Don’t dare to compare

Happy end of the week, everyone!  Getting coffee this morning, it occurred to me that we all experience pivot points, or light bulb moments in our recovery journeys. One such came to mind as I enjoyed the first sip of warm java.

Sitting in a meeting one night I was listening to others share and waiting my turn. My habit would be to half-listen, and half prepare my thoughts for sharing and getting my stuff out, when I came to a sudden realization. My family of origin stuff was important, sure, but I was STILL accountable for my behavior and my problems.

When I am in a meeting or share group, and I hear someone talk about their journey and their present day issues, I can be tempted to compare where I am to where they are. Sometimes, I hear folks share about how hard they had it growing up, or how wonderful it all was.  There will always be someone out there that had it tougher than you did, and is doing pretty well. Also, there are folks that had a seemly idyllic upbringing that ended up in the worst of addictions and circumstances, this also is something that we all see, and it belongs to them as well.

We look at our family of origin stuff in recovery as items to work on with respect to amends, forgiveness and personal character challenges. We also say the serenity prayer, not as a rote phrase just to start or end a meeting, but to continue to remind us that there are things we are responsible to change, and things we are not.

This helps us keep our focus on what we can change, and away from critical judgement. Of others, and of ourselves. The comparison game is a worthless distraction and can trip me up every time I engage in it. Each person’s journey belongs to them. I can participate and encourage, but it’s not for me to judge or to criticize.

If you, like me, are harshest on yourself, give yourself some grace. Continue to make small steps toward your goals in recovery and in life, and ask those that are healthy and loving to help hold you accountable. Then celebrate the big and little victories. Today, I am celebrating the fact that I am still holding my weight steady and persevering with trying to drink more water and exercise more. Sober acknowledgement, not harsh judgement.

Progress, not perfection.

Much love, my friends.

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