Endigar 788

From Courage to Change of February 25;

Alcoholism in a family tends to promote neglect of self. Consequently, I never learned how to take care of myself when I didn’t feel well. Even with a high fever, I went about my business just as I would any other day. Anything else seemed self-indulgent and weak.

In Al-Anon I’ve had a chance to discover a different way to take care  of myself. I see others giving themselves extra attention when they are sick. They rest when they feel tired. They sometimes take the day off. They eat balanced diets. They see doctors when it seems  appropriate.

By following the examples of other Al-Anon members, I am learning to accept that I can’t  always feel on top of the world and to respond more lovingly. It’s just one  more area where I am letting go of my unrealistic expectations. Maybe illness is something my Higher Power uses to  tell me to  be good to myself.

Today’s Reminder

I am not a robot. Sometimes I get sick, or tired, or preoccupied. I will make an effort to learn what I can do to help myself feel better.

“. . . It is crucial to be diligent about taking care of ourselves, especially during stressful periods.”  . . .In All Our Affairs

END OF QUOTE—————————————

I have a friend in the program who described an overdose he experienced on a substance he got over the Internet to help deal with his anxiety. He had no history of mental illness except for the addictive nature and depression resulting from his perpetual gut-wrenching fear that lay suppressed in his daily living. He ended up in the emergency room experiencing paranoia inspired hallucinations and delusions. The worst of these was a continuous chorus of peepers who mocked him from outside the room. He would see them walk by or peek in. After he recovered, he realized that the things they said to him were voices he had heard all his life. “They all hate you. It is only a matter of time before they discover how pathetic you are. Such a pretender. There is nothing of substance or value in you. Step out onto the stage of life and they will strip you naked, expose your impotence to the world.”

On a much more toned down level, I have also had to fight these soul-jeers to move forward in life and risk performing. It is hard to accept life on life’s terms when the demonic chorus sings. Any sign of weakness must be tucked away. Self-care must never be made a matter of public record. I must do what must be done no matter how deeply it hurts.

I suspect these voices come from indoctrination in early childhood, growing up with a mother who remained wounded from life as an adult child of an active alcoholic, witnessing the tragic end of the Father she loved and adored.  The horror ripples through generations. For me, self-care becomes an act of exorcism. The voices are not real. Facts are my friends. Failing while performing is the path all must take to success. Humility is strength. I am creating a new choir in my head that values my life, my compassion, and fears not the effort to move forward. The new singers play epic soundtracks exalting the daily acts of courage.

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