I have often felt like I would do ANYTHING to be accepted and loved. Without others to remind me of my worth, I lack confidence. This is something I can remember even as a small child. If I set a boundary, I felt bad about it, and often questioned myself for not sacrificing my needs to meet the needs of others. It seems it is all about perspective. We all want our time to be valued, we all want to be respected and not taken advantage of. It is not a limit of love, it is a limit of what you can and will tolerate.
This is where being sober changes things. I have to evaluate my life and those in it in a much different way. I have been toxic, I have been needy, I have been chaotic, especially in my drinking life. My emotional weaknesses were exacerbated and incredibly difficult to control. I have never trusted my own judgement and so I need a plethora of opinions on things before I can commit. I consider this to be flaw in the myself, and I have set a goal to clearly, soberly, and steadfast protect myself. I am non apologetic for admitting I need help. I will never apologize for that. It’s sad to me that we need boundaries. They feel like a thick layered warning label about who you are and what you expect from people.
This is the drinkers first plight, at least it was for me. I went from a tongue tied awkward wall flower to the life of the party. Or so I thought, it was also a good way to put your best foot forward and then land right on your face. And believe me when I say, I have LITERALLY done this very thing, and I was long past knowing better.
As with anything, when you begin to feel comforted by your peers and you all share a common habit, it’s easy to live in the luxury of denial. The space where anything is still possible. A space in your head where you can live with things the way they are, in fact, you really can’t picture life any different. It’s not until you see the fear and love in the eyes of those around you, or even more shocking, when you see the fear in your own eyes.
Maybe it hasn’t done unrepairable damage yet.
Maybe I will be the exception.
Maybe I will forgive myself.
Maybe I won’t be any fun sober, (This irony that lies within this sentence is beyond measurement).
There are two chasms in time now, there is the “Pickled Julie,” followed by the magical and preferred time of “Non pickled Julie..?”
I am not a fan of cliche’ advice. I do not adhere to the 12 steps, AA is not for me. Regardless of how you decide to approach your recovery, I believe that we can only grow and better ourselves if we are aware of our motives, our words, our thoughts, and our actions. I would like to see those attributes streamline into an integral part of my being. I have hopes that as time goes on and I continue to be conscious of my self talk and my boundaries with people, I will continually better myself and be more confident in how I handle situations.
I went into this with the understanding that some people may not play a role in my recovery. Today recovery is letting that be ok. My world will not collapse, the sun will come up, and the anxiety will fade. Friendship is not a one way street, and it’s not a dead end. Sometimes it’s not equal in giving, and sometimes it’s not equal in taking. It is ok when someone must exit and take a left on their own path of life. Perhaps one day, our paths will meet again. Right now, I must be selfish. I am growing roots, it’s a delicate place in my life cycle. I can only be grateful for those that have crossed my current path and those that have remained by my side. No one needs to hold me up, but I might just want someone to walk next to me sometimes.
I am not perfect, in fact, I absolutely abhor the word. Perfection is not only impossible (so how would we even know what it would look like?) but it is also subjective. I just want to appreciate myself, know myself, like myself, and DO BETTER!
“The secret of change to focus all your energy, not in fighting the old, but on building the new.”Socrates