Rumination: It takes a fair amount of energy to carry on a pleasant conversation. A smile is required, as well as eye contact and listening skills. I possess all of these things, but putting them into action requires a level of effort sometimes beyond what I wish to put out there. Apparently my default setting is “Slumpy”.

When I drank, enjoying a pleasant conversation with other person never occurred to me. I ramrodded my way through every life event, work situation and the like, all with the intent of getting it over with. For a time it felt like people were expecting too much from me, and I would blame others for the undue pressure I put on myself to perform.

I also had trouble making or maintaining human relationships back then. One of the big sticking points was that I couldn’t remember details. Married, single? Kids, no kids? It would take me months to put things like that into a mental folder for future reference. And nothing shows indifference like forgetting someone’s kids. It was all about me and when can I leave and go drink in private. Now? Is now okay?

What’s been going on recently: The strings of escape still tug at me, until I remind myself that there’s nowhere to run to. I’ve also come to realize that the effort isn’t really all that intense; no singing and dancing required. Learning to settle in and let go remains the biggest daily struggle for me, but the miracle of this program is, at least today I’ve got it as an option.

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