The need for validation creates the drive to be seen as special. Being one among the crowd will never do for our validation. How do we go about our lives in recovery without some form of validation? Is it really necessary? I think not, the reason being is this one bit of truth I have heard “you are not that special”.
Now I believe everyone in recovery, especially in early recovery needs some form of validation, meaning they want to know that they are doing ok. We have coins or key tags to prove that validity in the form of clean time. None of that matters if you do not change your life. Change everything.
I spent many years of my life feeling unworthy. My unworthiness I felt was masked by my arrogance. I most definitely was an egomaniac with an inferiority complex. I felt that everything I did, that I was the best at even if I secretly felt like I wasn’t. I projected a confidence that portrayed me as such, but secretly I always doubted myself and never felt good enough. I have found that we use arrogance to cover up our unworthiness. The problem with this is that we actually believe we are our unworthiness. As insight increases, we recognize arrogance as a mask that we use to shield ourselves from the world.
In recovery I have learned to know the difference and learned to know that I am not my unworthiness and I am not my arrogance. Both of these are false truths to fill a void in our life, which I no longer need to fill. Now I know everything I write or say for that matter is always easier said than done. Things will ultimately in your life make you feel unworthy at times, but how you respond to it I think is the ultimate truth.
I think the hardest thing that any person whether they are in recovery or not to overcome is resentments. Resentments can and will destroy you from the inside out. I consciously struggle with trying to live my life without resentments, but find it easier to understand that resentments will happen and I need to be able to deal with them appropriately.
I am not special in anyway and no longer perceive myself as such, but when I find out that some still perceive me as my old self, my drunken, lying manipulative self, it hurts. I know how hard I have worked to become a better person and knowing that someone still believes it to be false can be defeating to say the least.
So how do we recover without the validation, and the resentments, especially from those who you may have damaged in the process throughout your active addiction? You won’t unless you can let go. Let go of the hurt, and the pain. Understand that no matter what you do and what you say, sometimes it will never be enough for others. That is not your problem though. You cannot control the outcomes of how others see you no matter what you do.
Being authentic to your true self is the only answer. Be able to take an honest look at yourself and validate the fact that you are ok. The hardest part is being able to decipher your authentic self from the unworthiness and arrogance. I can finally say I am happy with who I am and who I have become, if you think differently I cannot control this, and that’s ok because I do this for me and only me, you’re welcome to join me in happiness if you choose.