As a child I was taught to not be selfish and think about all the other starving children or orphans. It was drilled into me that I should not think about myself, and to only think about others. I was so miserable, and I lived in constant chaos. I hated school! I lost my identity about the age of twelve when my addictions began.
No one told me to be good to me, or that it was ok for me to think about my needs too. I became an “enabler” and a “Co-Dependent” person. I hated me because I was never perfect, and could never live up to the expectations set on me by my parents. I grew to hate me and magnified all my flaws and did not look at the good things about me. I was terrified of being “abandoned” and not being loved, or being different from others. I allowed others to define me because I had no definition of myself, except so and so’s daughter, so and so’s wife. It was not alright for me to be me, or for me to choose who I wanted to be. I lived in Fantasy instead of Reality, because I hated myself and my life so much that I escaped the pain through my addictions. I had an “addictive personality”.
Praise God, in my recovery, I have learned that I have a choice, and I can choose who I want to be, where I want to live, what I want to do, and that I AM Special, Loved, Wanted, and Needed, “Just as I am”. I am not Selfish, but I think of me less.
My program taught me how to have relationships with the priorities in order of number one God, then myself, and then others. I don’t have to give up me to be loved by you. I can be happy serving God, but taking care of me and my family too. We are supposed to take care of ourselves first then others. Like the example of the oxygen mask, if I don’t take care of me then I am not strong enough to help others. I cannot save the world.