Sarcasm. Friend or Foe?
An old high school friend of mine wrote a post on facebook about something that he had given up. No, it was not drugs or alcohol. It did however, completely relate to something I had to give up…along with alcohol and drugs.
We all have our quirks and little things that get us through our moments. There was one thing that reared its head often in me. I thought it was harmless…playful even. With the help of a counselor, I was able to take a serious look at something I was over-using…sarcasm.
My counselor wanted me to lose the sarcasm.
After a lot of thought, I succumbed to the fact that sarcasm had, in fact, become something I like to call a “Magic Wonder Shield” for me. I was using that particular Magic Wonder Shield (yes, I have many others, too) to obscure my feelings. I just thought I was being hysterical all the time. As it turns out, although it did make me a little extra funny, it also made it possible to never have to directly tell someone how I was feeling.
Let me explain. If I hadn’t seen a friend in a while I would approach it with a laugh and a sarcastic, “What? I’m not good enough for you? You losers have better things to do?” If my significant other forgot to do something I had asked, I would throw out a nasty, “It’s cool. Why don’t I just take care of that for you? I was actually looking forward to picking up your slack today.” I started to take a look at what was behind every sarcastic comment, and then I took the next step to change it.
In most cases, I had to admit that I was throwing sarcastic comments around because my feelings were hurt. When I tried to change from being hysterical to being honest, it was coming out a little awkward. Not even kidding. It sounded all warped and slow like, ” Hey, ummmm, I ummmm, I kind of miss seeing you, or whatever. Do you, I don’t know, want to have ummm coffee, or something, or lunch, or I don’t know, whatever?” Yeah…bad. However, just like anything else in this great game of life, the more I did it, the less awkward it became and the easier it flowed. Now, my approach would be more along the lines of…”I really miss getting together with you. I would love if we could figure something out and have coffee or dinner soon!”
Crazy things happen when you own your own feelings…good things. I learned to not put things on anyone but myself and stop being a jerk to people. It might seem silly but, it was a huge step in staying sober. I lowered one of my Magic Wonder Shields. All that shield was doing was protecting me from my feelings. And like any alcoholic or addict, my feelings didn’t need any more protection. They needed to be let out. They needed to be…felt.
So, today, when I’m throwing around sarcastic comments like it’s nobody’s business, I need to stop myself and ask, “What am I trying to cover up? Is there possibly a better, more direct way I can handle this?” If I’m trying to hide my feelings with sarcasm, what is to say that I’m not moving in the direction of hiding them with a bottle of vodka or pills? Addiction is a feelings disease. I don’t want to suppress mine anymore. It is one hell of an exhausting job.
I don’t need to be as funny as I used to be. I just need to feel.