It has been awhile since I blogged…. I didn’t know what to write. I didn’t know if anyone actually cared. Believe it or not it was part of my addiction. Obsessed with “my image” and what people would think.
See, addiction isn’t just about drugs or alcohol. It is about anything which consumes us – food, people, shopping, sex, love, thoughts and so much more. I needed to take a break. I needed to STOP and think about what was important to me. I needed to decide what I really wanted to do with my life on disability. Tough decisions but things I had to think about. Do I have all of the answers? NOPE!
We are addicted to our thoughts. We cannot change anything if we cannot change our thinking.
WOW! I don’t know about you but this quote scares the hell out of me! Changing my thinking has been the toughest thing at age 62 with 20 months in recovery. It is a daily process which has affected all areas of my life. My addition shows up in some of the strangest places….Here are just a few, any of these sound like you?
1. Comparing ourselves to everyone else, and then competing with them.
It is this kind of thinking which started my troubles during my relapse. The grass was always greener on the other side. I wanted to have what I thought others had. It is a struggle for me to remember I don’t have to always be and do what everyone else is being and doing. I remember my mom saying “if they jumped off a bridge, would you?” I know that is an extreme but it is the wanting to be liked and to be like everyone else which contributed to my crazy way of thinking.
Now, I try to not compete with others. I try to compete to be a better version of me. For some, this sounds lame. Through recovery I am learning to not compare my outside to their picture “perfect” life because you never know what they have been going through. I mean who doesn’t want to look good on social media or when gathering with friends? I know I am not the only one who struggles with this, right?
2. Secretly wishing for everyone’s stamp of approval.
This is one of the hardest things as a people pleaser I deal with. The truth is “we don’t need anyone’s affection or approval in order to be good enough in your own eyes.” I know, easier said than done sometimes, right? When someone rejects or abandons or judges you, 99% of the time it isn’t actually about us WHAT??? You mean I am not the root of all things? Self-centeredness is for another day. It’s about them and their own insecurities, limitations, and needs. “Your worth isn’t contingent upon other people’s acceptance of you – it’s something inherent. You’re allowed to think things and feel things. You’re allowed to assert your needs and take up space. You’re allowed to hold on to the truth who you are is worthy. And you’re allowed to remove anyone from your life who insists on making you feel otherwise.” These are the things I am working on every day.
3. Being more loving to others than we are to ourselves.
Here comes the people pleaser in me. I want everyone to be happy, so I will make myself miserable to see it happen. I have been told I am self-centered because of my addiction. Truth be told “I don’t always get it”. The result of those words though has created the struggle of being able to love myself without thinking I am self-centered. If this is you, you are not alone. “There’s absolutely nothing selfish about self-care. If you don’t take good care of yourself then you can’t take good care of anyone else. Because we can’t give what we don’t have. Treat yourself right and you’ll be life-giving to others.” This is one of my BIGGEST struggles.
4. Dreaming of what could have been, or should have been.
Letting go of the shoulda, coulda, woulda is tough for me. The inner gremlins have a field day on bad days. Letting go and turning things over is a daily (sometimes hourly process). I have learned (most days) before you can truly LIVE today, a part of you has to die first. I have to let go and bury the what could have been if I never relapsed. I (neither can you) can’t change the past, or the outcomes from our choices. The best thing we can go is: Let go. Forgive. Be present and free. Just for Today.
Are you struggling with any of these things? You are not alone! Many of us are right there with you, working hard to feel better, and leave a life free of addiction (all types). The bottom line is it’s never too late to take a step in the right direction. It’s never too late to break free and become the person you are capable of being. Addictions of all kinds CAN be beaten!
I’m not sure if anyone needed this but it was on my heart this morning…