Sweet Familiarity

Jun 15, 2012 by

Give me a pain that I’m used to. It’s more comfortable. It’s familiar. Gambling used to feel this way. Sometimes I would win and I would feel great. When I lost I felt miserable and betrayed. Winning gave me such an incredible rush because I was used to the pain of losing.

When I picked a machine that has done well for me in the past I would feel betrayed if I lost on it. How could it do this to me?

Is it crazy to put our feelings on to machines? Maybe, but I think it’s pretty common for a gambler. Now as I’m learning to relate to people I find myself going back to what is familiar.

I look at things that are happening through my gambler’s filter.

I have carried the pain of losing with me as a heavy bag from my past. I figure that people are going to disappoint me – that I’m going to lose with them, even if I pick the right one to open up to.

I open myself up to the people who can and will take advantage of me because I encourage it. I expect it. I don’t think I deserve to be treated well. Give me a pain that I’m used to.

What would happen if I thought I deserved better? Would I stand up for myself?

At the present moment I am allowing and encouraging people to affirm my fears: that I am unlovable and worthless. I don’t deserve kindness. I am not worth the air I breathe.

What a shame.

I write about helping people. I talk about helping people. I walk through life helping people.

Is all of this to fill a void of helping myself? Does it help me to help others? My newest counselor says that I’m incredibly codependent. My initial reaction wasn’t great. It was a bit discouraging for me. I’ve been working on my issues and sometimes it feels like its just never good enough.

This time apparently I’m in a different place of life because I’m hearing it differently soon after it was said. I’ve been thinking about her words and the knowledge that I already have. I have stepped back from the blog and life to make sure I am doing it for the right reasons. I’m figuring out what a healthy boundary is. I’m learning to stand up for myself and even say no. I was sure I was great at saying no. I was oh, so very wrong about that.

I’m letting go of my insane need for other people’s approval. I’m working on putting my own approval above others.

I’m really absorbing into my being that it’s so easy to say these things – do this, do that – but truly soaking them up is quite another challenge.

Is there ever a time when it’s ok to let my pent up feelings and anger out instead of being polite? Sometimes I just want to say “fuck you and fuck this”. I’ve stuffed it down for so long. Maybe right now standing up for myself will need to be forceful like that until I find a balance. Oh that sounds dangerous!

What if I upset them? What if I make them angry? What if they leave me?

I have to ask myself: is my unhappiness really worth the price of trying to keep them happy? What if it will never, ever happen? What if I’ve been chasing my tail for years and there is NO end?

What a waste.

I am incredibly grateful that my problem is no longer gambling. I mean, it’s a blissful feeling and I am proud of myself in spite of others (including myself) trying to push me down.

I’m not used to someone giving me compliments or doing nice things for me without strings. People being nice just to be nice? Weird. Hey, wait a minute…that’s how I am.

So what’s normal? The normal that I’ve painted my life into or the new world I’m allowing to open up before me?

I really like hearing compliments. It feels good. I like being appreciated. That opens up a whole bunch of fears. Maybe I shouldn’t get used to it because they will eventually learn that I’m not worth it.

So. Much. Work.

Life seems like a giant contradiction right now. Keep at it my friends. We are in this together.



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