Many of us quietly struggle with feelings of unworthiness. Thoughts that we don’t really deserve ‘x’ or ‘y’. And many of us hide this from those closest to us.
Often the internal struggle with unworthiness comes potentially addictive behaviour. The teenager starts smoking because it is a ‘cool’ thing to do, it shows his peers that he or she is ‘with it’ or someone who doesn’t really worry about those in authority.
The unworthiness or low self-esteem may stem from a variety of causes — child abuse, bullying at school and many other potential causes.
I’ve been invited to speak at a Recovery Course, which is run — in this case — by one of the churches in Geelong, but I believe they are run in many areas. The Recovery Course is for anyone who has been caught up in the addiction cycle, or who has decided it is time to change their life. It is a support group, and no judgement is made, you can fall off the wagon and return again to the group and be welcomed. Or you can just be someone who feels the need to be supported by caring people. Oh and it is free of charge too.
So last night Ross and I went along to the first meeting for this group, mainly to see what it was about. We were invited to stand and tell the group something about ourselves, and then stayed to listen to the outline of the course for the group.
Based on the the principles of the Twelve Steps for Alcoholics Anonymous, The Recovery Course will be quite thought provoking. Something that struck a chord within me was when the facilitator spoke of helping others. He said that very often when we help another, we get help for ourselves. What starts out as a good deed done for someone else, can generate much more than the original intention.
I sat there wondering how I could be of help to this group when I do my talk next week. What have I got to say to them? Am I in the right place?
Continuing on this thought path, I realised that I’d been a victim of unworthiness myself for a long time. I’d made noises about writing a book, many people do, but I didn’t really think I was capable of doing it. Or if I actually managed to write it, who would want to read it? And so it goes on. Then when Kelly died, I knew I had to write her story, because telling it could be helpful to others less fortunate than us. But somehow in the process of writing the book, I gained so much more than a published book. Not just the achievement of finishing what I’d set out to do, but rather accelerating my own healing with my writing.
I’ll probably never be ‘cured’ of feeling unworthy at times, but now when those feelings crop up, I can remind myself that they can be turned around. Relatively easily in fact, if you allow yourself to believe it.
So next week, when I talk to that group, I will have a message for them, hopefully it is something of value to at least one of them.
You run a marathon one step at a time.