Loving or loved?

I felt a little better today. I’ve managed to do some reading and writing; my creative valve is healthily open at the moment, despite my ongoing anxiety. This evening I had the step 11 meeting to look forward to, where they have ten minutes’ meditation at the beginning. When I got there I didn’t feel as uncomfortable as I did yesterday, as none of the ‘S & J’ clique were there. I knew I needed to share about what had happened to me yesterday, and I hoped that I would get a chance after the meditation, which almost put me to sleep today. It was very relaxing. That’s why I like that room, it’s great for meditative practise.

I got my chance to share, and I shared about the fact that I nearly broke down on the bus last night, which may have shocked some people who had no idea I was in such a state. That’s me – I’m good at hiding how I feel. As I talked about my fear and insecurity regarding the people, places and things in my life, I felt the familiar lump in my throat, just as I did last night, though tonight it was better because I seemed to be in a safer place. I knew that I’d got into such a state because I’m very good at torturing myself. As I have said twice this week, these are just feelings, they can’t hurt me. But my illness wants me to believe that everything is doom and gloom, all the time.

I pulled myself out of the hole by reminding myself mid-share of the step 11 reading, which tells us that it is ‘better to love rather than be loved; to understand rather than be understood’. I don’t need rescuing from my life, I’m not starving or homeless. An objective look at my life would show that there is nothing wrong with it today. My sick head hates being objective, but I’m getting to the stage where it is becoming impossible to remain passive and victimised in my life. I don’t want to be a victim any more. I don’t need to be loved or understood any more than I already am – it’s time for me to start loving, understanding and helping others. When things don’t go my way, when friends appear to let me down and fail to live up to my standards, the best thing for me is to be as loving and understanding as I would be had they met all my expectations. Of course there’s a long, tough slog ahead of me when it comes to practising love and understanding. My two biggest character defects, co-dependency and passive aggression, are just about as powerful as they ever were, and they’re not going to improve overnight. I should have learnt a long time ago that acting out on my character defects wasn’t getting me anywhere in AA, but clearly I didn’t because I still find myself isolating, pushing people away with sharp, snappy responses when they’re trying to be polite.

I’m not an impolite person, it’s simply the illness which makes me act out on anxious occasions like this week. I have to detach from that faulty behaviour, those character defects, if I want to survive. How many times have I been here before? Many, undoubtedly. I hope I’ll learn this time. Well, if I can get to bed tonight sober I’ll at least have achieved something.

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