Alison's Insights

Making Sense of Addiction Recovery in Midlife One Slow Deep Breath at a Time

No, I’m Not in Pieces

Ok, I admit it.  I got sucked into an online quiz from a skin-care company titled, “Do you look young?”  You’d think after all I’ve gone through I’d run from crap like this.  But I don’t.  Even though I’m a 50-year-old woman who has been to hell and back learning to accept, love and admire who I am, there is still the fact that I’m just like any other woman my age.  I have my days.  I have my doubts.  I’m human.

Anyway, back to my mischievous ways.  I took the test and sure enough, based upon a series of interactive questions “they” determined I looked younger than what’s written on my birth certificate.  I almost laughed out loud at myself.  First of all, I used to work at advertising agencies that came up with stuff like this.  I know how they are put together and what will be the ultimate result.  Of course they’ll suggest I look younger!  Not only do I feel complimented, the propensity for me to purchase their “stay young” products will increase.  It’s not rocket science folks.

Secondly, in all honesty, who the hell cares if I look 5, 10, 20 years younger?  According to my recovery sponsor, no one does except me.  That’s probably the number one thing I know from hanging around the rooms and friends I have in recovery.  The only person who truly cares about my looks is me.  What most people care about is the person I am inside.  The things drawing people to me are not skin deep.  What matters to us human beings is if another person shows compassion, offers a helping hand or simply has a welcoming disposition.   Throw in the ability to be non-judgmental and open to whatever difficulties need to be faced and you’ve got a circle of friends wider than the ocean.

It sometimes saddens me to realize the many years I spent analyzing, critiquing and judging my job, my finances, my family, and my body in sections rather than as an entire thing.   I don’t do that today, or at least I try not to.  Reminder … I’m still human.

As I sit here typing, I’m realizing how parallel this is to recovery.  I did not overcome my addictions in pieces, hoping one day it would all make sense.  No, recovery is a universal process requiring me to take into consideration all of me, physical, emotional, mental and spiritual.  Addressing what’s at issue with one or two of those areas would not have allowed me to reclaim my life.  I had to pay attention to everything in order to unwind the past and become the woman I am today.

So, with that in mind, in the future, it’s probably best if I just hit the old “delete” button when I come across some obscure questionnaire about how young I may or may not look.  Now that I think about it, I’m proud to be the age I am.  I have learned a lot, experienced a lot and overcome a lot.  Had I not taken the steps necessary to face the things I had to, I wouldn’t be here sharing my thoughts with you right now.  That alone puts a little some spring in old gal’s step!

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3 thoughts on “No, I’m Not in Pieces

  1. Monica on said:

    Haha, Amen and absolutely!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. I love this post. I still deeply struggle with what I deem “my vanity” that includes the way others package me in their mind and this includes my appearance. I really love the reminder that, in reality, I am REALLY the only one who has the propensity to define me solely on what my exterior presentation looks like. Others may be able to see all that is inside more easily than I am, but the reminder that my body is simply a vehicle for my soul is what I need to hold onto. As always, thank you for your words of wisdom.

  3. Erna on said:

    Yes I agree,with these thoughts.But if you are so unhappy with how you look that you cant look in the mirror,take a picture of yourself even though you have learnt to appreciate your inside .Is it than vain to adress this issue too,in itself?

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