Shifting approval

When I was a little girl, I was bullied at school. And I think this has partly fuelled a need for me to seek approval: from my family, my friends, my online friends…everyone. In my current struggle with alcohol, I feel as though I am letting everyone down, and I am desperate for them to think we’ll of me. But what I’m missing is approval from myself. Time and again, I let myself down. I feel people’s frustration as they see me failing, and I don’t blame them: it’s annoying to watch someone make the same mistakes over and over again, not to heed advice, to wilfully march into dangerous territory, then cry when things go wrong.

I am shifting my focus. Of course I still mind what people think, and I don’t want to disappoint people; but I also need to have greater self-respect.

Day One again. My son says he will buy me a present if I get to 100 days. My husband is confused and says I keep saying one thing, and doing another – he still thinks I’m mad – but I have told him I am trying the 100 days again. I am learning every time things go wrong, and I don’t feel the situation is hopeless. I know it will be hard for people to believe in me – I have failed so often – but I believe in myself.

20 thoughts on “Shifting approval”

  1. Woah, weird. I was just entertaining the idea of posting about being bullied and it’s link to my addiction.

    Definitely understand the need for approval. Being a perfectionist doesn’t help either… (sigh).

    Glad your family’s taking an active role in your recovery! Your son sounds like a sweetheart :).

  2. That is our problem. We are perfectionists with high expextations and when things don’t turn out our way we drink to get over the feelings of disappointment. But there is freedom from this. If you make it to 100 days. You will find it! I promise. But it’s one day at a time.

  3. The need for approval is a hard one. I still struggle with that. It shakes me away from what I believe and undermines me.

    It takes time to work through that feeling of shame and disappointment that comes with addictive behaviour.

    Just stay sober today. Things will get better.


  4. Be kind to yourself…perfectionism haunts us all and as others have said is a work in progress…keep trying…don’t give up…lots and lots of treats.. You deserve sobriety…You are worth it!

  5. Hi Annie, I can relate to your post. I too was bullied at school and have sought approval from others all my life. I hate it! I feel that I’m at an age now where I shouldn’t care what other people think, but I still do. It can be exhausting! But I am trying to change. And I think not drinking helps. It gives you an inner confidence that wasn’t there before. Keep trying Annie and don’t give up. Am here for you. A x

  6. I can relate to what you are saying. When I was 11 we moved from the southern U.S. to Canada. My handicaps and differences were pointed out, very often in an unkind way. That’s hard at 11 or any age for that matter. Your post has made me realize how this has played a part in my life and how I relate to others, at times isolating myself and approaching people with great reserve.
    What a sweet boy you have! You haven’t let us down. We care about you and your success. This is hard stuff!

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