The hard truth I have discovered on the journey of recovery is that I am never quite satisfied. With life, myself or the people around me. Over the years the latter I can usually cut some slack but with myself I never really let off the hook.
When I stumbled upon the 12 steps for the first time they didn't really mean much. I was a zombie in those rooms with pain so heavy that I wonder now how I managed. I had so much baggage that no one could get close to me.
I blamed myself first for not being good enough to keep my marriage from ending. I came there to make myself a better person. I needed to understand why everyone left me. I used the program as yet another way to acheive perfection. Working towards a more lovable and worthy person.
In my mind I was never good enough for the people in my life but I just kept on trying to figure how to be better. Be more like the person they wanted me to be but I failed. Over an over again people left. In my mind where there is smoke there is fire.
Whats wrong with me? My therapists assured me that it wasn't me but secretly I didn't believe them. I had to work harder use my intelligence to root out my flaws. I was constantly trying to improve to shield myself being booted out. No matter what I got the shaft in work and in my personal life. I was replaced with someone more worthy.
I always felt sucker punched. The last time standing eye to eye in the hall me thinking, you got to be kidding me, are you sayings it is over? It was a drunken conversation which gives courage to the lips. I took it from there. You don't want me then I don't want you.
I have been reviewing my story the past couple of days. Both of my significant relationships ended at Thanksgiving. Even though I am over it the little person living in my subconscious brings it up around this time every year.
What is different about me now is that I realize that I can let myself off the hook. I don't have to constantly chisel away what I think is a fault or unattractive. I can be satisfied with the person I am. Really.
What I do know now is that, in the past, I would do anything to be loved. I was controlling the situation and thinking in order to be loved I must be who you want me to be. It was second nature to me. The only time I was true self was when I was alone with nothing to lose. Once I was in love I wanted to make sure nothing changed so I started tweaking myself to suit someone else.
My ex's would probably disagree with last part. This is where the passive aggressive part of me stepped in because the things I did were not authentic they had strings attached. If you didn't acknowledge and appreciate the sacrifices (tweaking) I made I shut down or rebelled in subtle ways. Just no fun at all.
Wow, what a confession. I have been a child most of my life. I have acted and reacted in the way a child would. I didn't know better. I was trying to secure the love and security I lost early on. I have been the chameleon that I have accused others of being.
Did I get anything from all the work I have done on myself? The Steps and beyond. The answer is yes. I now have to give of the search for perfection and work on just being happy with myself and what I am doing today.
You can't be who someone wants you to be because you don't live in their head and besides what we want changes minute by minute. So this time I am going to be myself whoever that is today.
It is harder than I imagined being myself. Not looking for others to validate me or give me answers. Learning to do only things for the right reasons. A different kind of tweaking this time one without strings.