This is a story about self-discovery and taking 12 steps toward happiness.
When I was 22, I reached a point in my life when I realized I did not know how to be happy. I had spent my teenage years covering up my emotions with whatever substance I could find. These feelings included abandonment, rejection and feeling alone, unloved, and attacked on a daily basis.
Living my teens as a total rebellion toward family, religion and society, and I finally realized my teenage angst was not working for me. When I turned 20, I decided to try what I thought, my family and society were telling me was the route to happiness — make money. So, I gave up all the self-destruction and got a job. Yes, I made money, even more than I needed. But, by the time I reached 22 I still was not happy.
I gave my dad a call. We had not been in close contact for about 16 years, since he and my mom divorced. I thought maybe I needed to connect with him and then I would stop feeling so crazy. I was desperate to stop feeling this way. I ended up going to rural Kentucky to pay my dad a visit. Not only was my dad a workaholic, which I already knew, but he was five years sober. I had never even realized he was an alcoholic. 4 Steps To Help Couples Speak Their Very Own Language
I spent my visit with my dad in and out of open Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, where I met some very nice and friendly people. Attending those meetings were people from other 12-step groups, such as Al-Anon, Adult Children of Alcoholics, Over-Eaters Anonymous, Gamblers Anonymous, and even some kids that attended Alateen. I remember that everyone smiled, welcomed me in and hugged me.
The lessons from my experience with the 12-step groups, were very powerful. They said I was lovable and I could turn my problems over to a higher power, so I would not have to carry the world on my shoulders anymore. They told me to keep coming back, as if they really wanted to see me again.
One day, I was driving around with my dad and I asked him, "Dad, what is the definition of an alcoholic?" He replied, "I don't know. I guess if it interferes with your everyday life." I said to myself, "Whew. Nothing is interfering with my everyday life." I was so relieved. This is what the groups call denial. 3 Important Steps To Overcome Sex Addiction
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This article was originally published at WendyKay Life Coach. Reprinted with permission from the author.