Am I ‘Two’ Insecure?

I’ve found that when it comes to having doubts in life or in ourselves, we can be insecure in one of two ways. We can look up to people who are confident and strong, and be inspired to grow and be like them. Or we can be jealous of them and act out in ways that we think make us look confident and strong.

I was the latter of the two during my drinking days. But once I stopped drinking and admitted I needed help staying sober, I was fortunate to find people in Alcoholics Anonymous who understood me. People who loved me unconditionally, and explained how my pride and ego were to blame for my vain and pretentious behaviors, and my unhappiness.

I didn’t always like some of these people, but I listened to them anyway because I wanted to be like them—happy and sober.

In time I began to see that what they called ego was really fears and insecurities, and although I eventually stopped going to AA meetings, I still continued to change the things about myself that prevented me from growing both spiritually and as a person. (Mostly my negative thoughts and behaviors.)

I don’t pretend to be the most confident person today. Nor do I pretend to be the strongest. But I have grown enough to continue looking up to people who are, and try to be like them.

I’m just grateful that all those years ago (almost 21 now) that I found the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous and people there who wanted to help me stay sober. People that expected nothing in return, and were still growing themselves.

People I will always remember.

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The People I Love

I never asked to have a problem with alcohol, but then who does?   No one asks to become addicted to a substance.  However, some do, and it’s those people I want to help.

I didn’t get sober to grow as a person, I got sober because I wasn’t happy. I didn’t stay sober because of me, I had help along the way until I was able to remain sober on my own. But I did grow and I did become happier in life.

I didn’t write a book and start a blog to say “look at me, ain’t I wonderful.” I did so in an effort to help others look at themselves and see a wonderful person.

So maybe my growth, my happiness, and my passion to help others was meant to be, I don’t know. I just know it helps me to love myself.   Something more people need to do, especially those who use a substance to try to be happy and it fails them, much like alcohol eventually failed me.

I never asked to have a problem with alcohol. But I’m actually glad I did. While there are some things I might like to change about my past, I’m not sure I would.  How would I know the difference between what was and how I feel today?

I’m happier in life. I’m happy with myself. And I’m happy to be able to help others.

None of this necessarily makes us a wonderful person, but it does help us feel wonderful about ourselves. Especially those of us who never asked to become addicted to a substance, but did.

The people I want to help. The people I love. The people who need to love themselves.

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Happy Being Me

For some people happiness seems to come easy. You may know or have met one of these types; they’re almost always smiling and upbeat, and have a positive outlook on life.  However, there are also those, who through no fault of their own, are quite the opposite. They feel little happiness in life and may even battle depression.

Recent or passed tragedies can play a big role in taking away someones happiness in life.  And chemical imbalances in the brain can cause a state of deep sadness and hopelessness so great that some people need professional help to overcome the depression they feel.

Then there are those, like me for example, who sometimes have to work a little harder than others to be happy.

Although I know it can be natural to experience ups and downs in our emotions— how else would we discern between happy and sad? Some mornings I wake up feeling down, even though I was in a great mood the day before.

My reasons may be different from others for why this is.  I’m currently not as fulfilled in life as I have been in the past because I haven’t reached some of the goals I set, including helping a greater number of people. However, the important thing is that I know what I need to do for my happiness to return.

I remind myself of what I’ve accomplished so far in life, listen to songs that raise my spirits, and read things that inspire me to keep moving forward on the path of spiritual growth I started when I first got sober. Then sometimes quickly and sometimes slowly, my happiness returns.

Fortunately, even though I may not always be the best person I’m capable of being—lord knows I’m not perfect. I have learned to love myself.  When we love ourselves, it means we’re happy with who we are, which makes it easier to be happy in life.

Especially on days when we have to work at it.



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Being Happy Without Being Special

“I’ve been sober for over 18 years, and the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous as they are written in the book Twelve Steps And Twelve Traditions were an instrumental part of my early recovery. I would read them everyday and I memorized most of what I read. I also practice them, of course, and even though I’m no longer a member of AA, I still try to follow the last three Steps as best I can today. It doesn’t make me special, but it does make me happy.”

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Finding A Happy Balance

Research shows that some people have an imbalance of neurochemicals in our brains responsible for happiness and a sense of well-being, of which I believe I’m one of.  I’m sure this played a major role in why I liked alcohol so much; it made me feel good about myself and life. Well for a while anyway.

As the fears and insecurities I had in my life grew worse, alcohol only temporarily relieved me of the unhappiness I often felt sober. 

Today, I’m able to feel a sense of well-being on my own.  But I admit that some days I have to do certain things to feel happier.

Click on The Neurochemicals of Happiness to read about 7 specific neurochemicals that help us feel good in life and what we can do to create more of them.

I truly believe that all most people want in life is to be happy; it’s just some of us try ways that don’t work. But no matter what our beliefs are as to what happiness is and how to best achieve it, finding a balance in our lives is important.

It can come by way of creating more of the happy neurochemicals in our brains as mentioned. However, it can also be an emotional balance—one where we no longer feel as fearful and insecure as we once did, or as angry. In my case both are important in my efforts to feel happier in life.

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Being Open Minded About Love

We don’t have to grow spiritually to love ourselves and be happy in life, but it can help us have an open mind. Having an open mind can help us understand ourselves and our behaviors better. When we understand ourselves and why we do some of the negative things we do, we can change those behaviors and grow as a person.

Growing as a person can also help us have an open mind. Having an open mind can help us understand others and their behaviors better. When we understand others and why they do some of the negative things they do, we can have more empathy and compassion for them.

Having empathy and compassion for people can help us grow spiritually. We don’t have to grow spiritually to love ourselves and be happy in life, but it can help us love others and be happy with who we are.

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The Morning After

I didn’t drink everyday, but because of how I drank, I will never forget the morning after one of my drinking sprees. In that light, I can honestly say my worse day sober will always be better than my best day hung over.

That may sound like a bold statement if you consider that something bad could happen in my sobriety, but I can’t imagine how drinking would make anything better.

Besides the hang overs, the days filled with fears and insecurities always prevented me from finding peace of mind and happiness, and I have both of those things today.

That’s why I believe that even the morning after some tragic circumstance, remaining sober could well be the only thing to give me hope of better days to come.

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