Time: 10:45:37 AM
Hi all, thank you for being here. I would like to suggest as a topic: Low self esteem, feeling less than others, fear of not fitting in...being so friggin' thin skinned that anybody can knock me down. I really appreciate it because I feel in danger right now. Real exposed and afraid, and like the lowest of the low for no good reason.
Location: Penn's Woods
Time: 12:30:37 PM
"For all its usual destructivenes, we have found that fear can be the starting point for better things. , , , Fear can be a steppingstone to prudence and to a decent respect of others. It can point the path to justice, as well as to hate.. . . So fear need not always be destructive, because the lessons of its consequences can lead us to positive values."--As Bill Sees It, p. 22.
J here, a grateful alcoholic. After seven years of drinking every day, it would take me a year and a half or more in A.A. to begin to suppose, let alone believe, the it could last. Those early months it was all I could do to cope with one day at a time. But, as it says elsewhere (you look it up) "Rarely have we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed.. . ."
So for Misha and any others looking in, I'd like to suggest one day at a time. Thanks for letting me share.
Time: 12:44:31 PM
I have found that my self-esteem has grown as a by-product of sobriety and working the steps. It's true that I am no longer doing things that make me feel ashamed and also I have found out (because my sponsor told me!) that the world does not think of me as much and as often as I used to think. I didn't know that. It felt like a huge weight off my shoulders. They say that in recovery my disease is always with me, growing in my shadows, and I understand that, but I also have found that my self-esteem is growing as well, only it's doing it in the light. I am not the person I used to be, and I am so grateful for that. Not drinking, meetings, and steps are working for me, a little bit at a time. Thank you for suggesting the topic, Misha.
Member: Erma G.
Time: 1:24:54 PM
I believe that my low self esteem was a product of being the adult child of a Catholic alcoholic.And during my drinking I proved to myself time and again by my indiscretions that I was and would always be less than acceptable. I need very pragmatic solutions to my problems.Between the ears doesn't fix anything for me until I've taken action.It's like I have to prove myself to myself.In the beginning years of my sober life I found that doing for others helped me feel better about myself.Volunteer work helped there.Remembering that I have a sober past without the sins of yesterday helps me to keep things in better perspective.In working the steps I've cleaned my slate and can make each day a credit in my favor if I continue the path set out for me by other sober alcoholics.When I go in the box at the end of my life I'm going in alone.What do I want to take with me?What do I want to be remembered for by the people who love me?What do I want to own? Don't sweat the small stuff.Do something for somebody else.My new inventory can be whatever I want it to be.Thanks for letting me share.
Member: neil s
Time: 3:09:23 PM
The problem I have with self esteem is that sometimes I have it and sometimes i don't. I finf that it can manafest in ego (bad) and "poor me" (even worse). One min. i'm the greatest at the perticular topic the next, i can't even spell the word. I believe I've been like this all through school and work - and at the moment I have to keep acheck on my emosions. as everything is going very well especially in the relationship and work front - me thinks life for neil is like a wonky pendulum - just when i think i know which way things are going, the pendulum says "wait a tick" -- this situation is most probably down to an over use of neils will - not GODS will. It is true that when i let go the results are certainly interesting - there is definatly a power in powerlessness - God bless you all - have a good week whereever you are , until next time ta ta
Member: David H
Time: 3:27:33 PM
I remember after my first 6 months of sobriety, my sponsor wanted me to start chairing a meeting. I was terrified. "What are you afraid of making a mistake?" he laughed. I realized that a lot of my low self esteem was linked to my pride, ego and my fear of what other's thought. Sinse that time I have been into the steps and have chaired lots of meetings. and best of all I'm still sober.
Location: NW USA
Time: 3:33:55 PM
Self-esteem for me is ...
"We admitted we were powerless over alcohol- that our lives had become unmanageable."
There is a "HEALING POWER"
TODAY I do not have to be a Drunk ... powerless over alcohol, You do not have to be a Drunk ... powerless over alcohol. I do not have to be a Crazy ... unable to manage my life, my choices, my spirituality, and my possessions, You do not have to be a Crazy ... unable to manage your life,your choices, your spirituality and your possessions.
There is a "Healing Power" for us.
Member: peter s
Time: 5:49:35 PM
I see a guy sometimes who has a great job in london as a big chief in construction.He does all sorts of pta stuff in the community.He is the only guy who when i see him i feel less than.Is it because hes more than or what.11 sober years i never feel like this within the rooms.
Time: 6:58:25 PM
Hi, Misha. I'm Gage, and I'm an alcoholic. This topic comes up a lot, so it must be that a whole lot of us feel the way you do. I know I'm given to feeling inferior to others. There is something a man told me that has helped some though and I'd like to pass it on to you: He said, never, ever judge your insides by other peoples' outsides. Think about what that means and it might help you as well. Pray about it too.
Member: Tom L.
Time: 9:35:38 PM
i'm 5 and half yrs. sober and can relate to everthing said so far. the "disease" is constantly with me, but, so is the treatment. i find my self esteem to be the lowest when my selfish pride is at the highest. i do know that it's a lot better than it used to be, and, from going to enough meetings and listening, instead of figuring out something witty, perceptive or mind blowing to make you like me, the more we work through and not around these new found problems in sobriety-the better it becomes. Yours in the fellowship that is saving my life.
