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Old 03-21-2010, 09:46 PM
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Self Acceptance

I'm watching the season premier of Breaking Bad. If you haven't seen it, it's a show about a guy who gets cancer and funds his medical treatment by cooking methamphetamine, which happened to be my DOC. So the show fascinates me.

But more to the point the episode started out at something like a recovery support group meeting and the counselor running it asked the group by show of hands, who was there to become a better person in some way. And then she said, "Well, what you should be here for is self-acceptance."

It kinda hit me. I can't change the past. And I've been furious at myself for a long time about getting played by my boyfriend, doing drugs in the first place, being so naive and trusting people. I've felt like an idiot and I can't seem to let myself off the hook for my mistakes and my stupidity.

Time to accept it as lessons learned and move on because bawling about it a couple times a week doesn't seem to help. Dwelling on it and wallowing in it sure isn't very progressive.

Am I good enough to be ok with who and what I am? I have to work on it.

Am I good enough to have basic human happiness? Honestly sometimes I don't think so, there's a very loud part of my brain that says no. I can't seem to turn off the negative voice. It's much louder since I quit using than before I started. But maybe if I work on the first question this will follow.

Experiences? Tips?

Now repeat after me: I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and gosh darn it, people like me. LOL
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Old 03-21-2010, 11:05 PM
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I'm fascinated with that show too. I had a different DOC, but tried all of the other "better living through chemicals" options out there throughout my life. I still struggle with the question of "am I good enough" in many ways and usually on a daily basis, except for when I'm too busy to stop and think. It's getting easier to put on the happy face and present that part of me to the world, but behind closed doors my emotions and doubts really crowd my brain. It gets pretty overwhelming at times. Self-confidence and self-esteem have been two of the most difficult things for me to gain and maintain. I feel your pain and will pray that we all find ourselves believing we are worth it and we deserve nothing but the best. Peace and hugs to you.
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Old 03-21-2010, 11:41 PM
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I think this is a part of recovery that gets passed over too many times. Its a kind of paradox: Are we OK? Yes. Do we have to change? Yes.
but that doesnt make sense!! Yes.
We have to do it anyway. I think in this lies the great difficulty, and great beauty, of recovery.
Thanks for your post..
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Old 03-22-2010, 06:18 AM
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When I was newly sober, I became acutely aware that who I was and the life I was leading was unacceptable. When I got sober, I knew I could be great (well, at least as far as greatness my pea brain can handle). Now it's sorta of a paradox because I do love and accept myself - At the same time, there's many a things I need to work on.

I thunk I found the middle way!! ;-)
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Old 03-22-2010, 07:14 AM
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Good stuff to hear. No adivce because I'm still stuck there, but good food for thought. Thanks.
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Old 03-22-2010, 07:27 AM
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This is now an absolutely crucial part of recovery for me, i saw a CBT counselor (as well as my other stuff;-)) and he always said you will have a relationship with yourself for the first time in your life...of course i'm thinking hmmm what the hell is he talking about for the first 6 months sober!

For me i had to really know myself and get stuff written down and accept what i was what i had done what i am and what i do etc...then i am able to work on myself. Before i knew myself i would judge myself by my actions, thoughts, beliefs like a high court and the verdict was always guilty!

Another thing i have noticed on this journey is that the grey area has become very wide indeed, before my outlook was black or white, i would judge myself harshly and everyone else which makes sense now because i would look at the world as i looked at me...

It's not easy at all but my counselor also said trust the process and i do and it works! I have to look at myself with absolute honestly though, justification and rationalisation have to go otherwise it doesn't work.

Sane, mature people always used to say to me (the few i have met in my life that is) that you have to love yourself to be able to love another, respect yourself to respect another etc and they were right...
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Old 03-22-2010, 10:17 AM
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I feel I'm doing better in the self-acceptance department. I do have things about me that can be troublesome. So I can acknowledged it without being down about. I think I can do this because I'm doing all that I can to make improvements in my life. Recognizing that are some (plenty) aspects about myself that are in need of loving care..I get a chance to be caring of myself.
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Old 03-22-2010, 10:22 AM
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For me, self acceptance means accepting that how I feel about things is valid. Instead of beating up on myself, and trying to change the way I feel about a situations, I try to accept my feelings and maybe try and see what caused them.

