The other day during one of our laser videos in The Path, one of the students got on and talked about how angry she was with alcohol and how much frustration she was experiencing hearing people in the group who’ve been sober for longer periods and the coaches saying how great life is on the other side of addiction. She asked, “is it really all that spectacular? Or are you guys all full of shit?”
The coach and a few of us who have a few more days under our belt, and who are experiencing a lot of the benefits of being alcohol free, commented and replied to her. The coach asked any of us to name at least one benefit in their lives of being AF. Many of us did chime in, myself included.
But later on, thinking about it, I felt the need to remind her that although there are so many good things that have happened since being AF and I’m sure there is a lot more to come, it’s not all rainbows and butterflies. Far from it. I’m at the stage in my AF journey that I’m starting to deal with a lot from my past and unraveling things. Trying to make sense of the choices I’ve made. Trying to forgive myself for past mistakes.
This led me to thinking about pride. I’m so proud of how far I’ve come. I’m proud of choosing this AF life. I’ve worked hard and owe myself a big pat on the back. I can remember my mom saying to me, “don’t you want to be proud of what you do, or who you are?” I’ve said it before, I don’t know what power in me finally made that one decision, where that strength came from to take that 45 day break from alcohol, but the pride I feel is overwhelming.
From the dictionary, pride is “a high or inordinate opinion of one’s own dignity, importance, merit, or superiority, whether as cherished in the mind or as displayed in bearing, conduct, etc…pleasure or satisfaction taken in something done by or belonging to oneself or believed to reflect credit upon oneself”.
Reading the definition, I can see how some might see pride as an influence to the “ME” society. Also, pride was one of the original “deadly sins”, considered to be “unchristian-like”. But dissecting the definition “pleasure or satisfaction taken in something done by oneself (becoming AF) to reflect credit upon oneself”, take that in for a moment. The PLEASURE or SATISFACTION taken in becoming alcohol free. How great is that???
Being proud of myself I believe is the first step I took towards taking better care of myself. If I’m proud of myself I am striving to remain alcohol free. Being proud keeps the cravings away. By being proud of my accomplishments I am moving towards being better able to care for people in my life. I am certainly not ashamed in feeling prideful. I equate it to the flight attendants safety instructions. Put the oxygen mask on yourself first so that you may be better able to care for the person next to you. Pride has helped me put my oxygen mask on.
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