Time: 10:04:19 PM
Sarah here Alcoholic, yes I can't remember just how long I was sober before I discovered that not only did I have low self esteem but I had no self esteem. I was in recovery from my desease of about one and half years and discovered that I also had an eating disorder and have had to work a 12 step program around that one day at a time. I have in my experience found that most people with eating disorders have chronic lack of self esteem which did not match what I was hearing as a recovering alcoholic in AA. To date I have nearly 15years plus months recovery from my alcoholism and have had to treat my eating disorder in a separate way, however, while I don't have high self esteem I no longer have really deep self hatred Ive learned to be kind to myself and I do have a lot of self respect borne out of working the program and time its taken time.
Member: Robin A
Time: 12:15:40 AM
Welcome ((Misha)), I'm Robin, an alcoholic and addict of MORE... I still feel that way-its sometimes hard to overcome-but as long as I don't pick up a drink today-then I know I am a worthwhile human on this place called Earth. One thing that helps me (and I have it taped on my computer) is a line straight out of the Big Book of AA: "We Should be sensible, tactful, considerate and humble without being servile or scraping. As G~d's people we stand on our feet; we don't crawl before anyone." Hope that helps you.
Member: Lori C
Time: 1:23:25 AM
Hi Misha, I can relate to the topic very well as I had many years to perfect it. Dysfunction became the norm for me. I discovered that, after getting sober. I also discovered that when someone else did something wrong I raised my hand and took the blame. See, from being beaten down for so long, when things were even remotley colse to "normal" whatever that is, It was a unknown and strange place for me. Leaving me to believe I needed to be beaten down. If someone else wasn't doing it to me then I beat myself up. To me this was for no good reason. This program has taught me that I have re-train my brain. I need to take my negative thoughts and change them to possitive ones if I want my life to change. Pray to the God of your understanding and ask for guidence. Here is something that was passed on to me to help with self love. Passing it onto you now & anyone else it might help. Go to the biggest mirror in your house and wrap your arms around yourself....LQQK at yourself directly in the EYES. Say I love you, you are WORTHY. You are a GOOD person. If you don't believe what your saying " FAKE it till you MAKE it" Just like I did! You can use whatever affermations u please....try to do it 2 to 3 times a day for a month or so. It is painful and the belssing here is this.....you come out on the other side feeling love for yourself. Ohhh and remember you are a child of God and he makes Beautiful things :)
Time: 2:22:27 AM
I'm Chuck, an alcoholic.
Self esteem for me was part of the character defects self-seeking and selfishness. I always criticized and condemmed myself.
Now, I think about God rather than me. We must be rid of selfishness, we must or it will kill us (step 3 in Big Book). By doing this I avoid self-criticism and pride and I have some
Peace and Serenity.
Member: Ron U
Location: Peoria, Il.
Time: 2:22:40 AM
I'm Ron, I'm an alcoholic, 22 months sober. I can relate to Neil S., though without the Scotsman dialect. In the moments when I feel like less of a person is when I also am thinking more of myself. A couple of months ago, I was at a meeting where a woman spoke of her dilema with mirrors, and trying to see herself without the internal bias of fear. I've been looking, and praying for clarity as she suggested. The clarity, I believe, has been given to me, but what has happened is I think less when looking in the mirror, and feel better by not relying on the mirror. My alcoholic brain depended on that mirror, and when drunk, I thought I was Hollywood material... untill the morning, when I looked more like prison material. It was from spending too much time thinking about myself, that I drove myself down. The clarity is in the way I look at myself. To see anything more or less than just another fantastic human being is a big mistake for me, and serves no purpose. Not that I'm all that fantastic as an individual, and of course, Hollywood isn't calling daily... But it is fantastic to be here, and alive, and sober, and not afraid to look in a mirror. Today I have better things to think about than what I look like, or what I think others think of me. When the ego comes into play for me, that's when I've already set myself on the path to suffering... a.k.a. low self esteem. The higher the highs, the lower the lows. Good self-esteem isn't measured, only experienced. Misha, you are a fantastic human being. Just look in a mirror, without thinking about what you see, and try what Lori said... Just say the words and let it sink in. Use the thinking for other things, and other people. And remember, "God doesn't build shit".
G.B.E. Later Ron
Member: Robert K.
Time: 4:43:51 AM
Hello friends.I'm Robert and I'm an alcoholic.One of the ways I try to handle lowered self esteem is to remember where I came from.The confusion,insanity and pain.Always remember that you are recovering after living in a horrible darkness.Our curse is that we forget.Keep surrendering to God daily.Misha,we are all with you.
Member: Lessa E
Time: 8:07:48 AM
Lessa here, grateful recovering alcoholic. Thanks very much for the topic, Misha. This is something that came up recently for me - AGAIN! - so this is timely. And thanks for all who have shared. Once again, I've read some really good stuff I needed to take in here.
When I came to the tables I had no idea who or what I was. I'd been drinking since I was 14, so alot of social skills and concept of self had not yet been established. The fact that I drank so young and got hooked tells me I wasn't comfortable in my own skin even back then. So, after years of drinking, when I made my way to the tables (well, when I was told to go....) I felt like I spent most of my life in a funhouse, always seeing distorted reflections of me. So much so that I didn't know what my 'true self' was. I counted on the reactions I got from others to tell me if I was ok. And too often, that didn't happen. I vacillated between thinking I was lower than fish poop that the low self esteem told me and then thinking I was the greatest thing in the world, which my alcoholic out-of-coontrol ego deperately wanted to believe. Not a fun way to live at all.
