I had lunch today with a friend from the program and was suppose to have dinner with another friend tonight but when she called it seemed like things were getting complicated on her end so I suggested rescheduling.
I felt instant relief when she agreed. I am more in tune with myself these days and when I have too much conversation in one day I feel worn out. I use to think if I didn't say yes to every request I was being unkind and selfish. I don't like to disappoint people.
The program taught me to take care of myself. The original version of Blueprint for Progress an Al-Anon 4th step book has some pretty strange questions in it about self care. It ask questions like When was the last time you went to the doctor or dentist? How weird a thought but I wasn't doing either.
We don't know how to take care of ourselves. Especially when we are dealing with people in our lives that create drama. Living with active addiction the other persons needs come first and let's face it we get a little thrill out of putting out fires and being the hero. But it does take a toll on you spiritually and physically after awhile.
Before the program I was a martyr in just about every area of my life. At work I just kept going never a day off. I worked when I was sick and looked at those people that actually stayed home when they are sick with scorn. I thought I was better more dedicated than they were a real trooper. When I lost my job in corporate America I had 240 sick days and I lost them all. I showed them.
It is crazy how we abuse ourselves until some major crisis slaps us down to get our attention. Our bodies and spirits say " hey your killing me". I remember one time working sick for so long and finally going to the doctor and they wanted to put me in the hospital. I refused because I couldn't miss work.
It isn't because we are so dedicated to others it is because we aren't worthy of love if we aren't contributing. If I can make you happy you will love me more and I will be worthy of your love.
It is a great big hole that has to be filled. It is one that is never filled by someone else's praises and accolades and even if I save the world I will still feel like it isn't enough. I have found this behavior also attracts people that need things done for them. It not intentional it is just a perfect match. I do things and you need things done. That is pretty simple.
Being busy in service to others, even when they didn't ask, keeps us from looking at what is in that hole. A crisis forces you to look down in that dark hole and face it.
What is so scary? What is the darkest thoughts I have about myself? For me personally it is that " I am not enough" and the every failed relationship or rejection of any kind is proof of that. This is what I saw when I took that big flashlight and shined in down in that hole.
Over the years I learned a lot and was a good student of the steps. I learned how to treat myself better but I still felt something was missing. I still had this core belief that I had to be worthy of love and I couldn't figure out what made me worthy. I tried everything I thought would make me worthy and it didn't work.
What I finally realized that real love is unconditional. It isn't worth. We are all equally valuable whether we save the world or sleep on the sidewalks. That is true love without judgement.
I have started first by giving unconditional love to myself. Love your neighbor as yourself. If I can love myself I can begin to truly love those that cross my path.