13 April 2011

Not scared of failing... just scared of succeeding

The Tenth Promise of ACOA says, "Fears of failures and success will leave us, as we intuitively make healthier choices"


I don’t know if I ever had a real fear of failure because at a young age I knew I was a failure. I heard it again and again and again.

So many messages. I wish you weren’t born. If you had half a brain it would be lonesome. The physical abuse that I witnessed I was shamed into believing it was my fault because I cried or I was scared.

If I just grew up and became a man I wouldn’t be a failure. If I wasn’t a baby I wouldn’t be a failure. Just shut-up and take it like a man.

If I was smarter I wouldn’t be a failure. If I was smarter I wouldn’t have become an alcoholic. I have to be a failure with all the broken relationships through my life.

All these messages were firmly embedded in my mind before I found the ACOA Fellowship. I learned that those messages were not based on fact. They were told to me by alcoholics and codependents… dealing with their own demons.

Recovery has shown me that it wasn’t failure I was scared of but rather success. I knew how to deal with failing but I had no idea how to deal with success and it scared me to death.

Success for me today doesn’t hold the same meaning it did many years ago. Years ago success meant having a large bank account, fancy cars, and a nice house. All material things that really meant nothing more then creating an illusion for everyone to see and hopefully maybe even create an illusion of worth.

Today, success for me means being spiritually sound. To enjoy my own company… to wait for good things to come to me instead of me chasing it.

Success doesn’t mean having a household full of friends but rather a few friends who I would trust with my life. A few friends who I can be vulnerable with. Who can see me cry and not shame me for it.

It took me awhile to understand these things but now I “get it.” These are healthier choices for me that will provide me with a peaceful today and dreams for a happy tomorrow.

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