Today I am 339 days sober!
Before I dive into this post I just need to say that I love myself. I love where I am in my personal growth and development. It brings me such a sense of happiness to know how much I have changed for the better since I got sober. I’ve said it a million times but it was THE best choice I ever made in my life. It put me on a path of fulfillment and satisfaction that I began to believe would never exist for me. But am I really as satisfied as I think I am? This has been the pressing question on my mind this week. A very difficult therapy session this week only fueled the burning fire in my head concerning this question. So bear with me as I try to sort through this in a moment of reflection.
I’ve come to realize that the bulk and root of many of my anxieties stem from setting standards for myself that are too high and potentially unattainable. My insecurity stems not from other people, but fear that I can never achieve what I desire for myself. I have an obsession and fixation with the concept of perfection. I want to be perfect. I want to be the model of models. My inner narcissist has a habit of overtaking my mind and becoming consumed with a need to work harder, push myself beyond my manageable limits, and never stop until I am the sought after one. It’s a crippling and mentally exhausting effort that ultimately seeks only to hurt me not help me. For the most part I can maintain and manage this aspect of my personality, however, when provoked or aggravated I lose all control. My confidence is overshadowed completely by insecurity. It is in these moments that the darker, wounded, and tarnished parts of me wield themselves over to the unruly narcissist. At its will, I lose sight of myself and any sort of reality.
As much as I don’t like to believe that what other people have to say about me does influence what I do, but it does. It’s a hard pill to swallow. A definite blow to my sense of independence and pride. When you’re dealing with such a raging, narcissistic, and self-destructive force in your head like I am, a little outside opinion is kind of beneficial. My sense of confidence is real. However, there are many days where it’s just a facade put up to hide the internal strife. My human desire to feel respected and included means that other people influence my level of confidence. Ultimately, my sense of confidence is fabricated in likeness of my mood and situational circumstances. I would be lying if praise from others and genuine respect showed toward me helps boost my confidence, It does. But who doesn’t like to be appreciated for who they are as a person or what they do with their life? As much as I don’t want it do affect me, it does help ease the fear of failure. Being told that who I am, as I am, is good enough and appreciated helps to counteract self-deprecating, negative talk within my mind. Positive comments and self-talk discourages and helps destroy my desire for an unattainable image of perfection I have crafted for myself.
I have a lot of thinking to do about this still. I’m confident though that this realization is going to serve me well in the coming future. I need to remind myself that true perfection is the beauty of imperfection. Flaws are the spice of life. Failures are testaments of bold effort. Lies create a fool’s paradise. I cannot let myself become the victim of delusional ideals that have far transcended reality. I need to be real. My desire is that to be free. I need to embrace what it means to be me.
Learning to Just Be,