t doing so much when I was meditating regularly. I was more readily able to accept the place I’m at in life right now, and not beat myself up about it. I’m not blaming my friend for any of this, by the way. Being around talented, accomplished people shouldn’t fill me with anxiety and self-loathing.
My friend is also amusingly blunt. I needed to talk about what had happened with the married sociopath, and she was very wiling to listen, and not judge (although she can’t relate at all). I’m very aware that I need to talk about my personal problems a lot with friends. I’m in so much mental anguish that it’s literally torture to keep them all bottled up inside. There comes a point, though, when I recognize that my “need to talk” has passed into the realms of obsession and total self-asborption. I asked my frlend if I was self-absorbed (um, I think having to ask that question in the first place means yes), and she said “Oh, yes, you’re the most self-absorbed person I’m friends with”. She did qualify that by saying that there were other more self-absorbed people out there but that she just would’t be friends with them. Ha!
I was amused by my friend’s honesty, but also horrified because who wants to be self-absorbed?! I can’t stand self-absorbed people. This is partly why I don’t always enjoy going to SLAA meetings because addicts are notoriously self-absorbed. Imagine having to sit in a room filled with many other self-absorbed people!
I’ve been obsessing about being self-absorbed ever since my friend made that comment, and trying to find things about myself that are kind, compassionate and “other people focused”. This of course is highly ironic because only a self-absorbed person would spend an inordinate amount of time worrying about being self-asborbed, and trying to find proof that they’re not.
And only a really self-absorbed person would then write a blog post about the whole thing!
God, is there no end to this?! Will there ever be a time when I don’t obsess about myself and how unhappy I am?
Fellow addicts in recovery: is self-absorption just a personal character flaw in myself, or is it something common to all addicts? If so, does it ever go away?!