changes

Listen to me!

We all want to be heard.  Am I right?

I find myself taking the less than mature adult approach to being heard.  Even if it’s a short story, damnit I want to tell it with all the deets!  I seriously don’t know any other way of telling anything.  So when I’m interrupted every 2 seconds, I just don’t want to tell it anymore.  I throw my hands in the air and say, “oh, just forget it.”  Then, when I receive the inevitable, “sorry, please finish, tell your story,” I give the pouting response, “the story was over anyway” which is a total lie and then I have the nerve to be irritated because I really wanted to tell the story.

Image Courtesy of musiccityschoolcounselor.wordpress.com

Image Courtesy of musiccityschoolcounselor.wordpress.com

I’ve been in a few relationships where I’ve been interrupted time and time again.  Why do they torture me like this?!  I tried to analyze where I’m going wrong because I MUST be doing something wrong here, right?  Maybe it’s me.  (I just made myself laugh.)  I could very well be a poor listener, myself.  I don’t think that’s possible, but I decided to humor myself and really look deep.

I have a bit of social anxiety and I’m self conscious about my ability to hold a conversation, as it is.  I realized that, because I was always thinking, thinking, thinking of the next thing that was supposed to come out of my mouth when the other person was done talking, I can’t possibly be listening to them.  I mean seriously – God forbid I have no response!  How will I endure the possibility of the awkward silence that may or may not come when they are finished talking?  Argh!  It really takes a conscious effort on the listener’s behalf to be a good listener.  Once I put two and two together, I decided to make a change.  I’m not a big interrupter when others are talking, but I could still change how I listen to people; I could give my full attention which is basically what I want.  I want your attention.  (I’m feeling needy all of a sudden.)

No lie, it was hard at first.  My brain wanted to do what it wanted to do but, ironically, I realized that listening to what the person had to say actually made conversations flow much easier.  Mind. Blown.  With my new-found information, I really wanted to share it with everybody who ever felt the need to interrupt me.  JUST STOP AND LISTEN!  I’m a storyteller for pete’s sake.  If you can’t listen to me tell stories, we are never going to work out.  Friendship or otherwise.

Ultimately, some people are just plain selfish when they interrupt.  What they have to say is more important than what you or I have to say.  That’s all there is to it.  Makes you wonder why they stick around if they don’t care what you have to say; if your thoughts aren’t important.

(Even worse, are those who think they can finish your sentence and totally suck at it – but that’s another blog post for another day.)

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A Sobering Thought

I have thought about the scribbles of this post for a little while now.  Some days I want to write just to write and get it out; but, there’s no form, no logic, no point, just thoughts and experiences jumbled together.  It finally came to me this morning as I was making a congratulatory purchase for myself to celebrate 5 months of sobriety.

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[Pause for virtual cheers, hugs and words of continued encouragement.]

In general, I don’t gloat and I don’t like attention…except for a second ago when I waited for your virtual cheers, of course.  I am not someone who pats themselves on the back or tells of accomplishments just to be praised, but now I know that there are exceptions.

I have a sober friend who doesn’t count his days, it just isn’t something he feels the need to do but, in telling me that, I began to feel some guilt (maybe?) that I wanted to share my days.  Why should I feel guilty?? I want to tell the world!  I am proud of myself, dammit!  I want the continued motivation and support and maybe even accountability to keep pressing forward, to confirm that I was doing the right thing and to never look back.  But, is it annoying to everyone else?  I’m not trying to pressure anyone into doing what i’m doing at all but I know it inspires others because they send me messages to tell me so and that makes me happy.  Equally, I love seeing others post about their days because I want to hug them and tell them how awesome they are.  It doesn’t even matter how many days they’ve been sober because, to me, it’s a step in the right direction.

It isn’t easy.  I take my sobriety one day at a time, and sometimes I take it hour by hour, so counting my days pleases me and just because everyone doesn’t count their days doesn’t mean I can’t or shouldn’t.  I am 5 months sober and I still know that it’s the best thing I could have ever done for myself [esteem], my kids, my fiance, and my family.  In the beginning, there were days where I just knew that looking into the future to today was going to mean failure.  I just knew that I would be back to my old ways because I couldn’t see my life any other way.  So, TAKE THAT OLD MARITZA!  I totally proved her wrong.  😉

Oh, and if you’re wondering, “what congratulatory gift did you get yourself?”  Thanks for asking; I stumbled upon a company via a page I follow on Instagram called Party Sober Clothing and I love their mission to “deglamorize drug and alcohol abuse by starting a new trend.”  So i’ve ordered my tank top (below) and I can’t wait to get it!  🙂