Through the unconditional love I've found around the tables, working the steps with a wonderful sponsor, and my HP whom I know as a loving God, I'm finding that I'm able to get to know and be ok with who I am. And, I find what we are told on page 449 of the 3rd edition of the BB (and 417 of the 4th edition), "Acceptance is the answer to all my problems today." I have to accept who and what I am first. And then, the miracle of the program is, if I don't like it - when I identify the defects - I have the opportunity and tools to change that.
I DO find that certain folks can push buttons that I don't even know exist, that re-activate the defect. But, I do what the program has taught me - I take inventory and find out what my part in it is. Inevitably, I come up with something else from the past which has not yet been let go. And I am able to let it go and move forward.
Thanks for letting me share.
Member: Jack H.
Time: 9:38:40 AM
Hi. I'm Jack and I'll always be an alcoholic. Like many others, I too have a problem with low self esteem. Luckily my HP blessed me with a great sponsor who taught me that God loves me enough to help me live sober. That's a LOT of love. If God loves me that much, I must not be nearly as bad as I thought I was.
Thanz stayingCyber techs. Your work helps me every day.
Member: Keith L
Location: Jingdzhen China
Time: 10:39:26 AM
I look at the great gifts I am given each day (number one is sobriety) through oftentimes very little to merit them on my part. It constantly amazies me how the Great Spirit loves me and grants me grace. If I am worthy of that then eveything else gets kind of small. Many of the things I worry about turn out to my own very human mind just turning its gears the way it does. As long as I accept the love from on high I can feel OK & not have to drink over self esteem or fear issues today. I am writing this from Jingdezhen China & I thanks you all for your thoughts- no AA here at present.
Member: Carolyn S.
Location: Pacific N. W.
Time: 11:01:04 AM
Thanks for this topic, I have been doing work on my emotional maturity and was fortunate enough to attend a workshop on the subject,in the material we went over I would like to share this,"Recovery is possible through daily attention to spiritual needs. Humility daily injected disperses the residual effects of jealousy." Humility...a word often misunderstood.to those who have made progress in AA, it amounts to a clear recognition of what and who we are, followed by a sincere attempt to become what we could be. (step 5 in the 12x12). No thinking less of ourselves,but thinking of ourselves less. What works for me is to write in my journal, talk to someone one on one, talk to my sponsor or whoever has what I want, get out of myself and help someone else. I was told doing any kind of esteemable acts builds self-esteem. Thanks for letting me share.
Member: Craig L (Dogmanor@yahoo.com)
Location: Aloha, Oregon
Time: 11:04:05 AM
Great topic! When I was drinking, I was always in a miserable dark depression. The fleeting relief alcohol and/or drugs brought me became less and less, until I only wanted to be and stay unconscious. I would not seek help until I was hopeless and pounded into submission. Today after some time in sobriety, I must admit it is still pain, which motivates me to get back to the basics. As I started to see the Promises manifest I became fearful that I would not be up to the new challenges. It is only in reviewing the hopelessness of drinking that I must admit in step One, I find the power of God again. Sometimes it feels like Iím dragging 200 pounds of dead weight to come to a meeting, but I always leave uplifted. Thanks
Member: Anne S
Time: 1:48:09 PM
Hi, Anne here, alcoholic/addict...
I wish I knew what to do about self-esteem (or lack thereof). It's funny -- I view myself as a self-confident woman; but everyone else in my life tells me I have no self-esteem!! How can that be? One would think that if I had no self-esteem, that I would be the first one to beat myself up about it! Can I be that much in denial??
However, at my therapist's urging, I have "started small"....did a one-shot deal for the PTA at my daughter's school. No long commitment, no chance of failure. It felt good. I felt productive. I work out every morning. Truly helps me feel better. Even something as small (and pathetically domestic) as trying a new recipe makes me feel better. Learn something new (read up on the Middle East conflict; try a crafts project -- I started with children's crafts!!) I'm donating blood this week -- for once I can do this and not worry about passing on my intoxication!! Yay! Baby steps. And as another post said, do something for someone else. Always helps. Whether it's a favor for a friend, or volunteer work.
Here's to feeling good about ourselves!
Member: Scott R
Location: NS Canada
Time: 1:50:20 PM
Hello, I'm Scott and I'm an alcoholic. Self-esteem. I have a terrible soul sickness. Despite not having had a drink in over seven years I still have a sickness in my soul and somtimes it makes me think I'm no good, not worthy, etc, etc. Prayer and meditation seem to work somewhat but I also have to really work at getting out of my own head. When I stay there too long I start to feel all the self-pity and loathing. Thank you for this meeting...and best of luck to Keith in China. This meeting helped keep me sober while living in Asia a few years ago.
Member: Lennie C
Time: 1:59:59 PM
Hi, I'm Lennie and I AM an alcoholic. Isn't it interesting that the issues and solutions we share are so universal!! I am moved every time I attend a meeting (on or off line) and see the AA program in action.
Member: Priscilla J.
