Today I was in one of my college classes and had to make an oral presentation. I didn't do so well after about one minute. As I was trying to describe a children's book to adults, I had gotten into the book's "world", but connecting with and being real to the adults three feet away made me so awkward that I fumbled all over myself. I felt mentally spacey and ... dumb looking. The project, the end grade, won't be affected by that much, but I was just at another realization that my image has always been fabricated to a greater or lesser degree.

At this point in my recovery I've realized I look good starting out, but I fumble the ball rather quickly. People think I am so capable for a while (reinforcing my maintenance of the image), but the real me is quite vulnerable and shows up after forgetting his adult lines. I am becoming more aware of that daily.

The growth here is new to me. I feel alone as I compare myself to people outside myself. I am not in the "real world". I lost a job two years ago when I started good but failed to produce results. Reality at the time was too much. I have grown some since then, and thank God teachers are in demand; I am blessed to be in this profession.

Okay, here is the core of my behavior: I believe people would reject me if they saw my vulnerability.

Could I have ideas as how to know and be known by people? I need contact with other people. Let me repeat. I need contact with other people who are, or were, where I am at. I have been contacting the big 12 step organizations and am still wanting. Therapy is slow. Have to wait until Friday, and I'm not sure about the new therapist. Not saying she's not good, but not sure if she listens at all. Will find out then.

I am inviting some guys to get in touch with me. I am alone here, and haven't established any relationships. PM me. I am ready to reach out a little, and I just want to maybe be honest a little (baby steps). I'm not even ready to reveal my whole story to myself (much less other people), but I can share my experiences, hopes, and dreams today.

Thank you,