I’m a big fan of it!
I look forward to it all week if my husband can get home early enough for me to go.
Since I’ve been going I’ve found out a lot about myself. I always thought it was strange when people say that. Like on the Bachelor they say it a lot. And I think, what are they even talking bout? And sorry if I come off a little crazy tonight, my blood sugar is low and I’m being rebellious and not eating yet and writing this first.
My point is, I’ve been learning why I am the way I am, and therefore I am able to grow because of this newfound knowledge.
It’s tricky to share on here. If you know me personally, you know my abuse background. I’ve spoken outwardly on my blog about when I was sexually abused, but the type of abuse that is the trickiest for me is the emotional abuse.
The emotional abuse is hard because when someone for years tells you you’re worthless, it’s hard to not believe you’re worthless. When I first got married my husband would try to tell me I was smart and it was hard for me to believe him. That one actually took probably 2 years to believe him, I am smart. He told me I even scored better than him on portions of the ACT and he’s going to be a Doctor, I think that’s finally when I believed him. J
So I started heading to the 12 step with friend because I have known that I’ve had issues that I didn’t have completely worked out with my counselor in college before. Now I can’t afford one so I figured this ARP was the next best thing.
You may think it’s strange that an abuse victim would go to an AA type meeting. Well, if I’m honest, I am an addict. In several ways. I’m an addict from years of abuse and not wanting to focus on the abuse so I would hide it with other things to cover up the pain. It’s very common. I imagine it’s fairly common with those who haven’t bene abused.
I didn’t think I was an addict because I don’t drink alcohol, I’m not obese so I don’t have an eating addiction, and I am pretty high functioning. I was wrong. I am addicted to food and addicted to shopping and the internet and solitaire or other games, because it numbs the pain. And if I can numb the pain, I don’t have to address the pain.
Oddly enough, my biggest breakthrough was finding out I am also co-dependent. This was huge for me because I invest so much of my happiness in what others think of me. When you lack firm self-esteem you seek for it often in what others think of you. So if a friend is upset at me, it’s the end of the world for me. I freak out. If I care about someone enough, then I care what they think and it’s ugly. I think we all can relate to that, but I have panic attacks over it so it’s a little intense.
Anyways when this new knowledge of co-dependency came into light I felt like a freak of nature. Like whoa I’m an abuse victim, I’m an addict and I’m co-dependent. I’m pretty pathetic. But they helped me realize that a lot of those things go hand in hand. And now instead of feeling pathetic, I feel like I can get better because I know why I cry when my landlord tells me to wipe the chalk off my screen door instead of acting calm about it, I act like he killed my mother.
The cool thing about the 12 step is that you have a book you work on your own and pray and let the Lord guide you and help strengthen you through the process. The bad thing is I suck at doing that. When I do do that, I grow immensely.
The other part I love about going is how everyone is so loving and accepting. I was so worried they would see me walk in and think I had no problems and nothing worth complaining about and their issues were more serious than mine and it would almost be like I was mocking them. But instead they listen when it’s my turn and kindly tell me they love what I said and we all learn and grow together. It’s just wonderful. Just having a group of people sit quietly and listen to me as long as I want to speak is so healing.
It’s also very private so no one runs their mouth on things I say in there which helps me be more open. Although the leader wants me to be even more open. I feel like I sit there and cry and I’m like I am being open! I’m being real! So part of that is now writing this blog. The problem is, I can’t tell about my history on here, I only can in person for personal reasons, which I don’t like being vague about because it’s like I’m scared to be blunt which I don’t think I am.
Anyways, I need to go eat and go to bed. But I wanted you all to know, if you have a Church of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in your area they have a great Addiction Recovery Program and it’s free and if you’re Christian the book is based on using Christ’s enabling power to help lift us out of these burdens. It’s lovely.