This post by the lovely Twisted Knitter inspired me to write my own story. It's hard to know what is appropriate to share on this space or why I would even want to share personal things. Like Janet, I'm not sure if this will get posted.
I have through out my life imposed ridiculously high standards for myself and impossible goals that made me feel bad when I didn’t reach them. I also felt like I couldn’t say no to anyone. I resented my friends and family for expecting so much from me. What a mess, I was so unhappy! And it was all my fault, my doing.
During and before the time my son became sober, about 2 years ago, we had so much time to talk as a family. I used that time to take a hard look at myself, did not like what I saw, and set my mind to go about changing. Other people's behavior is not in my control. If you have ever had a child who is spiraling out of control because of alcohol, the pain is unbearable. It was making me sick, or rather I was making me sick. I just knew I couldn't be sick anymore. Perhaps others, including my son, couldn’t or wouldn’t change, but I knew I could.
I read a lot on this subject and talked to people I trusted and got a lot of encouragement. Then I tried to let some things go. First to go was my unattainable desire for perfection! control! speed! adoration! I got the courage to look the other way, remove myself from situations, and stay away from certain people. I started to say NO often! I eventually quit my unhealthy job situation. Most importantly, I set a standard for how I thought I should be treated and accepted no less. Believe me, these changes were not easy to make then, but easier now, you get used to making the changes and finally the changes become habits. The changes become the new you. Lucky for me I had a few close friends and a loving family to share things with. And prayer was my constant quiet companion.
It’s funny, I think some people may have noticed a change in me, but rarely did anyone say anything. Perhaps if they saw a change they adapted to the new me and still loved me. My son became sober and he was proud of the changes in me. I was proud of him.
I am now so much better, so much happier. I have a feeling of peace and contentment that was out of my grasp a few years ago. I know my husband is happier that I am happier, but truthfully, he had a bit of an upset at the beginning.
I acknowledge that I am very talented in so many ways. I love to create, do and make, and love to share all of it. But now it’s always on my terms and I never allow myself to feel guilty about how I spend my time or money or explain away who or what I love.
Those whom I love, I show it, I behave myself around them and give them space and acceptance. I expect it back too. It's way easier that way, why didn't I think of it before?
My son read this and suggested I add that it takes courage to evaluate one's self, come up lacking and seek out change. It sure does, I observed his courage with great pride and took pride in my own. This is not so much my story but my family's story, specifically my part in my family's story. Perhaps our story will inspire courage in others.
At 60, I am a real work in progress. God help me.
Bless you, and thank you for reading.