Inside Out

I had one of those home party things on Friday night and during it, I noticed some things about the ebb and flow of friendship and how it’s changed for me over the last few years.  Hmmm…maybe that should read how I’ve changed for it over the last few years.  Oh well…you can decide for yourself on the syntax.

For instance, one of my BFF’s was there (because I make her come to all of these things).  We’ve been close since she started working for me about 7 or 8 years ago.  We’ve been through a lot of crap in that short period of time but our lives are finally settling into a nice rhythm.  She’s (finally) found her soul mate and will be marrying soon.  We don’t see each other as much as we used to and while I miss it – I get it.  She in “relationship” mode now and is in the process of merging two families to form one unit.  That includes a totally new set of friends who share similar interests and have children of about the same age.  On one hand it makes me sad but on my much more dominant right hand – I am so proud of her and I am loving the life she is building.  It’s like watching your little sister grow up.  Like I said…ebb and flow.  Of course I’m still going to give her shit about it…hehehe.

I have another friend who I met when I sold Mary Kay.  We were very tight at one time and now kind of drift in and out of each other’s lives depending on what’s going on.  Right now we’re “in” but even when we’re “out” we’re not far away from each other.  We’re the same age and very much alike so it’s very easy when we’re together.  That’s nice. 

My third friend who was there I also met in Mary Kay.  Sometimes she’s like a fixture in our home and then she’s not.  It’s okay though because I know she’ll be back (or I’ll be reaching out to her).  Ebb and flow.

In the past, I would worry about changes like this…okay…maybe the word is OBSESS.  I would worry obsess that I’d done something wrong.  That I’d said the wrong thing or done the wrong thing or just plain fucked up in some way or other.  I would reach out not because I missed someone, but because I wanted to “test the waters”.  It felt desperate…hell…it was desperate.  It was sad. 

It was a little bit batshit crazy to tell you truth.

It just took up so much time and energy!  But that’s what happens when you grow up dysfunctional and then try to fix that dysfunction with other things.  When you fix from the outside in.  Whether it was cigarettes, or shopping, or food or booze it was working bass-ackwards to fix what was wrong inside.  You can’t fill up a hole in your soul from the outside – it just doesn’t work that way.  Try filling up a vase by pouring water around it.  You end up with dead flowers and a whole lot of wet.  But pour the water inside the vase and you end up with beautiful flowers that bloom and add life to a room (and yes…I know that eventually they die but so does everything so give me a fucking break and get over it…it’s my analogy okay).

The work I’ve done since I quit drinking (which involved a good hard look at ugly and history and ugly history) has helped me to fix what was wrong from the inside out.  To heal from the inside.  To solve from the inside.  To live from the inside.  As a result I can stop worrying about what I think people think and take them for what they say or what they do.  I can let people love me just as I am and stop trying to change myself so that they’ll love me.  I can just be.  I can let them be.

It’s really quite liberating to tell you the truth. 

And it cuts way down on the dialog going on in my head which goes a long way to solving for batshit crazy.



6 thoughts on “Inside Out

  1. Wow, this really hits home for me! I have been noticing lately that my internal chatter about what my friends think is dying down. It is such a relief. I used to obsess constantly about what was happening- even though NOTHING was actually happening- and then reach out to ‘test the waters’, instead of reaching out for true connection. Thanks for putting words to some of those feelings! I was so insecure when I was drinking… it is amazing to finally be building back some self-esteem. xx

  2. I’m going through that right now. Going to Florida for girls weekend my friend emailed that the pool was warm and the wine was cold. I said I stopped, had to stop, it was a problem. She came back with no problem the rest of us will try to pick up the slack. I love when friends support and accept instead of the ” can’t you have just one” shit. I will have a good weekend.

  3. I haven’t thought about this subject matter in a while now, and I’m so grateful you wrote about it, because it brought a smile to my face.. this was something that used to take up 23 1/2 hours of my day, and has dwindled down to occasional situational obsessions, and even those I can at least recognize that what I’m doing isn’t helping things.

    Sobriety absolutely helped kill this tendency, for me anyway. For years I thought, I can NEVER disclose that I am an addict, because, Good Lord, what would people think? And that kind of thinking spiraled me deeper and deeper down the addiction hole.

    When I finally bottomed out, I really and truly had to let it go… what people thought, what they knew, what they thought they knew, because I had to put sobriety first. And the more people I opened up to, the easier sobriety became…. the opposite of the downward spiral in my last paragraph!

    Thanks, Sherry, for giving me something to be grateful for this blustery morning!

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