There is exactly one thing that kept me from sobriety and it was …
Focusing on other people’s problems to keep from looking at my own problems.
In other words codependency. It is such a sneaky thing that I didn’t even realize I had a drinking problem. And that’s mostly because I surrounded myself with people who were so much worse than me. Most of the time I hid behind my judgments of others. But even when I looked at myself nothing I did ever seemed so bad because I compared it to other people’s struggles. So even while I would drink and drive I thought, “at least I don’t have a DUI or multiple DUIs like so and so.” And even when I was sexually sexually assaulted while incapacitated I thought, “At least I have a job and a house.”
So Yeah, I Was Hiding.
And that is what codependency is about. We have a compulsion to fix other people’s problems. And judge other people. It makes us feel good. Feel useful. There is something broken and we can fix it! But what we don’t realize is that we are looking in the wrong place. We need to look within.
Finding My Worth
Having a partner that I “had to” carry out of the bar made me feel useful. And more than that it made me feel worthy of love. Because for some reason I didn’t feel true worthiness at my core. It took me a lot of therapy and recovery and self awareness and mantras and prayers to finally know my worth. In past relationships I fed my self-worth through helping loved ones in need. It also brought out my loyalty. Made me feel like I have a job. The most important job in the world. A job I can’t walk away from because of love. But this is an old pattern I recreated for years in relationship after relationship. I need to remember my worth is not tied to fixing the broken. I can love while honoring my boundaries. Honoring my true worth.
If You’re Here To Fix Someone Else
Start with you. If you’d like a resource for this try The Gentle Loving Journey to Positive Change. What really helped me was a couple of books by Melody Beattie: Journey to the Heart which I had read through for many years before finally going to meetings and doing Codependents Guide to the 12 Steps. This book is the one that finally helped me look at myself. My own drinking. Even while my friends and partner were falling apart all around me.