Time: 2:32:47 PM
Hi,I'm Priscilla and I'm a alcohlic. self-esteem was hard for me some years, ago until a woman told me to tell myself daily God don't make junk...I did this for almost a year then the Lords prayer kicked in the part that starts (Our Father)that lets me know he made us all the same......(prayer works).....No God....No Peace...Know God...Know Peace.
Member: Pat S.
Location: Akron, Ohio
Time: 2:52:47 PM
I have come to realize that self-esteem is gained or lost through our achievements. We BUILD esteem by our actions. In my experience, esteem depends on how I live my life--even if I'm dealt a 'poor' hand. INTO ACTION shows us how to develop strong self esteem. An aside to Erma's comment, sometimes I feel I'm the only undamaged Roman Catholic around! Love and service.
Member: Kim D.
Time: 3:22:45 PM
Hi everyone. Kim here, alcoholic.
I can't add much to what has already been said. The simple fact for me is that while drinking and drugging for many years, I did things and lived in a manner that brought alot of guilt, shame and remorse to my heart.
It was only after getting sober, starting to work the Steps and NOT doing deceitful, dishonest and self-seeking actions that I began to feel better about myself.
Sure, I have those days that I don't like the way I look or wish I had the material things others have, but I have to see that for what it is - self (EGO). Humility is realizing that I am no less - and no greater than - any other human being on this planet. And I am EXACTLY where I am supposed to be in my life RIGHT NOW.
Thanks for letting me share.
Member: Tim D.
Location: Papaua New Guinea
Time: 5:14:52 PM
Tim Alcoholic/Addict - Thanks everyone for the sharing. There are not many places in the world that don't have AA meetings & I am very grateful to have found this one on line.I get quite a lot of serenity by just logging on & realizing that there are other people just like me around the world. A few bits of AA "communal wisdom" on this topic that I have heard over the years in meetings came to mind that I thought are worth sharing.....
"If I keep doing the things I used to do I will feel the way I used to feel"
"I cannot make myself feel good about me- it is the last thing my DIS-Ease wants. But taking 5 minutes out of my head to listen to another alcoholic has never failed to take my mind off me"
"There is quite a bit of self esteem in waking up in a dry bed in the morning, being on speaking terms with my family, and just brushing my teeth every day"
"Grateful people are happy people"
Thanks for being here!!!!!!
Location: Mt vernon,IL
Time: 10:29:55 PM
I am anil alcoholic and an drug addict to me Self esteem was a part of the character defects self-seeking and selfishness. I always criticized and condemmed myself.
Now, I think about God rather than me. We must be rid of selfishness, we must or it will kill us (step 3 in Big Book). By doing this I avoid self-criticism and pride and I have some peace and serinity. thanks to aa and alnon
Member: Ken C.
Time: 11:35:41 PM
It has been suggested here that self esteem, or the lack of it, is a by-product of what we have done or haven't done. It has also been suggested that comparing ourselves to others tends to result in low or high self esteem as well. And add to that, what about my personality as compared to others?
Personally, I didn't gain self esteem until I gained self respect. But how we do that, seems to be the question.
One thing that helped me was to remind myself that I did not have to be THE best at anything. All I needed to do was be MY best. When I started thinking that way, I was able to stop comparing. As for personalities, I learned that there are nine basic personalities and that each has it's strong points and it's weak ones. All I had to do, to stop driving myself nuts over this, was to accept the one I inherited.
But there was still that other hurdle. What about the way I felt about myself as a result of what I had done and not done? How could I change what I thought about myself in that category?
Well the truth has already been stated here. By merely thinking about it, changing the way I thought about myself was impossible. I tried that for years and it never worked. But then some bright spark in AA said: "You can't think yourself into good actions, you have to act yourself into good thinking."
It took me a while to figure that one out, but then one day I stopped making some demands I had been accostomed to making. (the action of ceasing to do something), and lo and behold after a while I began to think of myself differently. And of course once we start thinking of ourselves differently, we begin to FEEL different about ourselves.
It wasn't until I took that action, that I began to see what it was you folks were talking about when you talked about spiritual stuff.
After a while I started acting differently in other situations, such as refraining from arguements and retaliation. (Had to bit my tongue to do it)but that too gave me a basis for more self respect and therefore a bit more esteem for myself.
Today all we need to do is just follow the directions in the Big Book regarding our damned behaviour. Change it, and trust God for outcomes. If we do, we blossom and grow into a beautiful and strong oak tree, but not a rigid tree that breaks in a storm. Instead we become a tree that can bend with the storm, and as a result - survive, and flourish.
Member: Jack B
Location: Palo Alto, Pa
Time: 2:13:22 AM
Hi, I am Jack, a real alcoholic. I know for myself that when I entered the program I was an egomaniac with low self esteem. Our self esteem begins to pick up when we have been thoroughly honest with ourselves in the 4th step. It's here where I learned to accept myself for what I was, what I am now, and what I can be. Working the steps is the best way I know of to pick up our worth in our own eyes. Today thru our 12 step program, I have learned to live my way into better thinking, as opposed to trying to think my way into better living. For the most part, today, I can say I approve of the way I live, I approve of me. Thanks for allowing me to share and for a great topic.
Member: Melissa R.
