Growing up, I found myself frequently trapped in mental loops of self-deprecation. Phrases like, "I feel fundamentally flawed," "I feel broken," or "I feel undeserving" was my recurring mantra. It was driven by the problems of my past and the challenges I faced in the present, combined with guilt, shame, and thoughts of unworthiness. As I entered recovery, I realized that such thinking and feeling that way were far from unique; they were common expressions echoed in the rooms of recovery that I was immersing myself in on a daily basis.
During my first seven years clean, I didn't miss a single meeting. At first, it was because I was pretty much beaten to shit by my disease and was scared of going back into the hell-realm of active addiction, but later... It was because of feeling so much better... freer... less hemmed up... and being fed emotionally. It was kinda like heart-to-heart, mind-to-mind, and spirit-to-spirit resuscitation.
This journey of recovery has been more than just a process of overcoming addiction or hardship. It has also been a path of self-discovery, leading me away from the shadows of self-condemnation and towards a place of acceptance and compassion... not just of myself but so-called others. I've learned to separate the notion of doing unhelpful or damaging actions from the belief of being born damaged or defective.
It's crucial to understand the difference between being physically, mentally, emotionally, or spiritually misaligned and being 'damaged.'
Misalignment implies that there's a need for realignment, and adjustment, for growth. It suggests a journey, a process that we can open ourselves to and be guided by. On the other hand, 'damaged' suggests a finality, a permanent state of brokenness that leaves no room for repair or recovery. That way of thinking is being in a state of "F*cked" in perpetuity, that only holds the promise of being served 'Crappy meals' for the rest of our life.
The people who have guided me on this journey have been kind, caring, and empathetic. Their patience was perhaps the most significant gift they gave me. They helped me see that even though I may have made mistakes, even though I may have wandered off the path, I was not beyond redemption. They taught me that I wasn't 'damaged goods' waiting to be discarded but a human being capable of growth, change, and healing.
So, if you ever find yourself stuck in a similar loop of self-deception and self-deprecation, I invite you to notice... perhaps give yourself permission to remember that our actions or circumstances don't define our worth, our potential, or who we are. We're more than our mistakes, more than our past, and more than our present struggles. we're living, breathing testaments to resilience and growth. And with patience, empathy, and kindness, we can journey onward feeling broken to becoming whole, in the present moment.
一Fearing Less We Could Love More