We're in this together

I'm a closet introvert. I don't really come across as an introvert in most situations, because my real self is buried so deep under a well-polished public persona I spent my adolescence and young adulthood constructing. I am in a recovery group at the moment, the first time I've spent any time in a therapeutic group of any kind (or therapy, for that matter). I've avoided them like the plague until now because I haven't built a "person" to "be" in that setting, so I feel awkward and exposed.

I've heard some phrases in the past few weeks that make me want to stand up and walk out. Things like "you can't heal alone in the dark". Right. So the way I've been trying to do things for 30 years is completely wrong? I've always thought of friends as people to have fun with, let your hair down with, let loose with. My favorite memories of my entire life are those times you are literally rolling on the floor laughing together with a best friend. Occasionally, I've been forced to be emotional in front of my friends. And I can't say it's ever felt good or right. I know there are certain things I'll always have to process alone on a hillside with God. There are some emotions that run too deep for words. Beyond expression. Like certain moments of certain songs, the music just so close to agony and so close to ecstasy that you can't name what you're provoked to feel.

I scrub the island to a polished gloss and my mind races through all this. There is something to this being seen by others who can recognize you. Something I can't really deny. Something I can't push away for the sake of maintaining my still, quiet, and lonely soul.

This particular part of the journey reminds me of housework (to be honest, I do so much housework, I'm constantly looking for analogy to distract me from the never. ending. work.) Before you start, it's overwhelming; you don't even want to look at the mess, much less put your hands in it and get started. Then there is the inevitable hopelessness once you start the task and realize it is really as big as you thought it was going to be. But somewhere in the middle, the tide begins to turn, and you see a light at the end of the tunnel, like maybe, someday, the work will be done and it will be clean in here. And then it's done, and you sit back, and sigh, and marvel at the peace of that cleaned up vista. My soul is the same and I can't wait to see things all cleaned out for that brief moment of "I did it!" at the end of all of this.

8 ft. island & 7 ft table - ALL clear!

It's empty in the valley of your heart
The sun, it rises slowly as you walk
Away from all the fears
And all the faults you've left behind

The harvest left no food for you to eat
You cannibal, you meat-eater, you see
But I have seen the same
I know the shame in your defeat

But I will hold on hope
And I won't let you choke
On the noose around your neck

And I'll find strength in pain
And I will change my ways
I'll know my name as it's called again

Cause I have other things to fill my time
You take what is yours and I'll take mine
Now let me at the truth
Which will refresh my broken mind

So tie me to a post and block my ears
I can see widows and orphans through my tears
I know my call despite my faults
And despite my growing fears

So come out of your cave walking on your hands
And see the world hanging upside down
You can understand dependence
When you know the maker's hand

So make your siren's call
And sing all you want
I will not hear what you have to say

Cause I need freedom now
And I need to know how
To live my life as it's meant to be
~The Cave, Mumford & Sons~