As I have mentioned previously, I am a highly sensitive person, and someone who holds very high standards for myself and others. When I feel I am treated unfairly, it is incredibly difficult for me to restrain myself. I give all of myself to whatever I do, even if it is emptying disgusting, overflowing trash, scrubbing a filthy floor, cleaning a messy toilet, moving heavy, awkward furniture outside in 100F weather, repeating my ‘tour guide speel’ for the 20th time that day. I am full of passion and I am impulsive. SO impulsive! Apparently we “prone to addiction” types often are quite impulsive, as well as determined, unwavering, creative, passionate, reactive.
I have an exceptional work ethic, which I learned thanks to being first a Corpsmember, then a Crew Leader in the California Conservation Corps whose motto is “Hard Work Low Pay, Miserable Conditions.” Best job ever! That job taught me the value of giving all of myself, all the time, to whatever task was at hand. It was an enormous turning point in my very young life, the first experience of being seen as a Leader at age 22. It started my life long journey into leadership, management, and business.
Now that I am an employee and not in a leadership position, not managing, with no real choice in leading (except when I take new peeps under my wing), I am going through a profound adjustment, to put it mildly. I am trying to control my impulse to scream. When I feel someone is shaming me for being human, for something I did or said that to me is absurdly teeny tiny and not at all important but that they view as enormous, I want to scream “STOP IT!!”. As they blow up the incidence from molehill to mountain in order to wrong me, to belittle and disempower me, I feel every cell in my body revolting. I truly want to strangle them. Shaming is a horrible thing, and something we do often in this world. Women, in particular I believe, experience ineffable shame both given and received. I certainly received my share of shaming from my mother and brothers growing up, and no doubt I have passed it along unknowingly, sadly. I am SO sorry for that; if you were a recipient, please forgive me! I would never intentionally shame anyone now, knowing how rotten it makes the person feel.
Women are threatened by other strong women. It is a sad truth of our society that so many women view one another as competition, something to rally against, something to be “better than”. We compare and despair, judge one another, size the other up deciding whether or not they are worthy. I am so over that, I truly could care less about being the “Number One”, the star player, the standout. I just want to be someone who loves herself, feels totally comfortable in her own skin, is exceedingly happy and passionate about her life, and glows from the inside out. I have accomplished all of that in my sobriety; the inner sunshine has returned in the form of joy and vitality. It is so refreshing! And it is a magnet that attracts others who want to be in the happy bubble with me, it brings others close to me. It is also a magnet that repels anyone who thinks they need to be competing with me, in particular in the work environment. I honestly do not mean to compare myself to anyone. I have all I can handle just being ME, that’s a big enough job! All I can do is continue to make an extreme effort to restrain myself when I want to slap someone, hold in the rude and negative comments that want to come flying out of my mouth in reaction to what has been said to me, and BE an example to others of grace, strength, self confidence, joy, and passion. I am doing the best I can to be impeccable, but no doubt this road is very long, and I have a long way to go to reach nirvana. I’d love to have your companionship on this journey. For me, quitting the Booze Bitch was the biggest first step into living my most authentic life, feeling every single emotion in all parts of myself, not running away. I have wanted to walk out and quit repeatedly, but I am still there, still shining, still learning, still loving many aspects, and still growing. OFF the hamster wheel, ON the scary adventures and roller coaster rides within the Sober Amusement Park. Come along with me, we’ll make it fun together and I promise to be your buddy to support you along the way. We can do this!