I always had self esteem confused with self-confidence. I had plenty of self confidence in my skills, abilities, etc. But that has nothing to do with self esteem or self worth.
It was like this for me. Everybody else belonged to the group, but I was just visiting -- maybe even intruding. So, in order to be really part of the group I had to overachieve --sell the most tickets, raise the most money, volunteer the most hours, sign up the most new members, - whatever.
And even that never really worked. I never felt like I was one of the gang. I was different, I had secrets. There were things going on at my home that did not happen in their homes.
Feeling of BelongingThat's what I like about being in a recovery program that is a fellowship of equals. No one is in authority over anyone else and everything is decided by the group as a whole. I know that just by showing up and participating I am just as much a part of the group as the oldest long-timer.
The feeling of belonging I found inside the rooms slowly spilled over into my thinking and into other areas of my life. Now I can say things like "Hey, somebody got MY parking place!" Instead of saying, "I hope I'm not in someone else's favorite spot." When I found Al-Anon I felt "at home" for the first time in my life.
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