Many of us have had experiences where even though we could not admit it, it was hard for us to accept ourselves being successful at something. In fact, I have had times when I will absolutely do things to go ahead and sabotage something good for me or that I have been working for. I do this unknowingly, but I do it all the same. I believe for me this self-sabotage has much to do with the way that I feel about myself. I many times have problems excepting that I am worthy of good things, regardless of how hard I have worked for them. I have done this with relationships, I have done it with weight loss, and I have done it with personal goals.
Recently I accomplished getting a full year clean. This is no small feat for me and it is not something I ever want to have to battle for again. I want to keep going for the rest of my life, however, I know that it is going to take honesty, open mindedness, willingness, work, patience, and vigilance to accomplish that. However, when it comes to my clean time and recovery, I still battle the urge to sel-sabotage myself.
The closer that I got to a full year without putting a mind or mood altering substance in my body, the less I felt like doing the things that I know are my tools to staying on the right path. I did not want to go to meetings that have helped me stay sane and listen to others so I can learn how to deal with issues that still pop up in my life. I have come to learn that life’s problems do not stop coming just because I am clean, and I have to deal with these issues without finding a substance to hide the feelings that well up inside me because of them. I stopped talking to some of the ladies in my network so much. Not because I did not want to talk to them, not because they mean less to me, but just because who has the time, right? I also stopped doing the work on me that I know I need to do if I want to stay clean, using the same excuse. I also begin participating in behaviors that although they were not using, they were not good for me.
This is where my willingness came in. I had to be willing to do things that I did not want to do in order to keep my clean time, my recovery, and to keep myself sane. I had to go to meetings and listen to the same people say the same things over and over again, listening for the little things that make me smile or may be said in a different way and have an impact on me this time. I had to keep in contact with my ladies, even if it was only good morning and have a good day, because at some point I may need them, or I may need them (and that helps me even more than them usually). I needed to take out that paper, write what I needed to write, cry when I needed to cry, and feel those things that I had stuffed down for so many years that caused me to use, so that I can learn to live without using. By doing these things until I wanted to do them again, I avoided relapse, I stopped doing those behaviors I knew where not good for me, and I became back on fire for my recovery again.
I am an addict, and I will remain an addict for the rest of my life. However, that does not mean that I have to self-sabotage myself. Today I have tools I can use in order to address this and all of the other undesirable characteristics that have plagued my life. I can always call the ladies in my network, I can always go to a meeting, and I can always do the work that I need in order to address issues like this that pop up in my life. I have to remain willing to work on myself, open minded to solutions that I may not like, but above all I have to be honest with myself, so I can recognize that there is an issue to begin with and share about it in order to get the help I am seeking.