Day 11

“Acting real”

Tonight was awesome.  [One of our councilors] gave each of us a card with a hypothetical situation we might encounter on the outside written on it.  Each person had a turn at playing either the “pushy person” or the “assertive communicator.” For the first round I was paired up with [a female group member] and she was supposed to be trying to set me up with her alcoholic sister-in-law for a date. The idea behind the exercise was to teach us to assertively communicate our feelings and instead of making up excuses for why we couldn’t or wouldn’t do something. So as she was pressing me and trying to encourage me to date her “in-law” she was saying things like “shes not that bad” or “you’ll have fun, she’s harmless” and I was growing short on responses. The rest of the group seemed to be just waiting for me to cave in or stumble, and not in a “I hope the pretty one fails” kind of way, just more of a waiting to laugh kind of way. Finally after a few minutes of slowly getting backed into the corner I decide I’m going to swing for the fences and so when [the female group member] says something along the lines of “see? you really have no reason not to go out with her!”  I just bust out “I’m gay.” and the room just falls apart with laughter. Class clown status achieved.

After the one on ones [the councilor] raised the bar yet again and after selecting [a male group member] to leave the room, laid out a scene where we were all friends of his and he was meeting us at the bar after getting out of treatment. We were instructed to be ruthless in our pursuit of getting him him to drink with us and once the table was set up the councilor instructed [the male group member] to enter. For some fucking reason I decide to act just gooned. Like I’m talking Jim Lahey 6 outta 10 dummied. And through out the whole duration of the exercise I would just randomly interrupt people to tell [the male group member] “Hey!…. hey…..I love yoo budht!” and it was met with laughter each time. He stood up really well to the abuse and made the decision to leave the make believe bar saying “It was really good to see all of you but I’m going to head out. This just isn’t my scene anymore.” or something along those lines. Well done sir, well done.

Fuck, it felt so good to perform again and I am reeling with a natural high I haven’t experienced since my high-school drama days. This is what used to make me happy. This was who I was. The idea seems so foreign still. Like someone stricken with amnesia who  finds them self in a beautiful paradise. He loves the man who stares back in the mirror but doesn’t know why. Slowly though, I am remembering why I loved myself and how to love myself again. These small bottled memories that float to my shores remind me who I am. They are pieces of me thrown in to the waves many years ago. Collateral damage it would seem, caused by my attempt to forget those things that burnt me and are still burning me. Because you see,  you don’t get to choose what you forget when you disconnect your heart from your head. I’m just glad the moon gifted me a low tide when those bottles left my hand, so once I retrieved them I could still make it back to shore. Still make it back to me.

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