Emotional Sobriety Excerpts About Learning to Love Ourselves

27469629066_08f992b311_zBecause there are hundreds of bloggers writing about his/her recovery, I do a weekly post about an aspect of recovery which includes excerpts from some good posts. Today’s topic is learning to love yourself in recovery.

1. From the Maven (stay-at-home-mayhem.blogspot.com): How to be as High on Yourself as I am: a Self-Esteem Primer:

“We have one life to live. One. (Unless you believe in reincarnation. But then you might be born a toad or or a mushroom or something, so that doesn’t really count anyway.) Do you really want to waste it feeling like shit all the time? What purpose is that serving? And believe me: It is serving some kind of purpose, so you need to figure out what that is.”

“Are you keeping yourself down because you’re afraid of taking any steps to fix it? Is it comfortable doing what you’re doing, even if it’s not pleasant? Do you get some kind of attention from it? (AKA, having other people feed your ego by saying “Don’t say that about yourself! It’s not true!” That’s not self-esteem, and it’s not going to make you feel better about yourself. Like a junkie, you’ll always be looking for the next compliment fix. Been there, done that.) Are you afraid of succeeding? Are you afraid of becoming ridiculously arrogant if you’re not meek and mild all the time?”

“News flash: Being ridiculously arrogant is my job, not yours. You can’t have it, so you’ll have to settle for feeling confident. I know that sucks, but that’s how it’s gonna go down.”

“Anyway, figure out what’s keeping you down. If it’s fear, work through it. If it’s depression, open up and talk to someone. If it’s traumatic childhood issues, watch a few episodes of Hoarders and realize that pretty much everyone has traumatic childhood issues, but we need to work on letting them go and live for today, or face a lifetime of garbage collection and dead, buried cats.”

2.  From Guinevere writing at Guinevere Gets Sober:  “On Resentment, Codependency, and Recovery from Addiction”:

“I can see clearly, from my vantage point inside my resentment, the difference between resentment and anger. Anger can be OK, it can tell us when something dangerous or threatening has happened, it can motivate us to positive action, it can be energizing and productive and protective. Resentment is just sickness. It’s just picking a scab. It’s putrefying.”

I”t’s also exhausting to stay angry about something that’s over. It takes a lot of energy.”

“A psychologist told me recently (I may have mentioned this before; forgive me if I have; it’s something I’ve been thinking about) that children are sort of genetically programmed to keep the family together. I can remember now how many times I did this for my mother. She’d have a fight with my father (clarification: she’d fight with my father; my father would just drink and listen to her fighting) and come back to me crying, complaining about what an insensitive bastard he was, etc. ad nauseam,and I’d listen and calm her down and commiserate and encourage her that things would be OK.”

“Then I’d go to my room and absolutely fall apart. I didn’t know what was happening to me, of course. (I also wasn’t fully cognizant that she talked about me behind my back, too, in the same way she talked about my father) What I thought I knew was that I hated my father and loved my mother. After she died and all her crazy behavior stopped, I came to learn that my father was a very gentle man who hardly ever roused himself to anger—it was my mother who incited him to hit us.”

“Anyhow. All that is water that’s now downstream. It’s OVER.”

3.  From  TAAAF writing at Through an Al-Anon Filter: “Allowing Ourselves to Experience Pain”:

“By the time I came into Al-Anon, I was pretty much living on the front porch of myself. The entire rest of my house of self, was stuffed to the ceilings: old moldering crap mixed with relatively untouched newer items, all mixed together in one giant seething mass. I tried not to go in there, if I could possibly avoid it.”

“In Al-Anon, I learned that if I wanted real recovery, I was going to have to do an inventory, Step 4, and sort through that massive hoard of feelings, thoughts, beliefs, unmet dreams and desires, expectations, disappointments, resentments, and unfelt, stuffed pain.”
I was terrified that the pain would destroy me completely if I were to feel it – how was I to maintain mental stability while doing such a task?

“By working with my sponsor and my program friends, by asking my Higher Power for help, and by taking it one small step at a time. I don’t have to deal with the entire past today. I can deal with today only. One day. How am I feeling right now? Why am I having this feeling? Is it because of an unmet expectation, or is it the result of an unkind choice made by another person?”

Photo credit.

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