I loved the quote from the book, “my life is devoted to keeping me comfortable inside in spite of whatever is happening or not happening outside.” That is true, and always has been; what I am learning in recovery is how to consider the needs and well-being of others as I do that. To me, that is still self-centeredness (it’s about ME, and MY inside world), yet it isn’t necessarily negative. I am the centre of my world, that’s only fair – if I don’t look out for my (inner and outer) wellbeing, nobody will do that job for me.
But I also occupy a bigger world, which is inhabited by others who have needs and rights, and learning to consider them and making compromises is what recovery helps me to do.
I’ve never been one to take things too personally. Things are what they are; situations, the weather, the economy – they simply are, and my part as I see it is to do “the next right thing” for me. Growing up, my father (an alcoholic) was never at fault, always the victim. He blamed everyone and everything. My mother took that very personally, when he blamed her, whereas I never did; I didn’t care what he thought. If there was a choice, I’d rather have him blame me than my mother because I couldn’t care less whereas she took it to heart. This has sort of carried into adulthood – with most people I don’t care about being blamed. There are some people whose opinions I care about, and I work to ensure that their view of me is fair, but as for the “general public” I really have better things to worry about than what they blame me for.
For my part, I never blame others. Or myself, for that matter. I tend to accept situations as they are – if someone is at fault then, depending on the situation, I’ll probably let them know that I think they are at fault but it’s nobody else’s business and I don’t need to spread the news of who I think is to blame. My mind tends to automatically go to what to do next (i.e. fix the problem).
You know, I’ve been thinking – I’m either 1) oblivious of my issues in many of the things raised in the book, possibly because nobody is close enough to me to really “rub”, or 2) I have better mental health & recovery than I tend to give myself credit for.
Either way, life is good today!