BMJ: Day 113 – Say No

Say No????

The fuck you say…?

Okay, quite honestly, I felt at one time I was so good at asserting myself that I was never one to give in to peer pressure or anything similar, but I have noticed that I have had my assertiveness run into another personality characteristic of mine: I’m conscientious of other people and their needs and have routinely sacrificed my own needs for that of another person.

And it fucking sucks!

Today’s entry into my Beautiful Me Journal is all about the concept of saying “No”. I tend to say “Yes” to any request said or unsaid. It’s truly my undoing. For example, not long ago I thought I made a decision to end my marriage, but here I am a month later and no action has been taken by me or by her. Truthfully, this can be an entire topic all on it’s own and I will most likely begin tackling it in my series on S.A.R.D. But it’s an example of where I can’t say, “No.”

Another, and probably more serious issue, is my inability to put my sobriety first when it comes to the perception that I might disappoint someone else – namely my wife. This past weekend we began ripping the carpet up off our stairs and hallway because it is nasty gross from dogs and needs to be replaced. I certainly didn’t mind helping, but when Monday rolled around, I had mention I had three goals for that evening: go for a walk, attend an AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) online meeting and work on homework for a class I’m working on. Yet, when dinner was over and my wife and oldest child began working on the stairs again, I felt compelled to jump in and help out. Partly out of guilt and partly out of knowing it’s something that needed to get done. But, I didn’t say “No”, in spite of the fact I needed to do the things I set out for myself.   I truly felt like I would be a disappointment, if I didn’t help out.

It’s the whole concept of setting boundaries for myself that I miss the need to do it. I can’t help, at times, to wonder if it has a tremendous amount to do with my upbringing – i.e. do for others, sacrifice for others, etc. I’ve wondered if the things I’ve done at times in my life – sex, drinking, relationships especially, or whatever had anything to do with what I want or more to do with what someone else wanted. And the idea of having to explore this concept even has me questioning what it is I really want for me. Sometimes I think I don’t even know. I can remember voicing the things I want and expressing my desire to do something, but having gotten tired of conflict in my life, I began giving in and ignoring my desires for those of other people simply to keep them happy.

I don’t understand why I do this, but I can rightfully say the idea of setting boundaries terrifies the hell out of me now. It gives Hilda a huge avenue of power over me and it has the tendency to cloud Stephanie‘s influence of positiveness. It seems like an insurmountable change for me that I doubt my abilities to do it. It makes me doubt myself. It makes me question my own values and intentions in life. It makes me feel unworthy of love, even.

It’s obvious, I will have to address this and I know it’s not going away. But I hope, truly, truly hope that I can learn this powerful characteristic again…

10 thoughts on “BMJ: Day 113 – Say No

  1. Ok first of all, the beginning of this made me laugh out loud. And then for the rest I was nodding along. I’m getting better at this since I recognized the way I put everyone first even when it makes me unhappy. It’s so tough to create conflict or speak up for myself when I think it will make things difficult. But the reality is, I deserve to be happy and if the people in my life can’t see how my boundaries are there to make me happy and protect me, maybe they aren’t the people I need in my life. This helped me to end my marriage. Well past time, but I did it. Good luck, lovely! There are lots of books on boundaries if books help you.

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  2. Boundaries are so important. I have a dear friend who will talk to me for hours if I let her. It took me awhile to set them..I tell her I have 30 min. At first she wants to know why do I have to go.. I tell her a half truth, I get tired of listening with my cochlear implants.

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    1. I had a bit of a thought about things like this… Do you think it’s bothersome to us because we have unstated expectations and then are disappointed when the expectations are not met?


      1. Sometimes, I’m not so great at articulating myself…lol

        Your comment gave me a though, based on a conversation I was having with my sponsor and how acceptance and how expectations tend to work against that. So, sometimes I think it’s tough to set a boundary, because I have an expectation that others should know and accept my needs – which having that expectation of others tends to lead to disappointment. That disappointment can lead to resentment and resentment feeds the alcoholic mind.

        Anyways, it was just a thought that popped into my puny brain, so it’s not fully developed yet…so, maybe that’s part of why I’m not making a lot of sense…hehehehe

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  3. People pleasing is a huge draw-back for most of us alcoholics. Changing our habits into healthy ones, such as taking time for ourselves, is foreign to us. However, changing these habits are necessary for our well-being, spiritual growth and overall sobriety. It also generates respect from all involved (including yourself) in the long run. Not saying it is easy to take the first step. But, like anything, it does get easier each time one does it. Stand your ground my darling!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It’s such an oddity to me because at one time I was very self-assertive and I feel like when I began letting my assertiveness go is the time I began to drink for effect (although, that;s not entirely true, but I can connect the two…). It’s a weird irony of my life…I know what needs to be done, and I know how good it feels to feel good and yet I have gone down a path that prevents that. I am enjoying feeling physically better, but I am gonna keep working the program until I feel emotionally better.

      Thank you, as always, for your continued encouragement and support.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. As always, baby steps at first until you feel the comfort. Your soul will tell you when the giant steps need to be taken. You know I’m always here for you sweetie.

        Liked by 1 person

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