I sent my little guy off to school today with green hair (It was crazy hair and casual dress day with a gold coin donation to raise money for the school fete). We were running a bit late so the school bell had already rung and we didn't see any other school kids. My son made me ask the lollipop lady at the school crossing if other kids had crazy hair too. Of course they did! But I understood where my son was coming from. He had a moment of insecurity that we got the day wrong and he would be the only one turning up with crazy hair and casual clothes.
I remember that feeling so well. I remember when I was about 10 or 11 and desperately wanting to be like everyone else. That fear of being different. Wanting approval so badly. Always feeling not good enough, not pretty enough, not thin enough (yes, even at such a young age!), not anything enough. Just always 'less than'. And it stayed with me all my life.
Since I've been going to AA meetings, it's a theme I've heard over and over again. That feeling of being different to everyone else. I used to think it was just me. That there was something wrong with ME. And it is such a relief to know that I am not the only one who feels like this.
Now that I have found sobriety, I have started to work on this. I tell myself that I am enough. That I AM good enough. That even if I am different, it doesn't matter, that it's okay. I am trying to be kind to myself and to like myself, and tell myself that I am loved. I tell myself that it doesn't matter what other people think of me, that not everyone will like me, but that's okay too. It's not always easy. But I have to remind myself that I can't change a life time of feelings in a few days or months, so I am trying to be patient with myself.
I guess it's about self-care. It's something that I have ignored all my drinking life, so I really need to do this for myself now in order to heal. It's going to take time, but I am determined! I am going to see a therapist (I just have to build up the courage to make the appointment!) so hopefully that will help. I am taking the medication and that is helping with my anxiety, which I lived with for years.
I hope the insecurity my son felt this morning is fleeting. That it won't become crippling like it was for me. I hope he grows up to be a well adjusted, confident and happy young man.
I am getting there, slowly. Baby steps.