Stay in your own sandbox

Old 10-12-2007, 04:07 PM
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Stay in your own sandbox

Growing up I never really compared.
As I've gotten older and especially since I've had so many set backs even before abf came into the picture with my own health that I'm not where I would like to be today -mentally, career wise, financially, etc.

So as I begin to feel inadequate in those areas, I began to compare. Comparison is poison. Most of my comparing would be me looking at others and feeling sorry for myself because I was in so much pain. Now I have no accurate measuring stick for myself in ANY area- I am very distorted on many levels and even I get annoyed at myself!

So today at my lunchtime meeting I am sitting there next to a girl who is dressed in this gorgeous pinstriped suit, polished, great shoes, designer wear all around and I am actually catching myself when I go into my usual -- You will never be successful or be able to buy nice things, etc. I am not a materialistic person and am not obsessed or impressed by such things, but in that moment I just felt so lacking. I was lusting after this "image" of poise which clearly can't be too accurate since we're in an Al-Anon meeting -- and just saying to myself, "Wow, Heather. You are really distorted." Then I remembered that I have to work with what I have - both literally and figuratively and learn to give myself the permission that I am asking the world to bestow upon me.

At that minute I was glad to be in that room.
Then someone sharing snapped me to attention. He was speaking about how in our own recoveries we need to stay in our OWN sandbox and stop trying to climb into others. So what I needed to hear. I must stop pointing out things to others and get busy making things better for myself.
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Old 10-12-2007, 04:11 PM
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good for you Heather, but I think I would go buy myself a new pair of shoes. lol
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Old 10-12-2007, 05:44 PM
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I'm with Rahsue

Oh I "get" your story and I agree with you and the person who shared. I too need to remember to stay in my own sandbox sometimes.

But a new pair of shoes can't hurt, yes? :day4

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Old 10-13-2007, 07:58 AM
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In my "former life" I was one of those people. The stress and other health issues I experienced had me very thin... I often couldn't find clothes that fit me. I dressed very chic and stylish, but it was all a facade. I needed SO desperately to look good on the outside because I was desperately in need of other people's approval.

I look back on those days now... and I feel compassion for the person I was. If nothing else, I learned and truly understood that "you can't judge a book by its cover." You never really know what is going on in someone else's life, or in their mind, or behind closed doors.

I love the idea of staying in my own sandbox. I can deal with my own stuff and my own life. I don't compare myself to others anymore. That's part of my growth in recovery.

Thanks for sharing this. I needed to hear it!

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Old 10-13-2007, 08:16 AM
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Heather -

Thanks for this post! I, too, have always compared myself to others and put myself down. I still have a hard time not saying "are you crazy?!?" if I get a compliment.

I've gotten better at envying people by how they look, a lot because of the people I met when I first went to AA - a Dr. I had worked with admired (20 year RA), a judge, several nurses, lawyers, etc. All these people I would have thought "had it all"...little did I know they were dealing with the same thing I was "one day at a time".

I love the sandbox idea, too. Now, when I start to compare myself to others, I will remind myself to get back in my own sandbox!!

Hugs and prayers!!

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Old 10-13-2007, 11:56 AM
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Great analogy!

Here are some things to keep you busy

Keepin' her sandbox clean
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Old 10-13-2007, 12:29 PM
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Heather .. You are simply adorable! You know I have no doubt that one day you are going to be exactly right where you want to be .. You look so deeply within yourself and work hard to figure it all out ..I see in you what you don't yet see. You're a winner in my book

Time and knowledge will one day prevail

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Old 10-13-2007, 06:29 PM
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I see in you what you don't yet see. You're a winner in my book
Ditto what Passion said!!!! You have such incredible beauty...inside and out...your soul just shines through! There are very few young women who have the self insight and grace and wisdom that you have....not many oldies either, lol. I anxiously await the day you see in you what we see!

Isn't it just awesome how often we hear just what we need to hear in meetings.

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Old 10-13-2007, 08:20 PM
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It's always nice to hear your perspective Heather.

Remember what we talked about, don't feel guilty. Guilty isn't in your sandbox.
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Old 10-14-2007, 09:32 AM
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Hi Heather,

We all do that sometimes to ourselves. But my questions is... just because she had the best outfit does that mean she is all together on the inside? Is it what is on the outside that matters or the inside? Nice clothes and great shoes... do they make the woman or does the woman inside make the clothes? I think... you are LIGHT years ahead of her already. I think just because she had the nicest outfit, you probably could wear a berlap sack and still pull it off to appear to be the prettiest. It is what is inside that matters. It is the heart that makes the girl. It is the light that shines through her eyes, it is the love that speaks from her mouth. Go buy the shoes... But to me... you could probaby wear sneakers and come off to appear to be in the very best heels! Go easy on yourself. Yes, stay in your own sandbox.... but while you are there remember to look at what is inside of your box and not just see what others see looking from the outside.

