Yesterdays new routine didn’t last long. I finally got back to sleep at 04:30 this morning and managed to get 3:15 hours sleep. This meant that I didn’t want to get out of bed today, so I made some breakfast and then watched a couple of hours of 80’s TV.
I realised that I was making excuses to not do things for myself today. I was quite happy and content to stay in bed, but I knew that this would lead to me feeling worse later on and not sleeping very well again tonight, so I forced myself up and into the shower and then went out to the cinema again.
This evening I went to see Robin, my SAA sponsor. It was the first time we had properly met to talk about him sponsoring me and what it involved. I now feel like I’m actually starting to work the program. I’ve been making good progress on my own, just by attending meetings and talking to people, so I’m confident that if I put my head down and really work the 12 steps then I can make some sustainable, positive improvements to myself.
The real focus of today has been on my co-dependency. Today has also brought this issue to the forefront of my attention and I am now recognising that I need to acknowledge I am a co-dependent and begin to work this into my recovery too.
I do have a constant need to please people. This was my problem today, I didn’t want to do anything on my own or for myself because I have been spending a lot of time thinking about how other people are doing and if I can help them.
I was talking myself out of going to the cinema today because I had suggested to a couple of others that we should go see this particular film together. It’s been 2 weeks and we haven’t actually done anything about it. I wanted to see this film whilst it’s still in IMAX 3D and today I needed to get out of the house and just do something. After a lot of pondering I just said ‘fuck it’ and got in the car. I felt much better when returning from the cinema because I had done something for me that I enjoyed and I wanted to do.
This evening I’m actually wondering if the co-dependency thing is actually the most important issue that I need to address. It’s been kind of easy(ish) to stop drinking and stop acting out. My awareness of these illnesses has made it easy for me to make wiser choices. I act out and/or drink and I know what the consequences will be, so I chose not to start that cycle by abstaining from both. This awareness has lead me to be more mindful of what I put into my body, as food also has an affect on my mood, especially sugar.
Wanting to please others is more of a blind spot for me and I don’t see it coming. What starts as a friendly conversation about the illness or recovery can soon turn into an overriding and compulsive desire to ‘fix’, ‘help’ or ‘please’ someone else. When I lose my focus on myself and stop being present then that creates a feeling in me that says, ‘this is uncomfortable, do something to fix it, quick’. This leads to the feeling of wanting to drink or wanting to act out or wanting to sink into depression and beat myself up for not being good enough, or for failing the other people.
When I’m present then I’m aware that the only thing that is real is my conscious self and that I need to respect my conscious self. When I do this, everything else comes naturally because I feel connected to the universal consciousness (Higher Power) and my decisions are made effortlessly. I know how to treat others because it is the same as I treat my own conscious self. Life becomes simple and choices are obvious.
When I’m thinking about others I’m trying to please them and that means I’m second guessing how they are feeling, what they are thinking and what they are doing. I have no fricken idea what they are feeling, thinking or doing, so what’s the point in trying to empathise with them. It is pointless. It does me no good and it does no good for the person I’m trying to control or manipulate.
In the past I’ve naturally tended to do this with women, as it’s a way of controlling them and hopefully getting some form of sexual gratification from them. I guess now I’m just doing it with everyone. I’ve been really good at focusing on my needs recently, but over the last 7-10 days I’ve realised that each day I’ve been struggling a bit more.
Now that I’ve accepted I’m a co-dependent I absolutely intend to do something about.
Denial is a real bugger, whereas the truth will, quite literally, set you free!