I often find myself continually circling back to the subject of self-sabotage. Behavior is said to be self-sabotaging when it creates problems in your life and interferes with long-standing goals. My weight loss journey and efforts to be more physically active are often thwarted by procrastination and comfort eating.
My need to take care of everyone else’s needs before my own have helped to undermine the goals that I have set for myself. It’s easier to focus on others – that way you don’t have to focus on myself. Although I understand what is happening; why it’s happening, and see it happening, – I cannot seem to stop it.
Fear is most likely the root of what is holding me back – fear of the unfamiliar, fear of failure, fear that the critical inner voice will be proven right – whatever it is, I have to find a way to overcome it. I must believe that I am more resilient than I think and can handle the obstacles that feed my fears.
I’m so excited because my book, The World outside Our Door, was just nominated for the 2019 Readers Choice Awards contest by TCK Publishing! The books is about how my father’s alcoholism affect our family.
Please vote for it at https://www.tckpublishing.com/2019-readers-choice-voting-page/. My book title appears on page 6.
Thanks for your support!
It’s a New Year and time for those New Year’s resolutions. Let’s start by working on breaking some of those destructive bad habits such as “People Pleasing.” Here are some strategies:
- Literally stop right now and think about the times you have said yes, when you really wanted to say no.
- Take your time. If someone asks for a favor, take time to think about it or check your schedule.
- Be Fair. Am I being fair to myself and others in my life if I say yes?
- Don’t over-apologize. If you can’t make a commitment or have to say no, a simple “I am sorry” is fine.
- Start Small. Limit your availability to help, set a time limit, or ask for assistance on small things.
- Forget the Fear. If others get mad because you say no occasionally, they are not people you should be surrounding yourself with anyways.
- Ask for help. Recognizing when it’s too much to handle or if you need help is a sign of someone who is confident and assertive.
Rule #8 of the dysfunctional family is unreliability – Don’t trust anyone and you will not be disappointed. For me, this spawned idioms such as, if you want something done – do it yourself and don’t ask for anything and you won’t be disappointed.
Growing up in my dysfunctional family, my formative years were riddled with disappointment and broken promises by my alcoholic father. He was famous for making all sorts of promises when he was drunk and then had no memory of said promises when sober.
I eventually learned from my mother, an adult child of an alcoholic herself, not to depend on anyone. This attitude ruined my relationships with the opposite sex because I cannot even let myself trust even and obviously dependable man.
The defensive walls get so high and are so thick that it’s difficulty to break yourself out. But it can be done – just keep chipping away at it.
Alcoholism is a well-documented pathological reaction to unresolved grief. – David Cook
About three years ago I discovered how my father’s abuse of alcohol during my childhood deeply affected every aspect of my adult life. I first learned about the Adult Child of an Alcoholic syndrome while writing a book about my father’s life. It was during this process that I realized that I had never addressed his alcoholism and my mistaken assumption that his problem was not my problem.
Through my writing and research I learned that some of the personality traits of adult children of alcoholics are that they are afraid of losing control, they avoid conflict, have a fear of people in authority, people who are angry, and they do not take personal criticism very well. They also have a high burden of responsibility and constantly seek approval.
Learning why I am the way I am has help make changes in my life. And writing the book has help me understand that my father that the unresolved grief my father suffered as a child resulted in him becoming an alcoholic.
Elizabeth Hawkins, author of “The World outside Our Door”
I have been so afraid in my life to succeed. It’s a crazy ACOA trait, but living with an alcoholic wrecks your self confidence. If my father could not overcome his alcoholism, what gives me the confidence to believe that I can succeed. I’ve battled with my weight for years and while I’m not morbidly obese, my weight is beginning to be the source of some health concerns. I’m dieting and exercising now and daily fighting my demons of overeating and snacking on junk food. My father couldn’t overcome his addiction, but I am determine to achieve mine.
As an adult child of an alcoholic, I tend to focus on others rather than myself. It’s a real effort to take care of me for a change. I recently turned to yoga to help me with the effort.
The messaging throughout yoga classes is rich with love, acceptance, and gratitude. These are principles also travel with us off the mat. When practicing yoga you appreciate your body for what it can do, and can later tap into that same gratitude when spending time with your favorite people or doing work that you love.
There is something about the self-awareness and connection experienced when doing yoga that translates to a heightened sensory awareness and gratitude in day-to-day life. You begin to notice and appreciate small details—a beautiful flower, the smell of cooking garlic, an extra blue sky, a soft fabric, a rich coffee flavor—rather than blowing right past them in haste to get to the next thing, the next thing, the next thing.