You are going to upset people when you start taking care of your needs. People are used to having their way with you; seeing you in a certain light; having you come to their rescue; witnessing you take a back seat. Don’t be scared to disappoint people by doing what’s best for you.
This quote reminds me so much of going to a family counselor. I had recently got sober. My counselor in rehab mentioned that my family might have a hard time adjusting to the new, sober me. But stick to my guns, hold my head high, and don’t drink. So I did what was suggested.
When I was active in my disease of alcoholism, I would vomit out threats to my kids. And then I wouldn’t follow through. I would give in to them as I didn’t want the drama of giving them the love and attention, and discipline, they deserved. I didn’t know how. How to step back and see the whole picture. My disease not only affected me, it affected them. I was still reacting. I still thought I was in control. Who was I fooling?
In my new life in recovery, what my counselor had said came true. I was a new person and my family didn’t know how to deal with this stranger who was still their mom. And they probably didn’t trust that she would be around for long.
The family counselor I saw suggested I no longer be the door mat.
My family was so used to me being the door mat, walking on me, stomping on me, and getting their way. When I felt a bit strong, I would hold my door mat head up and they would come and stomp me down again. I had to stop being a door mat.
I took care of my own needs first and sobriety was my priority. What I placed in front of my sobriety, I would lose. I no longer came to their rescue when the term paper assignment they brought home last month is due tomorrow. My new slogan,
“A lack of planning on your part is not my emergency.” I followed through.
I no longer took the back seat. I made sure their basic needs were met after my sober needs were met. I engaged in time for just me.
They started to get used to the new me and, I believe, I slowly started to gain their respect and trust. One day at a time.
Having worked the Steps in a Twelve Step Program of Recovery, being rigorously honest with a trusted sponsor and surrounding myself with non-judgmental like-minded people has helped me to finally be comfortable in my own skin. To be proud of who and what I am. To look at my alcoholism as a gift. For had I now suffered through the darkness of my active disease I would not realize how wonderful my life is today…happy, joyous and free…to be me.
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