Time: 10:19:22 AM
Hi all, good topic, melissa, alcoholic, let's see....self esteem. I thought also, like everyone else that my self esteem was in tact. It wasn't until I realized how out of control I really was that I began to feel really low. I thought when I came into the program that everyone else was beeter, had more time, worked a better program, on and on. I wallowed around in my own misery until it drove me to relapse. I now find that getting out of self, doing things for others, even if I don't want to works best for me. It's a long slow process, but now I can look myself in the eye, so to speak, with at least a little pride. Not prideful, but just an easy going comfort that I'm really trying to "do the next right thing". Lots of contact with God helps me as well as telling others when something really bothers me. No one has done any thing different, nothing worse or better than the next, that's why this program works so well as a "we" focus. Thanks to all, have a good week and a sober one!
Location: Sierra Vista, Arizona
Time: 11:51:02 AM
HI Misha, Good Topic, Bill here Alcoholic from Arizona. I can think of nothing more that will hamper our recovery any more than low self esteem. "I am not good enough". "I can't". "What will the neighbors say?". "That is too hard". "I think I will stay home today". Gosh how many times have I heard and said those things?
Low self esteem. What causes it? Guilt from the past? Maybe. False pride? Probably. Folks putting us down? Yep. Fear of change or fear of not being accepted? You bet. Fear of making a mistake? A big yes on that one.
One thing that never seems to get touched on much lately. Not all, but some alcoholics go through a grieving period when we stop drinking. As alcoholics alcohol is a big part of our support system. Now we can no longer drink successfully. Alcohol has let us down. Very much like a good friend.
We will take a big step against low self esteem in the fourth step. We have identified the problem. when we find we are powerless over alcohol. We have found a solution. We need a power outside of ourselves if only AA itself. We make a decision to give it a shot. Step Four is the first Step that requires some work.
I will pass on what one of my sponsors told me when I started one of many 4th Steps. "Bill, be thorough, but at the same time remember that you were probably doing the best you could under the circumstances". He was right there were a lot of things in my past I probably would not have done had I not been drinking.
Under his encouragement at 17 months entered college. I graduated. That was the first time in my life i took something from beginning to end without knowing the results. I was a quitter. I took two board exams and and was shocked to have passed them both. I went on to work and become published in my field. I drank for 33 years so I was not a young man when I got sober.
I am still growing and looking at new things. Recently I joined an AA skydiving group and currently I am working on my license.
This is a God program and this is a We program, but as individuals we each have to do the footwork. God will not get me sober unless I seek him and I do that from Step 1 to Step 12 over and over again
Thank you all for being a part of my sobriety today
Location: The Beach
Time: 2:31:07 PM
Jeff here, alcoholic. Chapter Six in Alcoholics Anonymous is not called Into Thinking. This is a program of action. When I thought about things, nothing got done. When I tried to think my way out of low self esteem it was actually counter productive. I set myself up for failure and as a failure I fostered low self esteem. Round and round. Most has already been said about the topic here in the discussion and in meetings. What I have to do is get Into Action. My self esteem soared when I successfully worked Step One. There must be something ingrained in alcoholics with low self esteem, it seems to be a common theme. Even the act of surrendering made me a winner. With the booze out of my life for just over two years, there is no going back. What I can totally agree on is that helping others is one way to get out of self and stay away from this thinking. Sometimes it doesnít matter what I do, just that I DO SOMETHING. If I want to be a person with a higher self esteem I must perform esteem able actions. Today I feel worthy and just taking action on this journey with my fellow alcoholics banishes the low self esteem. Thanks for the topic, now I am going out and do something. Not just sit here thinking about it.
Location: SE PA
Time: 3:01:15 PM
I'm an alcoholic named Jane. I am just 45 days into this wonderful program and a first timer to this site. I really appreciate everyone thoughts and ideas. Misha's topic is one I can really relate to today. Until joining the program I was completely defined by how I thought others percieved me! I have tons of co-dependency issues to work through and not enough time in the program to really tackle step 4 and beyond. So, to stay sober I am using simple tools to help me when I feel low or out of control. Daily I go to meetings, I call my sponsor (who seems to love me regardless of what I think of myself) I pray, read the AA books and review and work on steps 1-3.
My story starts with a thanks because my sponsor is so cool.
Yesterday, for no apparent reason known to me I was exhausted and came home from work at 2PM and took a nap. When my husband came home I immediately got out of bed and was feeling guilty for sleeping. I immediately set out to make up for my percieved lapse. I helped the kids with homework, did laundry, drove to lacross practice, cooked dinner and painted 3 chairs and 2 tables and fell asleep at 11:30 exhausted. Through all this I forgot to call my sponsor! She called me this morning and I relayed my guilt and begged forgiveness. She was wonderful. She explained things so simply. I was exhausted because my body is still healing from the years of abuse and explained why my co-dependent behavior caused me to feel guilt. By the time she was done with me I felt great and was laughing at my sillyness.
She raised my self esteme by being there for me and more important she is an alcoholic like me and told me her stories which were a mirror of my own. She left me with the sure knowledge we are not alone and no matter what we think of ourselves we all have something wonderful to give just by sharing ourselves with others
I still have a very long way to go to gain a more balanced self esteme, but just for today my sponsor, and this site brought me one more step in my grateful journey.
god bless, keep coming back! Thanks for letting me share
Member: STEVE M.