This is not to say that I don't need to change aspects of myself. But it is important to see yourself as a work in progress, and not to demand too much all at once.
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Old 03-22-2010, 02:41 PM
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yes..i learned i have to have compasion for myself as well as otheres....I am a part of the whole...if that makes sense....i use to see myself as seperate from the world around me...so while being compasionate and understanding of others was obviuos to me as spritual growth...i didnt' get the concept that we are all interconnected and therefore me being mean to me was me being mean to the whole.

I want to be comfortable enough with who i am to share it with the world....like genius said...I keep thinking i have to change me to share myself with others.....but really, as popey says...i am who i am, and who i will be tomarrow or one minite from now will be different....Mindfulness practice can help me to be more comfortable in my own skin....this of course requires some effort on my part .....
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Old 03-22-2010, 03:20 PM
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Letting the past go can be tough. The more distance you have between the past and who you are becomming, the easier it becomes. The thing that has really helped me is that I now realize I can learn from the past without dwelling (beating myself up) on it. One of our esteemed fellows on this site has the sig..."every saint has a past; every sinner a future". When new here my addictive mind shredded it to meaningless bits of rubbish with incisive analysis; now at 8 months it makes perfect sense. Also there is a general consensus that most people don't really start feeling balanced until about a year. Again; early on I though it too was rubbish. For me now it's not. I've found real wisdom in the words of those who are now sober and living balaced productive lives. I want what they've got; and know I am going to get it.

Last edited by ElegantlyWasted; 03-22-2010 at 03:24 PM. Reason: sTructure
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Old 03-22-2010, 03:58 PM
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I agree with he who is so elegant. ;-)

My life has three stages. The child victim, the sick adult, and who I now am. Still a little sick, but it's all good. ;-) The first two stages are stories to me today.
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Old 03-23-2010, 01:25 PM
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Originally Posted by ElegantlyWasted View Post
Also there is a general consensus that most people don't really start feeling balanced until about a year. Again; early on I though it too was rubbish. For me now it's not. I've found real wisdom in the words of those who are now sober and living balaced productive lives. I want what they've got; and know I am going to get it.
I did the same thing, shredded all the advice I got to bits. I'm somewhere around 10 months along. It's a rocky road but I'm beginning to understand things in a way I never could have if I a) hadn't done drugs, and b) hadn't quit drugs. It feels a little uncomfortable to be somewhat grateful for those experiences, miserable as they were. Before I did drugs I had a very sheltered life. I reluctantly started drugs, disapproving of myself, but eventually thought I was living. Parties, friends, dope... I had a glittering world around me. But it's a tired cliche that's true: all that glitters isn't gold.

In a sense drugs released me from a lot of fears but it was only the difference of being allowed into a slightly larger cell in a different kind of prison. I had to quit drugs to get out. I think I'm on parole; I have an uneasy sense of knowing if I screw anything up I could go back. And maybe that's why it's hard to forgive myself still, it's not exactly in the past yet.
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Old 03-23-2010, 05:28 PM
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I think I'm on parole <-- Likey that thought
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Old 03-26-2010, 10:10 PM
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I absolutely hate the oh-go-on-Oprah-already way this sounds but basically I'm almost 10 months along and I'm just realizing how much my drugging and drinking affected my confidence and self-esteem. I only met druggies and they thought of me as a dope...erm... prostitute (SR won't accept the other word for it). Welcome to the underworld. If you're female you're probably a dope *****. And even if don't sleep around for it, everyone assumes you do.

So now I'm fighting myself. It's hard not to think of myself as a loser because for so long I was one.
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Old 03-26-2010, 11:40 PM
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Originally Posted by gneiss View Post
I absolutely hate the oh-go-on-Oprah-already way this sounds but basically I'm almost 10 months along and I'm just realizing how much my drugging and drinking affected my confidence and self-esteem. I only met druggies and they thought of me as a dope...erm... prostitute (SR won't accept the other word for it). Welcome to the underworld. If you're female you're probably a dope *****. And even if don't sleep around for it, everyone assumes you do.

So now I'm fighting myself. It's hard not to think of myself as a loser because for so long I was one.
It really helps me to separate my behavior from my sense of self. So "I was a drug-ho" becomes "My addiction was so strong I traded sex for drugs." You weren't a loser, you made some poor decisions and you are learning from your mistakes.
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Old 03-27-2010, 05:31 PM
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Yeah.... when i was er...younger...drinking always involved sleeping around....it was just part of the deal....

