I developed shortcomings of worry, fear, anxiety, isolation and low self-esteem from living with loved ones with addictions. After attending support groups for a time, I realized that the root of these problems was an inability to be true to myself. I wanted to please people so I would let them take advantage of me. I often felt depressed when I did something expected, when it was not in alignment with my values and goals. But, I would feel guilty when I chose to do something I wanted to do over something another wanted. It was hard to walk between the two and I often felt either guilty or depressed.
Support groups have taught me to take care of myself and that I have rights. I can share in meetings and no one interrupts me or gives me advice unless I ask. I can “take what I like and leave the rest”. Support groups tell me that my anonymity and confidentiality will be protected and only I can disclose them.
I am learning that “no is a complete sentence” and I do not have to give explanations. Pleasing other people is not a good reason to do something. I am learning to “stop taking things personally”. I learned that I cannot make people do what I want them to do. Since I cannot make people like me by what I say or do, I should do what I think is best as long as it does not hurt anyone else.
If I set realistic goals and I can achieve them step by step. It is the process and the learning that are important. The outcome is irrelevant.
Taking care of myself, learning and growing, and achieving goals have led me to personal growth and higher self-esteem. I am worth something and I can choose how to live my life.