Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Through Screens, Emotion Imparted

She smiled. I smiled. I was so glad to see her. My neighbor, Joyce, came outside to greet me and Maggie as I was sitting on the porch, listening to my radio, and smoking a cigar just a moment ago.

"Howdy neighbor," she said with her southern drawl.

"I am so glad to see you today," I replied, taking off my headphones.

We talked mainly of mundane things as neighbors normally do. The sandals she had bought that were killing her feet. The man that was coming today to fix my dryer that is eating up my clothes. The goings on at vacation Bible school in which she is deeply involved. Little tidbits of our lives shared between the screens of my side porch.

I am getting better at this game – this game of social interaction. I am learning to act genuinely glad to talk to someone by the tone and inflections in my voice – learning to listen and to not always feel the need to talk all the time. Asking questions. How was your day? Did you sleep well? Can I weed-eat your yard? And the hardest of all: showing positive emotion and not the neutral or bland persona my medications can impart upon me. "It's formulaic," I tell myself as I watch my father and how he interacts with people. And there is no man more socially gregarious than he. Like a young apprentice, I am learning from the master one step at a time and the social anxiety melts away.

18 comments:

justLacey said...

I am so excited for you. You are really coming out of your shell. Have you thought anymore about taking the online classes?

Portia said...

your writing has been full of positive energy lately. i am so glad for you, and grateful that you share with the rest of us!

SimplyTim said...

Andrew,

Good for you!

Tim

Pen and the Sword said...

I couldn't imagine what that must be like. Sounds like you have a healthy attitude about it, though and are handling yourself very well. And as usual your writing is a reflection of that.

Hope you have a great day. Is it hot where you are right now? In MN at my house it is 103!

Andrew said...

Pen,

It is warm here in the low eighties, but not near that unbearable. I don't even have the air conditioning on today. I have a box fan in the window of my computer room keeping me cool as I write and drink Pepsi. Take care!

Anonymous said...

Andrew, I have been reading your blog anonymously for a couple of weeks. I am very interested in your struggle to stay sober and your AA friends belief that you can't do it without them. You can. I have been sober for 12 years, never set foot in a meeting. I won't say it is easy, right now it is not. But I know in my heart one drink leads to a bottle and I just hate the thought of waking up lost again. I wish you peace and strength. M.

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Willow said...

Very nice blog. Very important subject matter. Remember that all Southern families have a high percentage of eccentric individuals, and love them more because of their eccentricities.

Gardenia said...

I just read your last two blogs. Your writing is wonderful, I'm sure your book will be amazing.

Joshua said...

Best of luck for you, the great aparition on my netsurfing.

Josie Two Shoes said...

Wow Andrew! I love how positive you are sounding these days, more contented posts than struggling ones. I hope you are using this time to recharge your batteries so when hard times roll thru you'll be ready to deal with them. I think you are AMAZING, and I am so glad your life is happier. I know your new neighbors must think you a treasure, I sure would!

rory said...

hi, I love great writers. Bob Dylan wrote about some of the same things you write about. You can visit my blog if you like. I will enjoy reading your stuff!

Stacy said...

Hi there! I'm just dropping in to say hello and to let you know that I have been reading your blog. Infact I was up until 2am reading it. I feel like I really know you (not in a stalking kind of way LOL.) Anyway, just wanted to let you know how much I enjoy reading your blog.

Tee said...

You are growing, and growth is often painful, very painful. Keep up the good work, because it is work!

This summer has been rather pleasant for the south, don't you agree? Low humidity, not real high temps, but certainly the down side has been the lack of rain. However, over here in GA we have been getting some afternoon thunderstorms. Enough rain that I haven't had to water my garden so much.

Thank you for allowing us a little peek into your world of mental illness. It has been a real eye opener. I like your writing style.

AEF said...

well, hi, just by accident I came to your blog. I send you a hug from Portugal, from the other side of atlantic ocean. Take care.

CRUSTYBEEF said...

You do seem better. Even through your posts it seems that things are moving along in your favor.

Was it odd chatting with her about religious things, or rather, having her chat about VBS?
You ever think that people come into your life for a reason?
Always,
Crusty~
How's she feeling since that bout of gas a week or so ago?

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