My life is not a soap opera!
I used to tell people that my life was like a soap opera. Bad things just seemed to always happen to me and my family. I did not know what to do about any of it. I always felt like a child, even as an adult and that I had no control over anything. I thought everyone else knew more than I did.
I was a timid and shy child. As I was growing up, I learned to hide. I hid in my room, in books, in being quiet. I learned to appease, please and placate.
I’ve been married multiple times. My marriages have not been easy because of addictions, bad communication skills, depression, etc. We have all suffered and learned many negative coping skills.
Going to support meetings has shown me that I was thinking of myself as a victim and others as perpetrators. This thinking affected how I treated others and how others have treated me. As I have been able to let go of being a victim, I realize I do have control over me and my life and that is really the only thing I do have control over. I feel like an adult for the first time in my adult life and am learning to make decisions and to take care of myself. Now that I am not thinking of myself as a victim, I can see the good in others and in myself and look on the bright side of things. I have given myself permission to be happy and to “take life on life’s terms”.
Today I choose to be present
“One day at a time” reminds me to live in the present. Feeling guilty about the past and worrying about the future takes so much time away from me and doesn’t let me enjoy each precious moment of now. I will no longer hide.
There is so much in my past that I do not remember. My family will get together and talk about things in the past and often I have no recollection of the event at all. I think it is because I learned very young to hide and not be present. There were lots of scary things in my young life and I learned to hide to be safe.
Hiding does not serve me very well now. I want to enjoy my life and feel joy and remember all my moments. When bad things happen, my first inclination is still to hide, but I do know better now. Often, when I take a close look at the “bad” thing, I can see that it is just an event. I can choose to not blow it out of proportion. I can choose to not be a victim and to let it go. I don’t want to hide or run away from my feelings anymore because I know if I do that, then I am also choosing to not feel happiness and joy. Every day is a new day and I am the captain of this day. Today I choose to be present.
Being a victim is a choice!
I didn’t begin to find peace and hope and healing until I discovered that I could choose not to be a victim. I thought that if I was going through hard things that I could not be happy. I did not know that I could choose peace and hope and healing through the atonement of Jesus Christ. I was miserable, angry and hopeless.
Support groups have taught me how to apply the atonement of Jesus Christ to myself. I have learned that being a victim is a choice. I have learned that I can be happy and confident no matter what is going on around me.
I am so thankful to know that God cares about me as well as my loved ones who suffer from addiction. I’m so thankful to know that I don’t have to suffer just because my loved ones might have an addiction. “I didn’t cause it. I can’t control it. I can’t cure it.” But, Jesus Christ can help my loved ones if they turn to Him. I can put my loved ones in God’s hands. I can work on my own healing and turn to God myself. He will help me know what I can do. Today I choose peace, hope and healing.
I was not able to see the good in my loved one until I was able to see that I was thinking of myself as a victim and my loved as the perpetrator. When I saw this, I was able to work on letting go of being a victim.
When I wore the attitude of victim all the time, I subconsciously thought that I could not be happy because of my situation and what I was going through. In support groups I saw people who were happy and growing and laughing and grateful and had serenity. They were not victims and many were going through worse things than I was. I wanted this! It was the first time in a very long time that I had even considered that I could be happy or that my loved one might have some good qualities.
As I have been able to let this victim attitude go, I have been happier, I enjoy life more, I am able to grow and learn, I am more grateful and see my blessings and can see the good in my loved one. I still have to watch myself. My tendency is to fall into this victim behavior/attitude when bad things happen or my loved one reacts with anger and emotion. But, I now know a better way and I can catch myself. I am not a victim!
I am the problem?!
I know my life is unmanageable. I know I need help. But, do I have problems and addictions of my own? I know that I am not perfect, but I thought that I was basically OK. Other people in my life are the problem, right?
I listen and learn in support groups that the many coping skills and habits I have developed and learned are keeping me from happiness, from living a peaceful and serene life. I have many weaknesses that I need to overcome. As I come to see this, I try very unsuccessfully to eradicate these weaknesses from my life and become unhappy when I am quite unsuccessful.
When I found that I could not, by myself, get rid of my weaknesses, I was miserable. Then, I remembered that God can help me, through his son Jesus Christ, if I ask for his help. This became my greatest desire, and gave me hope. While watching other people in my support groups, I learned that through the atonement of Jesus Christ, I can be happy no matter what is going on around me. I learned that I don’t have to be a victim and that I can create healthy boundaries. I learned about the 12 steps and 12 Principles from 2 different but similar programs that have changed my life.