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August 14th, 1981
I sit at dusk outside the laundromat waiting for my clothes to wash. Adam is here doing his laundry also. We chat like housewives. I tell him all about David and work and realize as I speak that he is a friend, I am aware of how much I like him. What a tender warmth it is to realize his friendship. Planes roar overhead and a cool breeze gently moves across my bare legs. It is summer and I am very happy. Right here. Right now.
The alcoholic learns to survive through complex systems of manipulation. Feelings and instincts are fogged and anesthetized away. Self image is usually a garbled combination of grandiose defenses and inarticulate self-hatred. As one begins to sober up, real feelings emerge and it can be a frightening experience.
This romance with David is inciting huge feelings of self-loathing. It is beyond my comprehension that a handsome wonderful man might find me interesting or attractive. Doesn’t he see that I am an odd looking, overweight neurotic? His declarations of love for me are causing me to turn on myself bitterly.
But I am aware of what is happening– therefore its effect on me is diminished. It is more of an intellectual process than a matter of gut feeling.
I must love myself, and allow myself to be loved. That lonely scrawny boy in Missouri has got to start growing up.