Endigar 870

From Courage to Change of May 9:

One evening, I was taken by surprise when another member complimented me. I was very uncomfortable with this gesture of kindness, feeling inside that I didn’t deserve it. When I tied to talk her out of her kind words, she refused to take them back. She insisted that I deserved her compliment, and others as well. I began to realize how far down my feelings of self-worth had sunk while living with an alcoholic. I couldn’t even consider that there might be something nice about me!

My Sponsor suggested that I make a list of the things I liked about myself. It was awkward and embarrassing, and my list was very short, but it was a start. When I shared it with my Sponsor, she agreed with every nice thing I said about myself, refusing to let me negate them when I tried instead to focus on my shortcomings. As a result, I am learning to like myself and to see that I have many qualities that are worthy of compliments.

Today’s Reminder

One way to learn to love myself is to accept the love of others. Even if I don’t feel deserving, I can be grateful for another’s kindness. And if I appreciate something about someone else, I can tell them so. A small gesture can go a long way toward healing a hurting soul.

“I’ve heard people in Al-Anon say they got back their self-worth. I never had any in my life, so it was a whole new feeling to like the person called ‘me'”

~As We Understood . . .

END OF QUOTE—————————————

I have never tried to make a list of things I like about myself. I do have a persistent desire to do more than just survive life. I like that I am able to do what I have to do. I am able to lead when it is needed. I have a flame of creative productivity. I am somewhat intelligent. I listen to others empathetically. Yet I feel most of the good within is potential rather than active. I sat on this reflection for some time now. I suppose I will have to say with Joni Mitchell that I don’t know clouds, love, or life at all. Namely, I don’t know me. Maybe a future version of me will be able to respond better.

UPDATE as of 13 Jan 2023: Yesterday, I was introduced to a fellowship. It seems most appropriate to mention it here in this writing because I think I was struggling with the reality of an inner child in desperate need of some re-parenting. It is a local ACA (Adult Children of Alcoholics & Dysfunctional Families) group. Someone in my support group sent me something called “The Laundry List.” I most definitely relate. I picked up a Welcome Coin last night.

The Laundry List – 14 Traits of an Adult Child of an Alcoholic

  1. We became isolated and afraid of people and authority figures.
  2. We became approval seekers and lost our identity in the process.
  3. We are frightened by angry people and any personal criticism (seeing this situation as a literal threat)
  4. We either become alcoholics, marry them or both, or find another compulsive personality such as a workaholic to fulfill our sick abandonment needs.
  5. We live life from the viewpoint of victims and we are attracted by that weakness in our love and friendship relationships.
  6. We have an overdeveloped sense of responsibility and it is easier for us to be concerned with others rather than ourselves; this enables us not to look too closely at our own faults, etc.
  7. We get guilt feelings when we stand up for ourselves instead of giving in to others.
  8. We became addicted to excitement.
  9. We confuse love and pity and tend to “love” people we can “pity” and “rescue.”
  10. We have “stuffed” our feelings from our traumatic childhoods and have lost the ability to feel or expresss our feelings beause it hurts so much (Denial).
  11. We judge ourselves harshly and have a very low sense of self-esteem.
  12. We are dependent personalities who are terrified of abandonment and will do anything to hold on to a relationship in order not to expereince paniful abandonment feelings, which we received from living with sick people who were never there emotioonally for us.
  13. Alcoholism is a family disease; and we became para-alcoholics and took on the characteristics of that disease even though we did not pick up the drink.
  14. Para-alcoholics are reactors rather than actors.

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