Saturday, October 09, 2004

Gearing Up To Do Day Two: Fear and Self-Loathing In Chicago

(c) Andy Ternay
  • Cleansing the hotel room.

  • Right. So the press is calling debate number two a tie. Bullshit. They just want a close race.

    I am feeling slightly better. I drank something like a half gallon of tangerine/grapefruit juice last night. Seems to have helped. I also went and got some sleep. So, better and better.

    I realize that I am anti-social at work events like these. I essentially do my duty and no more. I don’t hang out with my coworkers, I don’t go to after show parties, I don’t really socialize. Invariably on Saturday I feel a little out of place because my fellow exhibitors have seized the opportunity to interact, network and form bonds. I don’t do any of that.

    First, most of the bonding involves alcohol and I just don’t even do that scene anymore. From my perspective, it might be downright dangerous to me to go hang out with drinkers. Even if I am in fit spiritual condition, how many times would I say no if offered drinks repeatedly? Especially if I am out of town, amongst strangers and feeling out of place; after all that is what I used alcohol for—to fit in.

    My next challenge is that in my eyes, I am representing a company that essentially sucks. We don’t advertise, our brand name sales are pitiful, we have no distributors; even our labels (which we brought to a trade show to display!) are yellowing with age. Our booth is crammed to the hilt with crap and looks like a garage sale. Mike, my coworker, and I worked hard to create a clean, professional image for our company. Then, we take all the discontinued items and shove them haphazardly into the booth. So much for clean and professional. I want to be proud of the work I do, but that ain’t gonna happen.

    I have one more reason, but I am hesitant to talk about it. I am scared what you might think of me and that my wife would see it and have her feelings hurt. It is a simple double-edged fear that contributes to Andy the anti-social. What if a woman found me attractive and flirted with me? I am afraid I would be tempted and that I might not pass the test. Although, now that I am sober, that is much less likely to be a real issue—I now think I would pass that test. Now we get to the deeper fear: what if no one found me attractive? No one even wanted to talk to me? Any of you ever have these fears? I forget who the country singer is who sings that song that goes “am I not pretty enough?”

    I don’t want be with another woman. I just want to be wanted. I’m actually not even that picky, if guys wanted to hang with me, that would be the same. I’m afraid that I am not good enough, not pretty enough, not smart enough, not funny enough. I am afraid people would turn their backs on me. That sounds stupid until you realize that my mother and sister have already done this to me. I think that shook me right down to my core.

    The fact of the matter is simply this: I still am not comfortable in my own skin on my own. Not in a strange place with no friends and no support group. I feel horribly alone and start to think people think I am stupid, or that I am not good enough, or something.

    WK always eats at the same diner. In fact we are staying at the hotel that is attached to the diner. It is not bad, but when I am in Chicago, I want pizza, I want to have something that I wont have in Texas. Not a chance. Not a single chance since WK is driving. So, I have eaten at this diner three times this far, I will eat there this morning. I will probably eat there seven times before I leave. That sucks. I hate it, but oh well, I cannot control it.

    Last night, after three years of waiting, I got an email telling me I could apply to Ord Brighideach. That is so cool. I will be a flame tender for the Goddess Brigit. I had given up on it, but they remembered me. I am grateful.

    Good morning Goddess Brigit, my name is Andy and I am an alcoholic. I have been kept sober since Imbolc 2001 by Your grace and Your grace alone. I’d like to take this moment to thank You, my Higher Power for this daily reprieve. Today is a good day to be SOBER.

    Please, Great Mother, be with me today, all through the day, and help me to stay sober all day long. Show me Your will for me and grant me the power to carry that out. Thy will, not mine, be done. Thank You, Blessed Be.