Recently I have noticed a change in me and I am pretty sure that it is down to sobriety. Instead of concentrating on what I am doing and how I act, I have started looking at others. It’s been a revelation.
When I was still drinking alcohol I would happily blame myself for how I was treated by others. I am not saying that I had a torrid abusive time or anything, but I was much more likely to put up with disrespect and I would rarely call it out. I was so very focused on the problem being me, that I rarely even thought about the behaviour of others.
I now tend to look at the whole picture. Yes, my actions could very well have been wrong. But by the same token so could the other persons. I have become aware that people will take advantage of other people’s perceived weaknesses and if they can get away with treating you a certain way, they will.
It’s interesting as being sober tends to make you assess other people’s behaviour as well as your own. For example, certain people whom I had assumed viewed me with the same level of importance that I had viewed them, when looking through sober eyes, I could see that was not the case at all. It was a bit jolting at the start but also very empowering.
Choosing your friends
I now have the freedom to be very choosy with my friend groups. I want to be friends with people who empower and enrich me and vice versa. I no longer have to put up with certain behaviours. This does not mean that I have to create conflict or arguments, I set boundaries and stick to them. I have permitted myself to say no to certain situations and permitted myself to not feel bad about that.
You can’t choose your family?
Family is different, but again I am setting boundaries and will be following the lead of others with regards to actions within relationships. I will not strive for relationships to be perfect. I also will not be shouldering all of the blame for issues within those relationships. I have permitted myself to stop trying to make certain relationships into something they just aren’t. I would have carried on trying to make things better had I still been drinking. I think this actually will be a positive thing in the future, it takes a lot of pressure off all sides!
People are strange!
Honestly, people really are strange. There are some remarkable, kind people in the world. But there are also some complete horrors! There are some difficult characters and some people that are so nice, I worry for them. I can now however see this. In between the extremes are the ‘normal’ people. Everyone has different standards and a lot of people are selfish and a lot of people have absolutely no self-awareness. That, however is now their problem, not mine. I no longer see myself as ‘the fixer’. People have completely different perspectives on what is acceptable and that’s fine. But so do I now.
I hope that this makes sense, I become more and more aware every day in sobriety, we are given a gift really of a kind of self-awareness that other people don’t often discover. We also become more aware of others too….