“When I hear someone say they’ve found the love of their life it makes me happy. However, my hopes are that the true love of their life is themselves. It comes in handy if later on it turns out that the love of their life doesn’t love themselves.”
I can’t imagine ever drinking again. I enjoy being sober and living a spiritual life. I’ve become a good person who loves themselves and others. And I’m happy with who I am. But let me make two things clear.
I’m no superhero when it comes to living a spiritual life. And it’s not always easy being me.
There are times when my thoughts become filled with anger about one thing or another, and a small resentment can crop up. I can be somewhat cynical when it comes to certain people—a few celebrities and politicians come to mind. And I’m a man who enjoys looking at woman, although I’m careful not to stare, especially when I’m with my wife. Oh yeah. I also drop the F-Bomb sometimes and say things I wish I hadn’t.
As far as why it’s not easy being me, well that’s a little more complicated.
You would think if I’m happy with myself and enjoy life, it only stands to reason that being who I am shouldn’t be hard. But sometimes it is. Sometimes, a sudden sadness comes over me, or I feel anxious without any real reason for it.
Now I know that may not seem like a big deal, but wait, there’s more.
I’ve gone to bed in a good mood already, only to awaken the next morning feeling down or actually fearful. Dreams are sometimes the culprit and these feelings usually go away quickly. But sometimes they linger and I have to fight mentally to feel better emotionally.
Science tells us that some people have lower levels of what I like to call the happy chemicals in our brains, which I’m sure I am one of. But that doesn’t help much when I’m feeling unhappy for no reason of my making.
Fortunately, I’ve come to realize that there are going to be times when I’m not as happy as I want to be and that the way I am feeling will pass. I just wish it was easier on some days is all.
In the end I do know that living a spiritual life, which doesn’t have to be anything more than trying to be a better person than we were before, helps us to love ourselves and to be happy with who we are. And that may well be another reason I have to fight to be happy.
Truth be told, I haven’t been trying as hard as I have in the past to improve on myself—correcting my negative thoughts and behaviors.
I may not be a superhero when it comes to living a spiritual life. And it’s not always easy being me. But I can’t think of a better way to live or a better person to be.
I just need to work harder at being the person I say I am.
“Trying to be a better person than we were before doesn’t mean that we’re never going to think or do things that we don’t like ourselves for, or that we haven’t improved on ourselves. We simply need to allow those times to remind of us of who we’re not. And love ourselves for who we’ve become.”
Being an only child, I have a lot of fun by myself and do some pretty immature things for my personal amusement. I sometimes make up words to songs I’m listening to and even sing to them in a foreign language that’s unrecognizable because it’s made up.
I also talk to myself and find I’m actually good company.
An example of this would be the other morning. I was pouring orange juice into a glass (a daily drink I find both tasty and refreshing) and almost knocked the glass over. I immediately stopped pouring and said out loud. “That was a close one,” before resuming my quest to add just the right amount. However, when I did, I actually spilled some all over the counter and exclaimed. “That was even closer!”
Maybe you don’t see the humor in this, but the only child in me thought it was funny and quite witty.
The reason for sharing this is that at one time in my life—a time I call my drinking days. I would have gotten angry over something like this and used a few select words that grownups call swearing. Not that I don’t still get mad at times and curse. I find using the F-Bomb can be very therapeutic under certain circumstances. But it feels good to be able to laugh at things like this and to be able to laugh at myself. (Being able to laugh at ourselves is a sign of growth and a great asset to have in one’s life.)
Although I act immature at times, and have “only child syndrome”—a term I coined to explain my goofy behaviors. The growth I’ve experienced in my sobriety has done more than just allow me to laugh at myself. It has also enabled me to love myself.
I never thought about whether or not I loved myself as a child. (Maybe that’s just part of being one.) But I know I didn’t love myself as a teenager, and certainly not as an adult.
It took several years of sobriety and the growth I mentioned to achieve self-love. And even then it took a couple of more years to be happy with who I was.
An only child who not only finds them-self to be good company. But someone who has learned to find humor in things that aren’t worth getting upset about.
“It’s been said that we shouldn’t allow ourselves to be hurt by others. But it’s often hard not to be, especially when someone we love does something to cause us emotional pain. I’ve been hurt in the past by people I love because I am sensitive and caring, but I’ve also grown stronger from these experiences. Although, in truth, I can still be hurt by others at times—I don’t stay hurt. I’ve simply learned to love myself enough to know I don’t deserve to be treated badly by people who act in ways that show they have yet to learn to love themselves.”
As we begin our path in recovery we need to learn new ways of coping in life without a substance. But there are some things we need to unlearn as well—like the act of beating ourselves up all the time, for example. We have to stop thinking we’re terrible people, especially when we say or do something we wish we wouldn’t have. Sometimes we find it was only our perception of wrongdoing. But even when it’s not, we can use the experience to grow.
It’s common to continue in familiar self-defeating patterns when we first get sober. But when we unlearn certain things—the obsessive thoughts and negative emotions that often caused us to use a drug. New ways of living are uncovered and we begin to see ourselves in a new light. We soon realize we no longer struggle to stay sober, and we no longer struggle to love ourselves.
Our path simply becomes easier.
“I’m not saying that if people looked in the mirror everyday and said I love you to themselves it would make a difference in the world. I’m saying that when we can say it and mean it, we make a difference in our world.”