How can I support, encourage and understand my loved ones better but not enable or aide them in their addictions? In the past I have enabled and aided my love ones in their addictions all the while thinking I was helping them and in the process I lost myself.
Today I can think about how I am willing to support, encourage and understand. Maybe I can best encourage my loved ones by being kind in the ways I respond to them and by allowing them to make their own decisions and clean up their own messes. Maybe I can learn to understand them better by learning more about addictions and how they affect me and my loved ones.
I can give encouragement and understanding in ways that I am willing and able to. When I set boundaries it helps me give in ways that I will not lose myself. I can give in ways that I can provide, not in ways that my loved ones want me to.
Growing up I felt unsure of myself and afraid of life. I felt like no one else had these feelings and that I was alone. I never shared these secrets with anyone which isolated me even further. Growing up and as an adult I made many mistakes and made decisions that I later regretted. I learned negative coping methods while living with loved ones with addictions. All these added to my terrible pile of secrets and my already low self-esteem dropped further.
I’ve learned through support groups that secrets only hurt me. I heard “you are only as sick as your secrets”. Listening to others share in meetings has shown me that there are others who have felt the same things I have felt. I can feel my isolation lifting. As I have slowly learned to share my thoughts and feelings they have lost their power over me. My self-esteem is rising.
As I completed my 4th and 5th steps and forced myself to face my past and the “terrible” mistakes and decisions I have made, I learned that I was doing the best that I could at the time. I can forgive myself and even like myself.
I am growing more self-confident. As I relax I make friends who support me and love me as I am. I am learning to make decisions with confidence. As I live “one day at a time” I can face life with anticipation instead of fear. As I set my secrets free I set myself free.
Growing up I learned to hide before trouble started. I could read the atmosphere around me and disappeared as soon as I felt unsafe. This trait may have kept me safe as a child, but as an adult it showed up as fear of conflict, not being able to say what was in my heart, having trouble showing my real self and making friends, being uncomfortable in crowds, placating, fear of standing up for myself and those around me, not knowing how to make decisions and sudden irrational urges to escape.
Support groups have taught me to stop and think when these feelings and behaviors come up. I can choose to be vulnerable and show my real self and allow friendships to begin. As I have conversations that I might feel uncomfortable about asking questions and trying to understand others helps me relax. I can look at all angles of a problem and ask God for help in making decisions.
When I allow fear to govern my actions I am falling back into my old unhealthy ways of dealing with things. When I allow fear to govern me I am telling myself that I cannot change and grow.
Today when I feel fear I can choose to stop and think and choose a better more healthy way. I am excited about all that I am learning and at the opportunity to grow and change.
What can I do?
I make mistakes every day! Some mistakes seem to be bigger than others. But, I know that my intentions are good. I am doing the best that I can with where I am at and with the knowledge that I have. I worry that others will judge me and think badly of me, but I have no control over others. What can I do?
Other people make mistakes everyday too. I do have control over my own reactions and thoughts. I can give others the benefit of the doubt and think well of them. Others are doing the best that they can with where they are at and with the knowledge they have. Who can I forgive or show mercy to today?
I can analyze my behavior and thoughts and make amends or changes quickly when needed. I can stop worrying about what others think about me since I can do nothing about that anyway. Worry and stress will only hurt me and will never solve problem. What can I do better today than yesterday?
If I am angry, worried, stressed or anxious I can stop and do something to take care of myself. I can write it all out and let it go. I can talk to a trusted person and hear their ideas. When I do something physical like going for a walk or exercising it helps to relieve stress. I can pray and tell my Father how I am feeling and ask for His help. I can ask for a blessing. What can I do to take care of myself today?