“There is no humiliation for humility.” — Joseph Roux
When I was young I can remember going to someone for help, only to be met by coldness. This happened often as I recall. The adults that participated in this horrible form of neglect were my parents, grandparents and even aunts and uncles. Compound this generalized lack of concern with friends mocking me when I tried to open to them. As if I even need one more of these emotional whammies, I can’t leave this one out: I was taken advantage of because I was sensitive and vulnerable. In short, I felt humiliated when I wanted to open up. So, what did I do? Well I resolved not to let myself be open and dependent. I closed myself off from others and became grandiose in my belief that I could go it alone.
Now, at this point in my life and personal growth, I am slowly learning to be humble. I have come to realize that nobody is an island, cut off from the world. I don’t know all the answers. I need the help of those who really do want to reach out to me.
It’s hard to be humble when I was so often humiliated, but I have to risk again reaching out to others; the rewards I have come to find out, are amazing! And it is wonderful to not be alone. I know that as an adult, I don’t have to keep on feeling humiliated. Being humble is a sign of strength, not of weakness. Now, I experience new power in my relationships with others.
“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.