I Matter Too

When I first stepped into the world of recovery, I was carrying a heavy burden - a burning desire to please everyone around me. It felt like my mission was to meet every single expectation, to never utter the word "no," and in doing so, maybe, just maybe, I could make up for all the pain and chaos my addiction had unleashed upon my life and the lives of those I cared about. I thought this was my path to redemption, but as it turned out, this strategy was a one-way ticket to misery.

I had to learn the hard way that recovery wasn't about being a people-pleaser. It was about tending to my own well-being first. It meant building sturdy boundaries and having the courage to uphold them. It meant understanding that my sobriety and mental health were non-negotiable priorities.

One of the toughest challenges on this journey was conveying my boundaries to the people I cherished the most. It's never easy to tell someone you love that you can't fulfill their request or that you need some space, especially when you've always been the dependable "yes" person. I had to confront my own unrealistic expectations too. I used to believe I had to be a paragon of perfection, both in life and in my recovery. I expected never to falter, always to have the answers. But reality shattered those illusions. Recovery is a tumultuous ride, filled with peaks and valleys.

I also came to realize the importance of managing my expectations of others. I can't dictate how people will react to my boundaries or my recovery journey, and that's perfectly fine. I constantly remind myself that setting boundaries and moderating expectations are acts of self-love and self-care. It's not selfishness; it's safeguarding my recovery and my well-being.

The road isn't without its stumbles, moments when I feel guilt for saying no, but that's all part of the process. Recovery is an expedition of growth and self-discovery. So, to anyone out there struggling with the same battles, Remember this: Recovery is not a solo mission to please the world. It's a personal commitment to myself, to set boundaries that protect your peace, and to understand that imperfections are a part of the beautiful mess that is recovery. It's a journey where you learn to be kind to yourself and courageous enough to say, "I matter, too."

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