I feel that in sobriety, I’ve grown a lot when it comes to feeling secure in my own skin. When I first got sober, simple interactions with grocery store cashiers gave me anxiety; even searching for exact change made me feel uneasy! I was constantly breaking dollar bills because I didn’t want to search for nickles… I had a lot of change in early sobriety (pun intended). Four years later, I can now search for pennies without having a mini panic attack. I also: make small talk much easier, give my order to a server without pissing my pants, share without absolute fear at meetings, and can pass a total stranger on the sidewalk without throwing up. However, the other day, I spent $60 on a twenty-minute car wash, because I was caught off guard and was too afraid to back out.
So today, when I couldn’t muster the courage to eat food in public, I was genuinely baffled. I arrived at Starbucks to do a bit of writing while drinking my magic elixir (Venti Cold Brew, 3 pumps Vanilla, caramel drizzle). I left the house with a messy bun of unwashed hair, in an oversize sweater, wearing zero makeup! I hadn’t eaten all day, so a breakfast sandwich sounded amazing. However, when it came time to order, I internally freaked out. I glanced around for an open table in a hidden corner… There wasn’t one, which meant I’d be forced to eat my sandwich out in the open!? I just couldn’t do it. I don’t know why. I would have been doing something that was completely natural… It wasn’t like I’d be taking a poo out in the open!!!
Here I was in Starbucks looking like I had just rolled out of bed, and horrified of being judged for eating a sandwich! I could hear them now; “Look at that gross girl, eating a sandwich! She isn’t even wearing makeup!!” Suddenly, I felt that people would view me as this repulsive human. It’s just so fucked up. Our minds can be so fucked up. Have I ever looked at someone while they ate a sandwich and thought to myself, “Man that person is nauseating!” Of course I haven’t! Yet, here I sat fully concerned that would be the outcome.
The experience reminded me of how far I’ve come, from that girl carrying all that loose change. Yet also, how much work I still have to do… How much more content I could feel in my own skin. How less self-centered I should strive to be. (Why do I think anyone is going to sit there watching me?) And, how much further I should be pushing myself. Pushing myself out of my comfort zone; until it no longer becomes a fear, only something that comes naturally.
Just when I feel that I’m doing great, my brain reminds me, “Nah bitch, you still crazy.” Thanks for the reminder Brain… I’d hate to go through life thinking that I’m perfect❤️