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Old 10-14-2007, 09:42 AM
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Heather, you are so right. "Success" is all a matter of personal perspective ~ I've known a number of people who don't fit the mold of society's perfection, yet are the happiest people I've ever met.
As for you, you are perfect right now. You will grow and change, you willl be different tomorrow than you are today. But you are just who you should be, where you should be today!
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Old 10-14-2007, 01:15 PM
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I think you're talking about a character defect that I bet is pretty common in most of us here ... looking somehwere else except at ourselves.

Yep, that's why I go to meetings because they remind to get the focus back on me. And that doesn't necessarily mean I'm having to look at character defects all the time. Lots of times I need to look at myself and realize I do have a lot to offer. I think I tend to focus on the bad or the areas where I feel like I come up short. But lately, I've been reminded to realize the worth I do have. You know, I like that!
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Old 11-11-2007, 09:37 PM
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I just read through your posts. I feel almost exactly like you. It's so hard to find people who can relate. This is my first day on here. I am a Big time co. My bf was drinking a lot and starting to use vicodine. He is 25 and I could see him going down a horrible path. We would break up and get back together. Finally I wouldnt talk to him until he was ready to get help. He finally decided to go but not fully admitting he had a problem. In the begining of his 28 day program I was having almost feelings of jealousy. My emotions were all over the place. And still sometimes are. We did letters from the heart to eachother with the counselor on the second week. And he told me he needed to focus on himself and hoped we could still be friends. That ended the relationship that day. I told him he couldnt have his cake and eat it too and so did the counselor. I have feelings of resentment because i was the one working so hard to keep everything together and to get him into rehab. I spent 2 months finding one for him. The begining for him was my end. or so I thought. I felt so betrayed. I was so wrapped up in his life that I left myself far behind. Now Im just trying to find myself again. I have felt soooo may of your emotions. To the point I was begining to think I was crazy. On top of that I just found out he was talking to a girl in rehab. He says it was just a friendship but I dont believe. it. "i have read up on the rehab romance." it helps me to understand a little bit more. But also sets me back once again. its so hard trying not to contact him. He promised myself and the counselor he would not contact me and to leave me alone. his 3rd day into an sle and he called. i did not pick up or call him back. Ahhhh its hard!

Anyways, I just wanted to say hi and to let you know I can relate. It feels good to know there are other people going through the same stuff. I would love to hear back from you and to hear how you are doing.
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Old 11-12-2007, 05:43 PM
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i have missed you, glad u r here. i agree you are a very unique probley know more & are so much smarter than u think. you shine.....
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Old 11-12-2007, 06:10 PM
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thank you for this.
I had gotten out of my sandbox last week and crawled back into theirs!
love the post though
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Old 11-13-2007, 07:43 AM
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Being a Dad I can't relate to the shoes...but I do go out and buy new tools!!

Heather, great post. I know exactly what you mean...thanks...
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Old 11-13-2007, 12:52 PM
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I'll stay in my own sandbox, but you can borrow my shovel.
(I'm that kind of gal.....)
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Old 11-13-2007, 01:06 PM
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Heather you are such a gift!
If the setbacks in your life brought you here to share, I'm thanking my HP for what you have contributed.

Thanks for this post! I spent 2 1/2 days with my ex-husband driving my son to visit colleges this weekend. I crawled into the other sandbox. His income is like 3 times what mine is and I pay for almost all of the kids expenses while he spends like crazy on his new wife and daughter.

Your post reminded me that I wouldn't trade places for anything! His wife has severe emotional issues. I have a pretty great life and my kids are fantastic(probably because they only have limited access to their Dad(oops! was that a relapse?)

Thanks Heather!

P.S. His wife is one of those people who looks perfect from all outside appearances. She's an anxious knot worrying about how other people perceive her and how close her appearances are to some ideal of perfection. It's not a pretty life.
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Old 11-13-2007, 02:07 PM
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You are so insightful Heather.
I have to remind myself sometimes that just because someone looks like they are better off than me or worse off than me doesn't necessarily mean that they are.
Everyone has things going on behind the scenes that we don't get to see.
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