My Recovery: I’m Confused
TRUST ME, THIS IS GOING TO BE GOOD
So the consensus is in: I am antisocial, am not integrating well into the community, and I am causing a lot of tension within my Treatment Program Community. In four words: They Don’t Like Me. And I mean this is the case with almost all of the 18 guys, sheesh. The 75 year old in his 60th Program is exempt. This, after I met with my “treatment” team. Super…
There is a bi-weekly meeting of the “treatment” team. In it there is a Psychologist, Group Leader, Psychiatrist, and the Program Director. And they really want to help. I met with them today. As a result of the incident I described earlier, apparently I have exceptionally poor interpersonal relationship skills. And don’t you know? I exhibited some of them throughout my “treatment” meeting.
Fuck, and here I was thinking I just wasn’t wanting to be part of a greater community of chronic relapsers (oh, and they didn’t like that statement I can tell you!). I’m confused! Something must be amiss; they are taking it seriously enough to require drastic changes on my part. They want me to associate more. Jail was a cakewalk compared to this cluster fuck…Oh, gosh, there’s that isolating theme again, gasp!
They want me to expose myself to everyone–not literally lol–they want me to ask them for feedback as to why I am so disliked. They want me to “open up” and take risks. Yeah, just what I want to do: listen to a wet-brained meathead list my character flaws. They actually suggested I watch more tv with them, as a way of showing community “cohesion.” Come again? That will win me personality points; talking during the holiday commercials. What were they thinking?
Fantastic. Just what I need while I am going through my first recovery in over 35 years. Why do I not want to associate with these other lost souls? Why do most of them aggravate me? Why do I not like many of them? Granted, most of my life folks have said that, when they first met me, they thought I was a complete asshole. Huh, and now I am swimming in a fishbowl microcosm of over chewed Group Therapy.
Do I lack empathy? Do I just not give a shit? I do not know. I know the thought of hanging out with most of these guys just doesn’t appeal to me. I don’t know why, but I just don’t care for many of them. The Psychiatrist suggested it is out of fear. My childhood trauma is on high alert when I am faced with uncomfortable social situations; therefore, I frantically build and repair walls, thereby protecting myself from perceived threats. Well, I did get the shit kicked out of me and other such childhood goodies. Well, Alrighty then…
Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a condition characterized by difficulties in regulating emotion. This difficulty leads to severe, unstable mood swings, impulsivity and instability, poor self-image and stormy personal relationships.
The other aspect of my personality that they volunteered their advice freely on, was this: I do not respond well to any form of advice, constructive criticism, feedback. Well, duh! It probably has something to do with the fact that “I really don’t give a fuck what you have to say.” Just kidding. Not. Am.
Apparently, I immediately go into the defensive, justifying my behaviors and loudly proclaiming how misunderstood I am. Apparently, it’s written all over my face “Shut The Fuck Up!” I do feel as though people don’t have a fucking clue about me when they freely “offer” their unsolicited advice, “feedback,” opinions. Therefore, I am not particularly interested in listening to them; like, not even for a minute. Oh boy…
Well fuck me. This is all I need. Now that I am not drinking, and now that I am not taking any psych meds (it’s been 192 days on both fronts), guess what I have to do? Face my emotions and feelings. Super. The problem is, how the hell am I supposed to do that “on the fly?” What, I have to play kiss and make up with a bunch of…I won’t go there.
At least I am not technically “antisocial” see?
Antisocial Personality Disorder is specifically a pervasive pattern of disregarding and violating the rights of others and may include symptoms such as breaking laws, frequent lying, starting fights, lack of guilt and taking personal responsibility, and the presence of irritability and impulsivity.
But I do not seem to have the social graces most of these guys seem to exhibit. How come these guys are so good at it? I don’t associate in the house. Catch me in group, I’m feeling ya bro. I’m full of love and support. But when the day is done, I’m actually sick of looking at you all.
The problem is I can’t stand small talk. There’s a lot of sword swing around this joint. I’ll keep my in its sheath, thank you very much. I can’t stand sitting around watching tv mindlessly. I would rather workout, read, blog, listen to my favorite tunes, meditate, take walks. Does that make me a bad person? Apparently it does. That sucks!
Well, dear readers, what’s a poet to do? I can’t relate to my fellow man at the level this Program requires of me. I just want to do my recovery my way. Is it a defect of my character to think I really don’t need these guys? I am completely sick of listening to them all. Shit, empathy is at least still a word in the dictionary. That counts for something, right? I am not heartless, you know.
