Lately I am finding myself taking stock.
Taking stock in my life, the ways I have lived it and the ways I am changing.
Taking stock of my relationships.
Taking stock in the decisions I have made and will make in the future.
For the last several weeks in CoDA, my focus has been on readings and discussions regarding healthy relationships, fault, blame and shame (among other things), and I have had a million thoughts streaming through my head at a rate that is mind numbing, and leaves me wondering where to even start. So, that being said, I'll just jump in feet first.
A series of events over the last several weeks have resulted in me finding myself in a situation that I have had to take a giant leap back from and really do some soul searching. I have some issues (for lack of a better word) with a friendship that have caused me to really analyze the relationship (over the last six months or so especially). In doing so, I have begun to notice the unhealthy aspects of this friendship, as well as the patterns that I repeat. These acknowledgments have led me to a place where I am taking stock in my part of the negativity. I realize that I play a part in my unhealthy relationships, and I am becoming aware that I am allowed to change them to suit my needs without feeling selfish. I am becoming more willing to allow it to end. Accepting the fact that I am allowed to let go of friendships that served me once, but no longer hold the same place in my life as they once did, is difficult. Through my reading and step work, I am beginning to accept that there is no room for "blame" in the ending of a relationship, but at the same time, I have to let go of the fact that I think I can "make it work", change people, or have control over their actions. I don't have to like or approve of what someone does, the way they live their life, their constant need to be the victim, their narcissistic tendencies, or their general outlook on life. I no longer feel the need to point their "faults" out to them...This is not the person I like to think I am, nor is it the person I want to be.
I am discovering that this relationship brings out the worst in me. When I can learn how to let an incident go, notice my triggers, back off, and/or become uninvolved, I feel so much better! The simple fact remains, that I do not have control over others. I never did. And I don't need to. It's not my responsibility to "fix" other people. Just as it's not my responsibility to "fix" every unpleasant situation.
It's true that I grew up feeling like it was my job to "fix" the unpleasantness, or that it was somehow my fault.
Mommy and Daddy are fighting because I had an opinion.
Daddy left because I wasn't good enough.
Mommy is angry because I wasn't perfect.
These are the things I told myself. And I was never corrected. Now, I am learning that I am the only one who can correct these thoughts and behaviors. I am learning that not all unpleasant situations are my fault. I don't always have to feel like I am wrong, nor do I have to concede to the other person to keep the peace. I don't have to feel bullied or anxious over someone else's anger, rejection or acceptance of me. I am not in control of their reactions.
It all sounds great "on paper" though, doesn't it? It sounds easy. It's not. I won't lie to you. I am struggling with this every damn day. But in working this program, I am getting stronger. I am becoming more aware of the situation. I am becoming able to recognize when I have been triggered: I recognize the sarcasm and condescension right away...and I don't like that girl. So, that girl is going to go away...bit by bit. I am not perfect, by any means...and this is going to be a long road, but as they say in the program "progress, not perfection"...now, if I can just accept that wholly...