Location: MILTON,PA. U.S.A.( CADDYMITCH@YAHOO.COM
Time: 3:57:25 PM
IT'S OFTEN SAID THAT WE ARE EGO MANIACS WITH AN INFERIORITY COMPLEX. MY FEELINGS CAN OFTEN BE SUMED UP IN THIS PHRASE THAT I HEARD AT THE NOON MEETING IN LEWISBURG,PA.MANY YEARS AGO,(WHAT'S WRONG?NOTHINGS WRONG,THAT'S WHAT'S WRONG)I WAS SO USED TO FEELING LIKE NOTHING THAT IN SOBRIETY WHEN EVERYTHING IS GOING WELL' I LIKE TO FIND SOME WAY TO FEEL TO FEEL THE WAY THAT I HAD FELT FOR YEARS.THAT'S WHY THEY CALL IT ADDICTION.AS THE BIG BOOK SAYS "ALCOHOL IS BUT A SYMPTOM OF OUR DISEASE"MY FIRST SPONSOR GAVE ME A DIRECTION TO (PRAY TO GOD, GO TO A MEETING, HELP ANOTHER RECOVERING PERSON, AND UNDER ANY AND ALL CIRCUMSTANCES DON'T PICK UP) WHEN EVER I HAD FEELINGS OF LOW SELF-ESTEEM. I ALSO HEARD THAT PEOPLE PLEASING OPENS (2) DOORS THE DOOR OF LOW SELFESTEEM AND RESENTMENTS. HANG IN THER MISHA, IT REALLY DOES GET BETTER
Member: Karen S
Time: 5:00:41 PM
Hi my name is Karen & I'm an alcoholic. This is my first visit to this site. I never really gave self esteem much thought until today. I never relized that I had low self esteem. When things are going really good in my life I get worried because I think that means the worst is about to happen. When it doesnt then I create it. I think this is because I believe I don't deserve the good things in life. I'm am new to AA & coming really helps. Why I am suprised by this I don't know. Just reading others comments has helped me pick up a few pointers to make it through my day. Now I can hopefully realize the affects my low self esteem is having on me & deal with it. It's hard to deal with untill you can see it. Taking it one day at a time....Thank you All.
Member: Bonny G
Location: Hot Springs, AR
Time: 10:59:12 PM
Hi everyone, Bonny, grateful recovering alcoholic. This is a very good topic, self-esteem. High or low, it's either my pride or my shame, that's why I must keep a balance. I do that by starting my day with prayer and meditation. Asking God to guide me in my actions, and to let me be of use to someone else. I like to think that I serve that purpose well during my day, and at night, I'll know from my "daily inventory" if I did well. I no longer allow people to pressure me into doing things their way, which usually left me feeling "less than." But at the same time, I'm gaining strenght in learning "how" to ask for help, and I no longer have to stand and argue with others about how important I think I am, my "ego." I was told in the early days of sobreity to "use Steps 1, 2, & 3. I can't; He can; I think I'll let Him." Thanks for being here tonight, God Bless you all.
Member: Robert F.
Time: 11:38:18 PM
Hi,my name is Robert and I'm an alcoholic. Thanks for a great topic, Misha.
Self-esteem has always been a big issue for me in sobriety. It's been over thirteen years since my last drink, but in the last few year I've found myself slipping away from the program (right now there are no live meetings where I live). I haven't drunk, but I've experienced many a dry drunk and the emotional hangovers that follow. I'm always judging myself by the way I THINK others see me, and always coming up short. Other character defects, such as self-seeking, perfectionism, and ceaseless self-criticism only make the problem worse. Last week I made the decision to come back to the program, got in touch with my online sponsor, and started doing some of the things I'd been neglecting (prayer, meditation, daily inventories, spot-check inventories) and I'm feeling better already. I realize I still have a long way to go, but knowing there are people like you out there--I don't have to do it alone!--makes it a lot easier. Things will get better if I work the program and reach out to other alcoholics. Thanks you all for sharing, and thanks for letting me share. I've heard a lot of good things at this meeting.
Member: Justin W. S.
Time: 12:27:01 AM
Hi Im just here to observe the web site and see what it is all about.
Member: Carrie K
Location: Anchorage, Alaska
Time: 1:39:05 AM
Wonderful topic this week! Thanks to all of you for sharing your insightfulness to self-acceptance. The longer I am sober, the better I feel about myself, day at a time. Thank God, we can allow ourselves to grow in the program, and learn to love ourselves!
Time: 6:32:18 AM
Thanks to Misha for a great topic -- I always feel a low self esteem. "I don't do this right, I can't do this, etc.". Recently someone where I live asked me if I was always happy? He said "Don't you ever get sad?". Apparently, I only show my self esteem to myself. Now that I am not drinking, I do feel great every day. Some people may not accept me, but that is their problem, not mine. Thanks for letting me share Suzi
Member: anonymous alcoholic
Location: 2689 Ridgecrest Drive
Time: 8:02:16 AM
Misha, thanks for the topic. I hope you get the help you need from others' posts this week. (Isn't it neat that we have this technology available to bring our 'topics' to this site?)
For me, I have experienced low self-esteem at various points in my life. When I first joined the program (12/12/90), that was definitely my lowest of low points. (Thanks for reminding me of that time. They say if you can't remember your last drink, you haven't had it yet!) I must say that my self-esteem started going up right from that first AA meeting. I was probably borrowing esteem from all the others at my meetings. They all seemed so confident about this sobriety business. So, my first question Misha: can you go to more meetings?
