I wrote this shortly after Covid-19 shut everything down. I felt very lonely and isolated from my family and friends.
My low self-esteem defects have come out in full force trying to knock me over. The trigger: gifts my daughters have been sending me. Each one sent me a special gift this week. A personalized notepad from my youngest; my favorite scented candle that happens to have YOU ARE LOVED on the outside from my middle; a pair of slacks from a special store my oldest and I visited on a recent NYC trip. But yesterday was the crowning blow: cookies from a bakery in NYC – to die for dark chocolate, chocolate chip cookies. Four huge cookies weighing a half pound each, plus two-day shipping!! Rather than embracing the love showered on me I went into a shame spiral. What should have been my tears of joy were tears of shame and guilt.
Why do I withhold celebration from myself? I journaled for an hour to try to process all my emotions. Little Ali was told and shown how unworthy she was; how undeserving of good things. Grown-up Ali doesn’t know what to do with those strong feelings. What a waste of money spent on me! Guilt. Due to COVID-19 my son-in-law whose sole income supports a family of six is out of work. My youngest took a 20% pay cut. My oldest earns so little she cannot afford many “extras”. How did I become a priority??? The answer: Love The girls love me and are expressing their love to me.
Low Self Esteem Patterns: Codependents often are embarrassed to receive recognition, praise, or gifts. That’s me.
So I cannot let my mother’s old lies deprive me of the joy I want to be feeling. The gremlins must go! I do deserve good things. I do deserve love and the expression of love from others. I am worthy. I need to breathe it in. Savor it. Accept it. Allow it to feel good and right. If those tears keep flowing let them be tears of joy and appreciation.
Thanks to CoDA and the Steps of recovery I can live a happier, healthier life!
Alison J. 5/10/2020