Day 8 of 12 Days of Emotional Sobriety
Many addicts suffer from ‘fantasy functioning’. We come by it honestly, if we have grown up with a lack of healthy, positive role models for life. In attempts to compensate for low self-esteem, we push ourselves relentlessly to be some unrealistic version of perfection. We believe that life should be easy and that we will meet our soul mate and live happily ever after. When that doesn’t pan out, we beat ourselves up or we drink again.
Being realistic about life is about accepting what is possible. We may all be created equal in God’s eyes, but that doesn’t mean we are all the same. Knowing your limitations, especially when it comes to accepting your addiction, fosters contentment – a feeling that is elusive to addicts.
Perfection is a concept that doesn’t exist. It is a debilitating strategy meant to cover up shame. Being willing to cut yourself and others some slack for your humanness is a quality that will foster greater happiness. There is a recovery slogan: “Live and Let Live” which I love. It sounds simple but is tremendously deep in meaning. It means living our lives and not expecting others to follow suit. It means finding compassion for others so that each person can decide for him/herself what is best.
During the holidays, many people may want you to join in with activities that don’t support your recovery. Letting yourself live by your own principles and priorities, while not judging them for their choices, will go a long way in creating more emotional sobriety for you.
Tip for Today
Take stock of your day and ask yourself if you are being realistic about what you want to accomplish. Are you doing too much? Or not enough? Are you judging someone who has made different choices than you would make in the same situation? If so, see if you can ‘live and let live’, allowing space for everyone to walk their own path in life. Notice what happens when you make this shift or if you are struggling, what is blocking you from this change in perspective.
Share this with your friends and family who could benefit from 12 tips to keep you emotionally sober this holiday season. Don’t forget to leave a comment below if this resonates with you or if you have tips of your own you’d like to share. See you tomorrow for tip #9!