Last Saturday I'd mentioned I was struggling writing out my character defects & flaws (step 6). I didn't know exactly what it was that I was afraid of, I knew whatever it was I was trying to avoid was a big part of who I am & it frightened the heck out of me!
I finally got over the writers block I had by getting onto a role playing game web page that had an endless amount of character flaws & defects listed. There were a ton of personal flaws that screamed my name all over it. I then had a personal break through. As I was copying down the character flaws that matched who I was I started to see a pattern. aha moment #1. The majority of my character flaws were the same as my Moms & ex-step Dads (for ease of writing the remainder of this post I'll refer to them both as my parents even though my ex-step Dad isn't in my life any longer). My greatest fear is that I'd end up being just like them, & I am, in enough ways that I started freaking out. So this is what I was afraid of the other night when I had writers block!
Aha moment #2. Once I realized that I was so much like my parents, I was thankful that I have what I call "good child syndrome". Since I had a Mom who was a narcissist, I learned the only way I could get her to focus on anything other than herself was to be the best son imaginable. By doing things that were above & beyond what most children were willing to do to make others happy I was able to force her to focus on me, at least temporarily.
Shortly after I realized I am just like my parents I had aha moment #3! I feel like as long as I am able to continue to be the "good child" in all relationships & aspects of my life then I'm able to feel like I'm not at all like my parents. & that's when a big truth hit me, aha moment #4! Anytime I start to feel any of my personal defects that's similar to my parents start to bubble up, I become uncomfortable, so I self medicate with food. Once I get a good food buzz going the traits that were similar to my parents go away & I'm left feeling good about myself again while simultaneously hating myself because I am binge eating & am unable to control myself.
So, every time the person I am deep inside pops up, I eat to send him away. The only way I can control myself is by losing control of myself. The only way I can like myself is to hate myself. The only way I can be myself is by not being myself. Dang, no wonder I'm an addict.
Aha moment #5. If I eat to send who I am away, then I am a fraud. Not only do I not know who I am beneath this shallow exterior, but neither does my friends, my wife, or even my own precious children.
Aha moment #6. As I continue my abstinence I'll be allowing this person who I've been hiding to come out. I'm hoping & praying that person & the good child I've always forced myself to be will combine into someone who is honest with myself & others, who isn't an addict, and who others & I like. Gulp.
I'm getting close to hitting a month of abstinence for only the 3rd time in my life!
I now understand why the 12 steps is so effective at helping people to find abstinence. The emotional & spiritual growth & healing I've gone through recently is truly amazing; a gift straight from God. The progress I've made hasn't been easy, at times it's even been painful. But it's worth it. I'm worth it.
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