Now This Can’t Be Good:
Paranoid Personality Disorder: Cluster A comprises paranoid, schizoid, and schizotypal personality disorders. Paranoid personality disorder is characterized by a pervasive distrust of others, including even friends, family, and partner. As a result, the person is guarded and suspicious, and constantly on the lookout for clues or suggestions to validate his fears. He also has a strong sense of personal rights: he is overly sensitive to setbacks and rebuffs, easily feels shame and humiliation, and persistently bears grudges. Unsurprisingly, he tends to withdraw from others and to struggle with building close relationships. The principal ego defence in paranoid PD is projection, which involves attributing one’s unacceptable thoughts and feelings to other people.
Hmmmm…that’s a bit scary.
I seem to prefer the coldness of a computer screen, a phone screen, over genuine human interaction in this place. Well, if I believed Bill the Babysitter–the main dude who sits in the office all day reigning supreme–because he recommended a book to me today after group. Yup, mighty nice of him. I was like “How thoughtful.” He said, there’s a really good book I think you should read. Well I was all ears. He said “Alone Together.” “And Rob,” he said deadpan as he hustled out of the conference room, “It has everything to do with what you are doing right now.”
I was texting. Here I thought he was going to recommend something on Buddhism, Eastern Philosophy, etc–since he knows I am into that sort of thing. He’s the same guy that lit into me for always being on the computer wasting my time. However, to his credit, he did later retract that when he saw that I was posting something from his AA class. But no, the book was not even in that same hemisphere. When I got back to the residence dorm, I looked it up. WTF! Subtitle of said book? “We expect more from technology, than from each other.” Well, that explains everything.
People also hate me because I am either on the phone or the computer? And I thought it was the fucking slamming door! R U Shitting me??!! And just to set the record straight, trying to bring my dream girl back from the dead has NOT A THING to do with his lame ass suggestion of a book. THAT effort WILL ALWAYS prevail (the effort to get my girl back). Again, I get this kind of feedback on the regular here. Is it any wonder my nonverbal communication cues scream “Get the fuck away from me?”
But I digress! Back to the drama. So, I have a few friends–but no really true friends. I just don’t seem to want to integrate into this community. It’s my first go around with Group Therapy, being in a group living setting. And I can tell you empathically: It sucks! If I’m this spiritually, emotionally, mentally broke please, cosign a loan for me! Damn…
This is not going away. This is going to be a problem moving forward. I am supposed to transition from this 6 week program to a 3 month (!) program within the next two weeks. Shit. What am I going to do then? I am so raw I just don’t want to deal at any deep level with these guys. But, is this going to seriously impede my ability to remain sober for the long haul? Apparently they think so, but I do not. What am I missing?
Am I just not in with the right “peeps?” These are not my kind of guys. But, lo and behold, I seem to be one of them? I don’t bother anyone (well, apparently I do in my reactions to people. I think they called me “dismissive.”) I stick to myself. I am not very receptive to other people’s opinions of me, particularly when I think they are either not coming from a good place, or I think they are full of shit, or I just don’t give a fuck. Is that bad?
The Program Director said I hold a lot of power. And, because I have not integrated into the group, I am somewhat of a mystery and, therefore, somewhat of a threat to these folks. Huh…so is that why they got so pissed over the fucking door? I must have some serious issues if I can’t at least play nice. I can’t “fake it until [I] make it.”
Unless I do some serious changing–and I really am both unwilling and unknowledgeable enough–I’m going to be in a world of hurt, or worse, tossed out on my ass with no place to go. What the hell am I going to do? This is completely new ground that has recently been uncovered. And now, gentle readers, you know more about me than you probably should, lol.
And I don’t like it one bit…and, I kinda, sorta, don’t really give a fuck. Stay tuned (how funny is that statement, considering?), this should be interesting. Funny, I’ve been on the computer working on this for well over an hour. All the while, 90% of the guys are filed into the two tv rooms. I wonder, who is getting the benefit from this time the most? (Hand raised, pick me! Pick me!).
PS: Your opinions, feedback, tips, hints, observations, suggestions are not welcome! Didn’t you just read what I wrote? Just kidding, really, I am. After all, I like all of you! So let’s all sing:
Let’s include a philosophical GROWTH quote just to put a cherry on top of this thing, shall we? This will do nicely:
Conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth. John F. Kennedy