I need help
A few days ago I was thinking to myself, 'Why don't I make the right choices for myself, my health, my well being?' This isn't just about a clean diet, either. It's about really taking care of yourself, not smoking that occasional cigarette, moving my body, pursuing my dream of becoming a seamstress at my spare times instead of watching tv for 5 hours a day, better grooming habits like using moisturizer, going shopping for better clothes for work and home, just a general array of habits that will primarily affect ME and make ME feel better, also of course a clean and well rounded diet. My quality of life is quiet low, not due to lack of money or time, just choices i make. I was pondering this, and at night an answer came to me in my sleep. This happens to me sometimes, when I can't figure something out during the day, I get clearly worded answers while sleeping. Not in a dream, but as a single sentence. To this particular question it was something like 'Because you believe you are not worth it'. The next day I was perplexed. I read many books on addiction and one valuable piece of information I got was that addicts are like teenagers and haven't developed emotionally and socially past a certain stage like other people do. They are selfish and self-centered. I recognized many of these traits in myself, not in a self-deprecating way, but shaken to the core way. I was dumbfounded to read it and see myself. So how can a person be selfish, self-centered and worthless to themselves at the same time? What's the difference between self-centered and worthy? I for the life of me can't figure out. I really am always thinking about myself and what I want first. But those wants are generally are not the best things for me. Somebody please help me out on this one. I feel figuring out the answer is significant in my recovery. Thank you for reading this long post.
It sounds like you've been taking inventory such as is done is FAA's Step Four. It's hard to take inventory (a "searching and fearless moral inventory") until the first three Steps are firmly in place in our lives, because what tends to happen is a fearful (fear-full) inventory and then we condemn ourselves for what we find.
Yes, addicts of all kinds are well known to be selfish and self-centered while in the addiction, and most of us come to FAA full of self-loathing and pure self-hatred. This is a very painful emotional state to be aware of, so while we're eating addictive substances, we're able to cover these feeling up... kind of numb ourselves to the feelings. The tough part is that not only the painful and difficult feelings get numbed and covered up, but so do the good-feeling ones!
In recovery, the first thing to do is rid our bodies of all addictive substances, and also not overeat or under eat. The easiest way I found to do that is to follow a weighed & measured food plan, and the suggested FAA food plan is what I myself follow. I was amazed that so much of the anger I felt (when I could feel anything at all) simply dissipated once I became abstinent. I was a nicer, kinder, gentler person... just from abstaining from s/f/w and not bingeing or overeating.
I too came here with my self-esteem at rock bottom. Self-esteem is what I think of myself, and when I turned within to see, I found I didn't think too highly of myself at all. That has changed in recovery as I work the Steps with my sponsor and continue to stay abstinent. I have been able to recover feelings of worth... I know that I AM worth something! Not because of anything I do, or anything I have, but simply because I exist. For me (and this is only me), my worth comes from the spirit within me, which is who I truly am. The addict that was out there stepping all over people, or neglecting them, or even raging at them (within the family) comes from the wounded inner self that never dealt with the hurts, only ate over them. This is what I have the chance to work on in recovery.... to change and grow, and become the person my Higher Power intended for me to become. I am very grateful to FAA for this chance!
The sentence that came to you in your sleep is very true; it comes from your inner self, or your Higher Self, or whatever it is you yourself like to call it. Some call it the "still, small voice", that is hard for us to hear unless we take the time and go to a quiet place in order to connect with it. All of this comes with working the Steps. What also worked in my case, was the acceptance I got from my sponsor when I was new. I didn't love myself, but she did care about me and that came through to me. As I've heard it put, "Let us love you until you can love yourself". When my sponsor would compliment me, I'd stand in front of the mirror and say to that person I saw there: "So-n-so (my sponsor) thinks you're (fill in the blank)." And I let it in.
Continue to stay abstinent and work your program... the answers are here for you, Darian.