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Family and Friends of Alcoholics and Addicts This forum is for families and friends whose lives have been affected by someone else's drinking and/or drug abuse.

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Old 11-12-2013, 10:04 AM   #1
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MajestyJo's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Hamilton, ON
Posts: 22,048
Default Living With Myself

Substance over Form

I'm learning that for a variety of reasons, I've spent much of my life focusing on form rather than substance. My focus has been on having my hair done perfectly, wearing the right clothes, having my makeup applied perfectly, living in the right place, furnishing it with the right furniture, working at the right job, and having the right man. Form, rather than substance, has controlled my behavior in many areas of my life. Now, I'm finally getting to the truth. It's substance that counts.

There is nothing wrong in wanting to look our best. Whether we are striving to create a self, a relationship, or a life, we need to have some solid ideas about what we want that to look like.

Form gives us a place to begin. But for many of us, form has been a substitute for substance. We may have focused on form to compensate for feeling afraid or feeling inferior. We may have focused on form because we didn't know how to focus on substance.

Form is the outline; substance is what fills it in. We fill in the outline of ourselves by being authentic; we fill in the outline of our life by showing up for life and participating to the best of our ability.

Now, in recovery, we're learning to pay attention to how things work and feel, not just to what they look like.

Today, I will focus on substance in my life. I will fill in the lines of myself with a real person - me. I will concentrate on the substance of my relationships, rather than what they look like. I will focus on the real working of my life, instead of the trappings.[

The Language of Letting Go - Melody Beattie
This was today's reading and touches on a topic I was sharing with a friend and where I have been personally, in my mediation and in my own life.

I for one, don't have trappings and a lot of 'stuff' in my life and yet it seems like my life can have a lot of clutter. I have come to realize that my brain can also get into that same 'cluttered' state.

As it says here, I was always worry about what I looked like, and it was important to carry a message of recovery and my sponsor told me to look recovered. There have been time lately that I have been finding myself not caring and thinking it doesn't matter. I find the excuses in my head, "Well I am not out to attract any one." That is the selfish, self-centered me making excuses for complacency, depression, and a lot of other over-whelming emotions that I hide under a cloak of darkness, which I use to cover up a multitude of sins. It really helps to cover them up when I cover up mine and look at others, forgetting that this is a program of reflection.

Not sure what brought this on, other than the fact that I went down into the mall wearing the bottoms of a long-overdue for the garbage jersey suit, with a mismatched top, flip flops on my feet, no make up, which I don't generally wear any way, but not sure I even combed my hair. My hair at the moment is generally in curly disarray anyway so it doesn't look much difference if I do or don't, but I know. Normally, I wouldn't be caught outside my door taking things to the garbage chute dressed the way I was let alone down to the mall and to the pharmacy. I felt ashamed of myself for going out like that, yet I felt worse for having felt the way I did, it was like I had an emotional hangover, and the feelings are coming out as I type this and I am now being made aware as I type.

Thanks for letting me share.


Love always,


I share because I care.

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