I thought it all started when I had married my past husband. He was a heavy drinker who was a very negative person that was abusive. I had lived with him for thirteen years not knowing what was wrong with me, always thinking that everything was my fault. Then we divorced with me still thinking everything was my fault.
When my son turned seventeen he developed his dad’s illness, plus some, causing him to enter rehab. This is where my life began to change as I was told to go to meetings to, to help him with his recovery. Little did I know that it would begin my own recovery. I then found out that there are a lot of people out there like myself who don’t know that the illness begins mostly when you are young through taught behaviors from our parents. I had never looked at my parents of being abnormal. Yes they drank alcohol, but mostly on the weekend or when they were on vacation. I never saw them fight, so I didn’t think there was anything wrong with their behavior. Both my brother and I did well in school. Our parents were always critical of the things we did and the friends we had, but I just thought they were being parents. But then I grew up always being worried about what other people thought of me. Always trying to change the way they felt, if I thought their feeling were aimed at me, I would then feel guilty and depressed. I struggled with self esteem because I always thought I was to blame for everyone’s feelings.
So I struggled like this for a good portion of my life and then the door opened for me as I went to these meetings and found out that there was no such thing as normal for anyone. Everyone’s life is different but the same. What a paradox we live and yet we go through our life probably not knowing that we are already normal as it could get for anyone.
So things started to change for me, in the way I looked at myself and the world around me. I stopped trying to be responsible for others, their feelings and their behaviors. I began trying to focus on my feelings and behaviors. I cried a lot in the beginning, but when I no longer felt like crying it went away. Then I learned that I could feel the feeling that I wanted to feel. So now I choose to be happy all the time. I have had enough of the sadness and no longer choose to feel that one. Anger was difficult for me, I use to stuff anger and refuse to do anything with it. Anger can be very destructive and has to be vented softly.
Finding balance between all these feeling has been difficult but it can be done. I have learned to step back and wait before reacting. I allow myself to feel and I allow others to feel. It has been difficult but I like the changes I have learned to make to myself.