Communication was one of my strong suits, or so I thought.
I was a social butterfly bartender in a historical row house turned-bar built in 1821 in Morgantown, West Virginia. I could talk the talk with the best (and the drunkest) of them.
Standing behind a thick piece of varnished barn wood of a grungy rock-n-roll bar for 10 years put me in the perfect position to observe people at their rawest. It was like watching a reality show before it became popular. After a few drinks, people let their skeletons come out of the closet, even when it wasn't Halloween.
Serving gourmet bloody Marys on Monday nights was my personal equivalent of getting a major in Social Psychology and a minor in Personal Psychology. Breaking up drunken brawls and doling advice became second nature.
According to a 2011 Gallup survey, 64% of Americans drink alcohol. Annually, over 100 billion dollars are spent on booze and beer in the US. Personally, I contributed my fair share to those figures, especially during my divorce.
While I was brave enough to confront the drunken bar patron who hit me harder than a retro punching nun doll late one Saturday night, I wasn't brave enough to face my own emotions. I was too scared to tell the world or my husband what I really felt and what I really needed to make me feel loved. Instead, I hid behind my everything-is-just-fine smile with a glass of wine or two.
My real feelings and desires were stuffed deep down inside myself because I never wanted to hurt anyone's feelings, even if it meant staying in a relationship with a man I didn't love. Continue reading.
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