The other thing that really boosted my self- esteem was step 2. It took a while, but as I continued to go to meetings and hear the success stories, I came to believe in a power greater than myself, who was helping these people. I started to trust in that power and I started to feel better about myself. So my other question Misha is: where are you in the process of 'coming to believe'? I know it takes time and some folks say 'fake it till you make it', but maybe you could take some time to reflect on where you are on step 2.
Anyway, that's my 2 cents worth on the topic. It may not be what you needed to hear. Maybe it was just what I needed to say! Thanks. I'll be back :-)
Member: Tom M.
Location: Homosassa, Fl
Time: 8:20:16 AM
Good Topic Misha. My self-esteem, like most was very good when I was drinking. But it was false "high" self-esteem. As soon as I sobered up my self-esteem, self worth, self lothing was at its worst. It took many months of working a good recovery program before I regained any self-esteem. The differance was that my increased self worth is real because I am earning it. The better I work my recovery program, the more I go to meetings and discuss things with other recovering alcholics the better I feel. So I live one day at a time. inprove myself when I can. And help other alcholics recover. All these things help me to feel better about myself. God Bless and thanks for the opportunity to share.
Member: Preston T
Time: 1:29:57 PM
Member: Aaron D
Time: 1:41:39 PM
Hi, I'm Aaron, alcoholic and addict
One of the things that I have been reading about in regards to self esteem has to do with the inability of some individuals to love and accept themselves. Self-nurturing and self-loving skills are not there, and hence we end up being extremely hard on ourselves AND don't have ways of coping with it. Don't confuse selfishness and self-centeredness with the idea that you think too much of yourself. The opposite is probably true.
I am new to the program, but I have already heard numerous stories of other alcoholics and their struggles with these things.
Remember to be yourself, and true to yourself. You can only be the person that you are, and you should love that person because you are as wonderful as anyone else.
Location: Arlington, Tx.
Time: 2:36:59 PM
Don Alcoholic here. I've always been taught that self-esteem was an inside job. I don't know anything about "Loving ones self" It doesn't mention anything about that in the Big Book. What it does tell me is to " Trust God, Clean house, and Help others. It also tells me that "I can't transmit something I haven't got. So what I need to do is to get what is offered in the Big Book and let the self-esteem look out for itself. I've been sober and in recovery for over 17 years and as soon as I started making an honest effort to work the steps and to become a member of Alcoholics Anonymous my self-esteem took care of itself. Thanks for letting me share.
Member: Valerie M.
Time: 4:32:24 PM
Hi all...I'm so glad I decided to have a read through today. Getting over my low self-esteem is still a goal I haven't reached yet - but I'm definitely getting closer. I started drinking because of low self-esteem and continued drinking because of it. Once I stopped drinking and humilating myself, I realized I had a lot more going for myself than I thought. I was able to start over and really get to know myself. I'm making progress. I can't measure it - but I can feel it in how I deal with each day. I know I have a lot of work to do still, but when I think of how far I've come since my drinking days, I'm always encouraged to "keep coming back" to AA and to keep trying. Thanks everyone.
Member: Greg M.
Time: 5:43:35 PM
I'm Greg, I'm an alcoholic, During the first few months of my sobriety, I was overwhelmed with guilt and profound shame, products of living a duel life after a devoutly Christian upbringing. As I have grown closer to God in this program, I have come to realize that I am a child of God, worthy of the love of the Creator of the Universe, therefore certainly worthy of my own. Thanks for the topic and God bless you all.
Member: Ray C
Location: Haines Alaska
Time: 6:59:40 PM
Hi...I'm Ray an alcoholic.This was a really good topic and great meeting for me because I've been trying to improve my self esteem after my marriage flopped last fall.I do think what you think of your self is important and does need to be dealt with.I can use the get out of self thing and turning it over to a hp as a excuse to not deal with or make some needed changes in myself.I was told "if you think your inferior you are" and got to agree so action does need to be taken at some point for me.Theres a definite difference between facing what I think of myself and worrying about what others think of me.I really can't add much to whats already been suggested here so think I'll just close this post and get busy doing something to improve my life so I can feel better about myself.Thanks Y'all for helping me through another 24 hours.
Time: 7:47:44 AM
everything should be working ok now, sorry for the interuption to the meeting
Member: Barry L
Time: 1:03:14 PM
Ok You guys can start posting again
Member: Michael B
Time: 1:43:39 PM
Hi! My name is Michael, and I am a recevering alcoholic and addict, sober today only by the Grace of God and the Fellowship. Thanks for the sincere shares! Welcome newcomers! Excellent topic, Misha, and ditto to what JCP and Melissa said. I would like to add that Misha is not the first alcoholic to experience this terrible low self-esteem--I have too, as I'm sure have many other alcoholics. I have come to learn from my own experience that much of this terrible feeling of low self-esteem represented " ego deflation at depth" and turned out to be a stepping stone to building a life of sobriety based on spiritual principles and self-respect, one day at a time.
