I used to think that I had to handle everything myself. I’ve learned through support groups to look at things and take only what is my own and let others handle their own responsibilities. When my responsibilities grow large and overwhelming, I can ask God for help.
I thought that doing things for others was good and kind. I thought of it as service. But, I’ve learned that taking over can deprive others from the learning and growth they need to become independent, learn from their own mistakes, have increased self-confidence and more self-esteem. Of course there is a time for service to others. God is helping me to see the difference.
When I am overwhelmed and ask God for help, amazing things can happen. Sometimes I recognize that I need help and should ask for help and delegate some tasks. I might realize that something I think I need to do is really unnecessary and can just let it go. A new solution to a problem might come to mind. I am learning to communicate with God about my problems and feelings and to ask for help more often.
Sometimes I still try to do everything myself. But I am quicker now to recognize that I need to take care of myself, let others take care of themselves, and ask my Heavenly Father every day for help in all I do. My problems may be too big to solve by myself, but if I am willing, God will help me. I am not alone.
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.
Good Stuff Hurts.
Have you ever felt bad after receiving a hug? Or had to leave a support meeting early because you could not take any more good stuff? Or had to leave a Sunday school class or other class because the topic hurt too much to stay? Sometimes good things hurt because they bring up painful feelings or memories from growing up or from the circumstances I have had to deal with when living with and loving others with addictions.
As I talk to a trusted person about these feelings, I am able to let them go. When I spent time writing my fourth step and talking to a mentor about my writings I found that the past was not as painful as it had been. I even like me sometimes. As I attend support meetings and watch, learn and express my feelings, I am healing from hurtful memories and painful circumstances through the power of the atonement.
As I look at myself now and look back on myself, I see many changes. I can enjoy hugs, look forward to support meetings, support others and enjoy and learn from classes of all topics. The atonement is amazing and affects all areas of my life. Life is good!
Sometimes I ask a lot of “Why?” questions. Why do the people around me have addictions? Why have I been dealt the life and circumstances that I have? Why did my friend or loved one die? Why do I have to deal with all this crazy making behavior? Why do I or someone I love have health problems? Etc. etc. etc.
But, why not me? Other people have problems and trials and hard times so why should I never have them? I’ve heard it said that “Why? is not a spiritual question”. I am not accepting “life on life’s terms” when I ask “Why?” I am dropping back into my victim mentality when I ask “Why me?” and I don’t want to go back there!
Heavenly Father loves me and wants me to grow. I know He won’t give me more than I can handle with His help. I can ask “What do I need to learn from this?” instead of asking “Why me?” When I take responsibility for myself, I am refusing to be a victim. “Any question that starts with the word ‘why’ helps me to know there is something I need to accept”.
I used to think that I was a bad person because my loved one was not happy. I was continually trying to be perfect, but I failed over and over and my loved one would often get angry with me. If only I could do the “right” things then we would be happy. As I attended support group meetings, I realized that I am not a bad person, I am just human.
I think that we all do the best we can with where we are at each moment. Sometimes those around me hurt me and behave in negative ways. I often make mistakes! But I am not bad and neither are they.
If I can separate behaviors from people, I can live and interact from a more peaceful loving place. We all have values and beliefs that may or may not be based on truth. I am continually learning and replacing my values and beliefs. As I seek to be close to God, I will continue to learn and my values and beliefs will become nearer and nearer to the truth.