Today’s post does not have anything to do with food or exercise, but with some things that I have been struggling with lately. I like reading when other people overcome things, so I feel that sharing is necessary to help others that may be struggling with the same things.
The past few weeks I have been struggling with understanding and accepting what Erin wants and needs. For so long during my addiction, I was whatever you wanted me to be that I grew up without a concrete sense of self. Your values became my values and changed with each relationship that came into my life. I tried to avoid conflict at all costs, so if I disagreed with you on something, I would simply tell myself to change my thinking so that it was in alignment with yours. Ta-da! No fighting.
Once I entered recovery, I realized that I had no idea what I liked or didn’t like, what my values were, etc. If you asked me where we should go to eat, I couldn’t even tell you because I was so used to deflecting and following another person. My follow up question would always be “well where do you want to eat?” I needed to spend time figuring out and defining the Erin that I wanted to be. It is not an overnight process and I can really only fine tune things by trial and error. I figured out the big ones, but it has been harder for me to not define myself based on what other people think since I have been doing it for so long.
The hardest part is to understand and accept that I am my own person. I don’t have to let other people influence me to the extent that I could. The only conscience that I have to answer to is my own and if I am happy with my decisions then that is really all that matters. It is both a beautiful and an extremely frustrating process. Beautiful in that I am finally able to become the version of myself that I want to be, but frustrating in that I can’t snap my fingers and have it be done. There are numerous times where I am uncomfortable in the process of discovery and want to give up. It is so much easier to go along with someone else than figure out what I want, but I know where that has gotten me and I don’t want to be in that place again.
Today I really enjoy figuring out my likes and dislikes. Figuring out who I am makes me feel more complete and I can give of myself fully in all relationships if there’s actually a full person to give. I am able to set boundaries, stand up for myself, and accomplish more in life by learning who I am. The past few weeks I have been in the process of fine tuning things and recognizing that some of my beliefs were molded on a warped perception of events in my life. It is hard to question things that you have believed for a long time, but today I am being more open minded to the idea that my way is not the best or only way. It is only by doing that that I can achieve the change that I am striving for.
The good news is that things seem to be on the upswing and I don’t feel as uncomfortable as I have lately. I guess you could classify this post as the intangible part of An Inside Job, but these things are just as (if not more) crucial as the eating and exercise that I do to keep my body healthy. The mental, emotional, and spiritual parts of myself also need to be cared for if I want to live a healthy and fulfilling life. I am thankful for the tough times because without them I wouldn’t be able to appreciate the good.
Ok, I lied. Here is some food: