Self Trust

I started a new series in my mindfulness app on self-awareness. The very first topic was “self trust”.

At the beginning of my alcohol free journey I had a couple “a-ha” moments. Those moments where it was very clear to me why I made some of the choices I have made throughout my life. Those moments where it was like, “well no wonder I was drinking!”. I haven’t had a moment like that, until this morning. So, yah, this self-trust thing, was huge for me.

When I first saw the topic, I thought of my gut intuition. I think I have pretty good instincts and often get “feelings” around certain things and have learned to “trust” that. But once the narrator in today’s practice started discussing self trust, I realized I was completely off target. I started realizing that self trust meant trusting in myself to make the right decisions, to stick with goals, to accomplish things. Just like we trust in others. This was my “a-ha”.

My track record, at least in my mind’s eye, is riddled with ill-decisions, poor judgments and forever regretting my past choices. When I put it in perspective, that maybe each decision after the last was based on what I had done in the past. That, well, I did this last time, and it turned out ok, let me try that again. Trusting that because of the simple fact “I’ve been here before and survived”, everything will turn out okay. From choosing partners, to changing jobs, my countless moves and, finally, my drinking. But, this track record inevitably led me down that all too familiar path..two divorces, loss of jobs, loss of family, failing health and not being able to quit drinking. And each time I put faith in myself that everything will turn out okay it only ended up right back where I started. Starting over…rebuilding…running…drinking…and that’s how it began…I stopped trusting myself.

Along my journey and with the guidance of my counselor, focus has been on learning to forgive myself for my past “mistakes”. Trying to look at what I consider failures as mini successes. I can definitely look at my past errors as gaining some success, but I am having a hard time saying that I was a success. That although I gained so much and learned and grew from each experience, it still began as a failure on my part.

So how to we regain trust? I consider myself a forgiving person. I don’t hold grudges and have forgiven a lot of people who have done some pretty shitty things to me. It’s exhausting to hold a grudge and feel hatred. But how did I regain their trust? They either kept showing up or they disappeared. That simple. Those that kept showing up and being there are still in my life. Many didn’t actually say “I’m sorry”, but just their actions alone let me know that they were there for me and wouldn’t hurt me again. The ones that disappeared, well I don’t even remember who they were or what they did.

So, for me to regain trust in myself, I just have to keep showing up. I can’t disappear, so my only choice is to be here for myself. And without me knowing it, that’s exactly what I’ve been doing these past couple years. Starting with my diet, then my finances, my health and now to becoming alcohol free, I keep showing up. Every day I show up I am rebuilding trust in myself. The decisions I am now making each day are slowly allowing self forgiveness. And because my brain is not fogged in alcohol, I am better equipped to make good decisions. I am becoming trustworthy.

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