Time: 5:42:42 PM
i must state that when i went through the steps my sponsor pointed out that self condemnation is a character defect that is what important for me to ask god to take this as well. but like all people in the program i tend to pick it back up. it is my experiece over the past 14 years that not once have i ever grown out of condemnation, guilt, or self pity. luckily through the steps i have been able to see that i am no better or worse then any other human. i had to start waking up everyday and stepping in my own pair of shoe whether i liked my character or not and either ask god to remove these defects and let go, or get real comfortaable in them, either way i had to put the club down
Time: 9:15:58 PM
Member: Jim F
Location: Guilin, China
Time: 4:08:46 AM
Jim, alcoholic, here. I've lost the connection, but thanks for the reminder about my being "an egomaniac with an inferiority complex." That sums it up. The first time I heard that definition was in the LA Times by Dr. Persch, I believe is the spelling, one of the earliest MD's in the "new" arena of treatment, second generation, around the start of the Care Units. I have no idea what could have interested me in the column when I was just a "social drinker," but I did read it and went, "Uh oh," at the end. AA restored that lost sense of self-worth. The first time I shared in a meeting, I shook. The first time I shared on a panel, I shook. The first time I was a speaker, I shook. Now, years later, I teach whole classes of college students and no longer shake. Thank you, AA, for all you have given me and all you have taken away ... namely, the shakes. By the way, my wife and I are currently teaching in Guilin, China, without face-to-face meetings, so it would be nice to hear from: Robert F of Taiwan and Keith L of Jingdzhen, if you are willing ... Jim from Sequim firstname.lastname@example.org
Time: 8:03:07 AM
Member: Ronnie Provenzano
Time: 10:33:56 AM
Hi Everyone! Just found this web site. It took me a few days to read it all. Everyone has great comments. Congrats to everyone. Low self esteem, I was not always this way. Tramatic events have stolen away anything I have left as an a adult and a child. Everyone seems to have parts of me. My life is based on fear and guilt. I am sure now that drinking and medication did not help anything. I am ready to reclaim my life. Now that I know what I have to do to get it. Keep talking you are my company at 3:00 am. Thank you. Ronnie
Time: 1:07:42 PM
yes after years and years of alc/drugs i was tore down meantallly,physically,emotionally,financally and most of all spirtually. without God the one that truely loves me NO MATTER WHAT.
Member: Michael K
Location: AR, USA
Time: 1:57:41 PM
Low self esteem. Hmmm.. When I was drinking and drugging I was temporairly 10 feet tall and bulletproof. But then I would come down or sober up and feel like pond scum. Which would require more booze or drugs to make me human again. Or so I thought. A relentless cycle of madness. I broke the cycle for the first time in over 30 years about 3 months ago. I don't know why. But I am gratefull to the program of Alcoholics Anonymous for giving me the tools to live in the solution instead of the problem. This disease is fatal. I may drink tommorrow, but today I am sober.
Time: 2:16:24 PM
Hi, Im Rhonda, an Alcoholic and druggy. I have had recent problems with low self esteem. I have always been the kind of person who cared too much about what others thought. When ever I start to struggle with this issue I surround myself with people in the program; people just like me. Get to a meeting, it always helps.
Time: 12:34:12 AM
It is now Sunday at 12:32am. I am reading things here and wondering what the next week's topic might be. I guess I miss Ann of the West on the coffeepot telling us all about her early relationship with her sponsor. I absolutely loved those posts. I guess I would like to hear more things like that...knowing that my first impression of this little old woman was that I really hated her..and now she has become a huge part of my life. I think I had a severe perception problem at first. My sponsor somehow became closer to me and my kids than real blood relatives. Find a topic in this somewhere?
Member: Vee F.
Location: Mid-west USA
Time: 7:47:43 AM
This works! I'll keep coming back.
Time: 9:47:31 AM
Just want to say I have read and reread your postings this week and I am grateful beyond measure for each and every one. I was restored to my sanity and have realized so much. I feel hope and security today whereas only a short time ago I wsa wondering if I should even stick around. There but for the grace of God go I. I am so grateful for you all. Love, Misha
Member: Deena S.
Time: 12:40:31 PM
It's 11:42 EST and I just found this site. My last drink was back in October of 85 and my last meeting was about two months ago. Not counting the meetings between meetings. When I begin a complaint or litiny with "I" it is a sure sign that I want more than I have. And when I discuss my 'self-esteem' I have come to find that I feel poorly when I want others to treat me differently. Thinking well of myself may be difficult, but only when I am not accepting of who I am or what I am doing. There are two choices, change what I am doing or what I am thinking. I have found that the doing is easier to change, but the thinking will follow with the doing. may you be blessed with the understanding of others. Deena
Member: Bruce N
Time: 1:45:10 PM
Hi group,,Bruce an alcoholic.....I read something in my morning meditation that struck me right at home that I'd like to share. It said that"removing our shortcomings is not the way to self-esteem, accepting Gods's love for us in spite of our shortcomings is". I am so grateful that God and Godly people put up with me and continue to love me even when I don't feel so hot about myself. I can always tell when I'm beating myself up, it's very hard for me to work with others, and that is the root of my recovery. Celebrated 19 years clean and sober yesterday and for that I truley praise God and am grateful to all his people who have helped me along the way. God bless you all today.
Member: Orville hugh King III
Time: 5:44:21 PM
hi my name is orville and thanks to god i am sober today and i think the lord for that and for what he has done for me so what i have to say is thank you god for helping me be sober.
Member: Jim F
Location: Guilin, China
Time: 6:34:57 PM
Way to go, Misha. You started this and you're still there at the end of the week. Jim Keep coming back.