What is the Price of Our Behavior?

Jul 7, 2013 by

Have you ever noticed that life gets a little bit easier when we don’t have to worry about other people?
We ask ourselves, “What difference does it make if I gamble? I’m not hurting anyone.” Whether you like to zone out on the internet, work endlessly or escape in other ways, your addiction of choice will affect other people. You probably won’t see it right away. It’s easier to tell yourself that your choice doesn’t affect anyone else.  After all, you’re the one who feels rotten and loses your time or money. They don’t. Or do they?
It took me the longest time to realize that I was hurting those around me too. I didn’t want my problem to be worse than it had to be in my mind. It was bad enough and I felt miserable. There was a limit on what I would allow myself to see. All too often that doesn’t include the ripple effects of our habits.
I used to feel terrible after a gambling session. It hardly ever went the way I wanted it to and I was usually in a pretty sour mood because I lost again, played too long, didn’t take care of myself, and missed my appointment or whatever I blew off at the moment. Everyone in my path after I got up from my machine was either growled at or given the cold shoulder.
I can see that now that I’m looking back. When I was in it I couldn’t see much past my nose. It was all about me.
The people in my life didn’t feel very important. How could they? I was too wrapped up in my own little world. My relationships suffered because I was mean to the people I cared about. I have always been a sore loser. I would even throw a fit when I lost at rummy (a family card game we played). Nobody understood what my problem was – including me!
My reactions to the little things were out of whack with what actually happened. My behavior was clouded by my feelings about myself and my gambling. And the price I was paying was hurting people around me for no reason and pushing them away.
I paid that price for too long!
Now that gambling no longer has its grip on me I can think more clearly. If I’m reacting strangely I know that something else is going on. I am more in tune with my emotions. I now realize that the problem is that I compete out of vulnerability. When I lose I feel incredibly exposed and that typically causes me to lash out.
Lately I’ve been struggling with overwhelming unworthiness and insecurity. I kept thinking that it was only affecting me. The truth is that my husband has been deeply worried about me and doing his best to help me feel better.
It has affected him in a negative way. That price is too high to pay. I know its time to bear down and move forward. My actions have the power to make life better too.  I’ve suffered enough and I deserve better. This means you too!
Steps I’m taking:
  • When I get a compliment I believe it and say thank you instead of arguing it.
  • (Journaling is another step but I haven’t been making myself do it often)
  • I remind myself often that I am precious, worthy, whole and ok.
  • I am increasing my faith and choosing to relax in something greater than myself. My attempts to control are killing me. I release and let go. I said, release and let go!
  • I am admitting that I need help.
  • I am accepting the help I am given.
I know that when I can’t even stand the skin I’m in its time to do something different!
P.S. As a side note, while this applies to me today, this was originally created 3 years ago. I share this with you as a reminder that problems don’t solve themselves overnight. I am human and I remain a work in progress. I honor the fact that you are as well! We travel together, my friend.

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