“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
Even though we may deny it, there are those of us that may secretly want to be hurt by others; since, in some strange abhorrent way, we think that is what we deserve. Before I became clean and sober, I lost my good opinion of myself; I indulged in actions that placed me in situations of humiliation and debasement. It’s a sad truth, but I found comfort there, finding a sort of release from tension through degrading acts.
For those readers who may relate even remotely to such degradement, resolve with me to reject humiliation. I find that through talking to others, that life is rich and varied and open – I want to join in! There was a woman sitting across from me on the bus the other day, and I noticed that from her purse hung a long chain of Crystal Meth Anonymous (CMA) sobriety chips; the one most prominent boasting 30 months sobriety. This woman was riding the bus with two others, who I eventually came to know as her husband and daughter.
As I watched this woman interacting with her family, seeing their big smiling faces, listening to their jests and laughter, I thought how alive they looked. Not ghostly images of addicts going unnoticed as life moves about them, but rather, they were engaged in life. I wanted to join in!
We do not have to continue to find false comfort and release in acts that come back to haunt us and humiliate us. There is no more room in my life for feelings of inferiority or worthlessness. There are ways for us all to gain self-esteem and a sense of true value of our lives.
Some days I wonder, “How am I ever going to recover from my addictions?” “What more must I do to get well?” These are the basic questions I ask myself, as I struggle with my illness: an addiction to Crystal Meth.
The questions I ask in my mind are obvious, once I have taken time to really think about what is going on in my life. And the answers are just as simple – stop acting out, stop using, stay busy, and work my plan of personal growth through the SMART Recovery program, whose logical approach works best for me.
I know however, that it’s not enough to just go to those meetings once each week and putting in my time. Easy solutions may seem plausible, but just mouthing the words isn’t going to do the job. I have been a sick person, very sick at times, and I am going to struggle sometimes to see things straight again; to get back on course. The route is charted by the people who support me.
Counselors and good friends have become my guides. But when all is said and done, I have to make the choice to accept the answers and the help that will bring me renewal and health. I know the way forward to health isn’t easy, but I have confidence in myself that I will come through. Like the elegant Phoenix, I too shall rise from the ashes and be beautiful!
“At the bottom of the modern man there is always a great thirst of self-forgetfulness, self-distraction…and therefore he turns away from all those problems and abysses which might recall to him his own nothingness.”– Henri Amiel (1821-1881), Swiss Philosopher and Poet
I am aware of the way I sometimes rush around or slide off into the land of fantasy to distract myself from looking at myself too closely. Am I afraid that what I might find is nothing but my own… nothingness? Are my addictions a misguided search for some kind of identity at any price?
I am discovering that identity is not something given, once and for all. Perhaps there is never a fixed point at which I can say, “I am that.” Life is a process, upheaval, reversal, change and a continuous process of becoming. If I can be brave enough to welcome change and the pains it can cause, I may never have to fear the vertigo of nothingness or the madness of distraction that becomes self-destruction.