Alright, #recoveryrockstars last blog I asked you to look internally at your own personal keyring to determine which ones you will be keeping to help you unlock your journey. Whatever keys you personally hold dear, some keys will be standard for all recovering addicts- let's start with some of these.
The first and possibly the most fundamental of these keys will be;
Sometimes, and in this day and age, it can become especially easy to get caught up in the routines we hold ourselves hostage to. So much, that we even make ourselves feel like failures under such massive amounts of pressure.
Think about how much you actually juggle;
Not to mention each one of those then has a subcategory or five.
- Getting to and from work on time (because DUH- you have other things to do)
- Daily workload
- Weekly projects
- Pay rate
- Food/pet food
- Children (which have a million subcategories of itself)
-----------> afterschool activities
----------->childcare while you work
When you really start to map out all that you manage and deal with on a daily basis, it's actually kind of crazy.
So when we start to feel run down, worn thin, and generally stretched to the max, why do WE feel like failures? Why do we so closely relate our self-worth in our ability to work ourselves to the bone with our job(s), parenthood, night school or whatever else you are trying to juggle?
This gets amplified for addicts who are:
- still using, because they feel like they will never be able to overcome the pressure
- in recovery who already feel a step behind the rest of the game because they are back at square one.
When did our self worth depend on our ability to drown ourselves in responsibility until we are just treading water?
Until the 1940's this term of 'self-worth' was interchanged with 'self-esteem', however, I personally believe, as well as psychologists have begun to suggest the two are vastly different.
Self-esteem can be defined as the way one feels toward or views oneself as an individual in relation to others.
Self-worth is more closely related to an internal value.
Now, this is just (my personal belief and) the findings of a select few psychologists but that tiny difference of "internal value" versus "in relation to others" can be fundamental in shaping you as a person.
Most cultures have a ceremonial "rite of passage" where the person, often in adolescence, embarks on a solo venture and now I understand why!
-perhaps less symbolic than previously thought, it's an early demonstration that everything you need is inside of you and that your self-worth begins individually.
Ok, don't shut your phone off and take a journey out into the unknown completely unprepared, but there is something you can start doing today that is a little simpler, and a lot safer.
Learn to enjoy your alone time!
Your worth is not the number on your paycheck, the number of followers you have on social media, or even the number you see on your bathroom scale.
Self-worth is knowing that you take up space in this universe and that is a space that only YOU can fit. Self-worth is knowing you deserve every bit of space you do take up!
One quick and great way to build your self-worth up is to lend a helping hand to others. There is something truly magical about kindness lat leave both people humbled, comforted, and connected in a bond that is otherwise unmatched.
- Leave a nice note for someone
- Buy the coffee for the guy counting pennies to pay for his
- Volunteer (animal shelters are great boosters)
Keep in mind that kindness doesn't have to come in the form of a $20,000.00 check in order to make a difference.
-one day at work I must have been visibly upset by something and a customer came up to the counter of the restaurant and started doing some small magic tricks. His girlfriend cheered him on as he did four or five tricks, bending some silverware and some other slight of hand. When the tricks were over, I applauded, as well as the tiny crowd of onlookers that had formed around us. He quickly grabbed his bags, and he and his girlfriend were on their way, but just before they left he circled back to the counter for some parting words.
"You just really looked like you could use a smile. Hope that made your day better."
-that was it!
It was that simple!
You see, people won't remember every word you say, if your eyebrows were on 'fleek', or how much you weighed...
But they WILL remember how you made them feel.
Another easy way to build up your self-worth, is you spend time doing things that align you with your values and goals;
- spend time outside
- volunteer at church
- join a drum circle
Whatever puts you closer to your core values as a human; so long as you aren't hurting anyone else.
Don't think I have forgotten that giant negative voice in your head- in everyone's head.
Sure it's work to silence that inner voice that's often critical and mean. You know that voice, the one in the back of your head always judging you and belittling even your biggest accomplishments with "you could have done better"; let's call him the Ramsey voice.
Everyone has the Ramsey in their ear, and they all say the same types of things about how we should have made different decisions and things could be better now, or how we are such a bloody idiot for messing up something so simple!
-and when it comes to juggling our insane daily routine, or lack thereof, your Ramsey voice can get especially overbearing.
That's when you have to mentally yell at your Ramsey,
"SHUT UP !"
Don't forget that voice inside your head is just that, in your head. Silence it!
Take time and literally write with pen and paper (or blank text screen if you have nothing else) three things that you did that day that make you proud as a person.
- Staying sober -oh yeah, I put this at the top of every list! This is one to be proud of!!!
- Dropping my change into the donation bucket, every little bit helps and I only have a little to spare.
- Still staying sober after my coworker threw me under the bus for that deadline.
I used that last one as an example that even if you repeat your reasons, it doesn't cancel out the accomplishment.
So grab your key labeled 'self-worth' and slide it into your keyring.
Get familiar with this key on your ring and we will start to add more along the way.
Don't forget we are in this together as we traverse this new #lifeonthesoberside