Journey From Self-Hate
When I was drinking no one, and I mean no one, could hate me as much as I hated myself. This hate was fostered when I was a child growing up without my father and with a venomous stepfather. The world wasn’t much less venomous. I was smart, tall, and wore glasses, so I was constantly made fun of by my peers and strangers. I tried to put up a good front, but inwardly I was full of festering hatred for myself. Becoming an adult and beginning to drink to excess made the situation so much worse. I would look in the mirror and scowl. I was literally disgusted by what I saw. I’m not an ugly person, yet inwardly I was hideous.
Time went by and I became this hideously deformed creature, and the hatred bubbled to the top of the surface. It was now peppered in my words, actions, and expressions. I kept losing friends. I was so alone. I spent years in turmoil. I couldn’t see one good thing about myself, not one redeeming quality.
My misery made anyone around me miserable. They could see the hate. I couldn’t. I was so blind to what it had been doing to me all those years and how it had contributed to my drinking. I had no self-respect, no self-image that was an iota positive. I’m unsure exactly when it happened; but, by some point I could no longer look at myself in the mirror.
All of this certainly contributed to my feeling that I lacked worthiness to be saved. I felt I was right where I deserved to be. It took the love of a man, a man who saw who I really was and could be, to knock sense into me. His love made me put down the margarita and say, “That’s it. No more. I want more than this. I need help.”
I sought out help in AA and immediately felt something I had never felt in all other groups: acceptance. Acceptance for me exactly as I was. I was in tears. I’d never, never felt accepted in my entire life. It took until age 36 before I felt it. Then I learned about the Steps and how they are used to retrain our brain and attitudes. I learned in sobriety I could learn to like myself. I’m afraid I didn’t believe that at first and for a while. I had SO much hatred!
In time I became a new person.a person I truly like and love. I can look at myself in the mirror now and even smile. I’ve come so far it’s bringing me to tears. All the misery is gone and replaced with love and joy. I have bad days like anyone; but, I never dislike myself. I’m no longer ugly inside and what’s brimming on the surface now is happiness, true happiness. God is responsible for that, fully and completely. And I’m grateful for my first sponsor who accepted me and included me in her little group of women. She taught me so much and stays with me today.
What has your journey been like?