Although early on in my first try at sobriety I got into some rather embarrasing moments about it.....it does fade in time, and reputations are repaired.

The wierd thing is ... most men slept around just as much as me...but somehow that was ok....I don't understand why people can't realize that men and women are far more alike then different....I could rant on that one forever...but why spoil a perfectly wonderful day
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Old 04-03-2010, 12:51 AM
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There are so many times in my life, most of them when I was drugging but there are a few before that, when I wish I'd stood up for myself. Simply saying, "I won't buy drugs for you" or "Get out of my apartment and don't come back" or "I'm not your b!tch"...

But I was too afraid. I've gotten a little better but I still do this. Will I ever find my spine? I always thought I was stronger than that, a little more [email protected], liked myself enough to stick up for me. But I'm not and I don't. I'm a little worm on a huge hook, I have almost no self respect. I don't feel like I deserve any, I'm a used up druggie who was too afraid to lose her boyfriend to say no to him. And now I am so afraid of falling for someone else's bs that it's not worth trying. Ya know how they say it's better to have loved and lost blah blah blah? It's bs. I was happy before I fell for him, I had my life together. And now I'm a mess, I'm sort of chronically morose, and I don't want anyone around me because they're all lying to me and trying to use me.

I hope it ends at some point. I hope sometime I can feel normal again, relate to people in a normal way, respect myself again, and let go of things I can't change. I don't know how to do that, haven't figured it out. I used to have to forgive myself for double-booking dates and accidentally offending a friend; I've never had to forgive myself for f*cking up my own life.
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Old 04-03-2010, 04:49 AM
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okay..goin out on a limb at 5:30 am in the morning....

Gneiss...It's one thing to take responsiblity for my actions, and another to not recognize what isn't my responsibility...and it's a subtle but important difference....I need balance on this.

I did not "choose" to be an alchoholic/addict....Although I am responsible today for doing those things I can to recover....I simply didn't know what was gonna happen when i started and had no idea i would struggle so with being unable to stop. And other people had a part as well...i don't dwell on it, but I must recognize it. Ok..i was a ****/hore....I misbehaved and made wrong decisions in a million different ways....but...that doesn't take away that my partners and friends all had their own part in the drama....

In my own alchoholism and life I see that I ALWAYS felt like I only got two cookies and everyone else got three. And i would do ANYTHING necessary to get that third cookie...regardless to the damage to myself or to those around me. The cookie, i believe, may have been acceptance of me... I sought it from others instead of from myself.

I didn't ASK to be this way....it happened due to the circumstances of my life...MUCH of it beyond my control....

Today I take personal responsibility for my recover, and for my self esteem. others cannot fix me. Maybe I can't fix me either...but I can turn and face the right direction.

In my case, insest paid a large part in creating this absess in myself, but it doesn't have to be something that obvious...and i'm not convinced I even have to understand the totality of how i got turned into a cookie *****...I just need to know that I didn't choose to be scum, I never really was scum...and I can have a future in which cookies return to thier natural value...enjoyable but not the be all and end all of life...

Every morning i remind myself that who I am...the incredible totality of me...lies hidden under the cookie monster...And I look for ways to let loose that me that lies hidden inside

Your a precious commodity Gneiss...don't sell yourself short!
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Old 04-03-2010, 05:20 AM
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[B][FONT="Comic Sans MS"]I have to remind myself about what "acceptance" means: Acknowledging the facts as they exist & deciding what I am going to do about them. It isn't about rolling over & playing dead, it doesn't mean I decide that my "work" is finished. But I can stop the self-flagellation and distance myself from identification with what I have done. My task is to step aside, make an observation, and take the appropriate steps. I am borrowing from Eckhart Tolle here: He reminds us that the more we identify with the past the most surely we are to make that our present & future. If I still experience the shame of old deeds I will most likely commit more shaming episodes.
One of the beauties of sobriety has been that I have less need to see things in absolutes, or in black and white. There was a time that I struggled with the notion of forgiving myself for my alcoholism while also taking responsibility: The two seemed diametrically opposite. With time I began to view it all as a "gray" area that tolerated both forgiveness & responsibility. The best I can describe it is as a "spiritual thing."
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Old 04-03-2010, 10:26 AM
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Where I'm at today is I just have let go of the past and approach each day as an opportunity for grow in my life. Like others have said on the thread, the past is an opportunity to see the lessons that I need to learn from so as I don't keep repeating the same maladaptive behavior over and over.
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