I am a recovering recovering alcoholic. This was a huge part of why I cried so much too. I started smoking weed and drinking when I was thirteen years old. When I look at my children now think about what I was doing at their age I am mortified. I was a child. A small, emotional wreck of a child.
I knew myself only in relation to other people. I was a good girl if people were happy with me. I was a bad girl if they weren’t. When people were disappointed in me I felt that in my guts and it physically hurt – drinking took that hurt away. But the problem lied in the fact that I was constantly disappointing people and trying to numb the pain that caused me by making choices that would cause people to give more disapproving looks than affirming and more “you should have’s” than “good jobs. Because of this cycle of personal hell I was in, I knew myself to be someone selfish, that made poor choices, and was afraid to do anything that took any work. When I look at those descriptives of myself now, it’s totally crazy! I am NOT any of that. At all. I was a messed up kid that just wanted to feel better and went about it in all the wrong ways…. But that doesn’t mean I wasn’t worthy of love, or selfish, or lazy. Basically – not only did I not have any tools in my toolbox, I was at the candy store looking for the hammers. One plus one equaled 10. And I was confused as to why everyone else knew the answer was 2.
I lived this in this pattern of drinking away my feelings until I was 32. I had recently gotten divorced and was feeling like a bigger failure than ever. I knew I had some sparkle somewhere in me, i knew it somehow, but I couldn’t even begin to know how to access it. After totaling a couple cars, I stopped drinking and starting going to meetings that literally saved my life. I was able to realize that my way of doing things, reacting to things, wasn’t working. I left the candy store and was officially introduced to the hardware store. Now I had never used these tools before and they were heavy and hard as shit to use. I didn’t know how to be pro active or create the life I wanted. I only knew how to avoid the shit that was thrown at me.
I think this is SO common for all of us. We create habits. We create patterns of existing. They don’t have to work for us to keep using them. We use them because they are all we know. When they don’t work, but we keep using them, keep doing the same thing over and over. It’s insanity. How could we not come out of self destructive patterns feeling horrible about ourselves. The way we act, the way we respond, is who we know ourselves to be. But it’s not because we ARE that person, it’s because we don’t know any different.
Now for me, and remember, this is just my experience. My problem was not alcohol. My problem was the fact that I didn’t know who I was outside of my relation to someone else. The Alcohol was my solution for a long time and it sort of worked. Until it didn’t. I had to get to the ROOT of my dependency and that was my dependency to others and what they thought about me. Their ideas or thoughts or opinions of me did not make me who I was. It’s funny to think that I was a people pleaser because I did everything possible to displease people, but it was because of the constant pain of that displeasure that caused me to drink. And act out. And drink. And act out.
I had to stop giving a shit.
I give less and less shits every day………… my life is mine to live. Not selfishly, but I get to make my own decisions, and not do things perfectly, and apologize when I screw up but believe I am worthy of love regardless.