Day Sixty Six
“If I didn’t drink for ten years I would have saved so much more money”, “I want what she has and it’s not fair I have to work so much harder for it”, and “Why is all of this coming so much easier for everyone else” are thoughts that loop through my head often. I frequently forget the idea of sonder, that everyone has a life just as complicated as my own, when I am comparing and despairing over what I perceive others to have.
As a performer I would often see people succeed, and I would fall into self-pity over how it exacerbated my own feeling of worthlessness and deficit. I never thought to ask them for guidance, advice, or simply tell them what I admired about them, whilst honouring my own path. I can do the same thing in recovery. I compare myself to “normal” people to make myself feel alien and strange, rather than accepting my path was a bit different. With other people in recovery I can look at their strength and be reminded of what I struggle with, or I can engage with them and ask them for their experience with it. Envy is a killer for me, it sits inside me like a toothache – but realising that other people having what I would like to aspire to is actually a resource I can use to some day feel closer to it.
When I was drinking I was trying to obscure the fact that there was no amount of emotional or financial security in the world that would have satisfied me. There was no achievement or accolade that would have satisfied me. There always would have been a “next thing”, and whatever I got would soon become not enough. It didn’t matter what other people were doing, I was using them as an excuse to perpetuate the negative things I believed about myself. When I recognise that, I can realise I don’t have the most of anything, but I have enough of everything.
How does envy and the pursuit of “more” destabilise you?
Three tiny things:
- Write a gratitude in three parts: people, experiences, things.
- Think of someone you admire today, and write what is aspirational about them.
- Connect with that person in some way.