My biggest trigger always was rooted in insecurity.
Who knew that just drinking too much was not my only problem. The drinking was just my insane attempt to drown my other issues. One of my biggest issues that has been hard to shake is insecurity. The belief that somehow, no matter what I achieved, that I was just not good enough. The thought that I would never be qualified enough for any success that came my way. Insecurity has plagued my career as an athlete, my relationships, and above all my ability to love myself.
A common misconception about addiction is that a substance is our issue. It is not our problem yet our solution to all the other issues life has become for us. Insecurity, depression, abuse, guilt, shame, the list could just continue on and on. Us addicts and alcoholics choose to use and drink to escape from life. Some choose it willingly while others are blind to the choice that is whittling away their soul. It goes deeper than the drug and the drink.
My insecurities were of insane proportions.
So with each passing insecurity the need to say “pour me another” grew. As a teen I can remember never feeling like I was as good as my classmates and friends. I was a very accomplished soccer player and with each award I would win the feeling of not being good enough would grow. Sounds crazy, I know! It carried over into relationships. I needed constant reassurance that the love I felt was being reciprocated which in turn just suffocated any romantic flames. I blamed others but it was my insecurity that was beginning to lead me to drown in my own fear and worry.
In my recovery, dealing with my insecurities has been one of my biggest battles. First, I learned to love myself. To accept where I was in that moment and to strive to become the man that I was created to be. Second, I am in the process of learning how to take time out for me, to recharge, to rest so that I am strong enough to battle my insecurities. Lastly, I have learned that I am qualified. Not because of anything that I have done or accomplished but because of what God says about me. After all it was Him that chose me and not the other way around.
It still tries to take me down today.
But even still insecurity is a subtle and powerful foe. Today is Valentines. A day that started off with much mutual love and big smiles on faces. Everything was great until I saw one too many social media posts from women to their men. I began to wonder when mine was going to hit the universal internet. Surely, I was good enough to receive that also. Before I knew it the thoughts had invaded my mind space and had begun to infect my heart. I began to wonder, for no good reason at all, if maybe she was busy because her ex had contacted her. Insanity!
Using my tools I grabbed the weapons of my warfare. I repeated to myself the promises God has instilled in me. I do not have a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind. No weapon formed against me can prosper. As the words slipped over my lips and out of my mouth I could feel the strength rising within me. There was nothing to worry about. Any expectation that had been poisoned into my thoughts was removed. She didn’t need to be like any other woman on social media, most of whom I have never even met in person. I remembered her uniqueness and why I loved her in the first place and it was only insecurity and fear trying to steal my serenity.
Growing in spite of my insecurity issues.
I did not let it have a chance to fester either. I communicated my feelings, I outed myself as they say, and admitted it was completely stupid and unreasonable of me to think the way I had let myself. Not only did the openness slay the insecurity, I could instantly feel it bring us closer. It is important to not let those insecurities dwell inside me, they can overtake me, they helped me to lead a life in the bottle. I must be open and honest and willing to call it as I see it, to admit my weakness. When I put it out into the light, that light chases away all darkness and brings love into the equation. My insecurities begin to become a source of strength.
So today as you are in the process of giving out love to others or wishing for a love to call your own remember one important thing. You first must be able to love yourself. Taking the time to find out how to nurture that self love. It is the most selfless thing you can do. It creates the best you that you can be so that others benefit from your best. Be open, honest, and communicate your moments of weakness and walk through them. They soon become strongholds. Above all remember God chose you! That alone qualifies you and makes you more than enough.
Knocking out insecurity with trust and confidence.
So lift up your head, begin to believe in your heart that there is greatness within you. That there is a life waiting for you that is more than you could ever dream or imagine. Put down the glass, there is no need for any more cold ones. Insecurity and fear are no longer welcome in your present or your future. Today, you say enough, and begin to embrace all that you are and can be. I stand with you, fists raised, and we fight. No man or woman left behind as that is a life of purpose. Together, we are never alone.