September 20

FREEDOM MONTH: DAY 20: We should not want to be the same as others and we should not want others to be the same as us. Rather, we ought to glory and shine in all of our differences, flaunting them fabulously for all to see! It is never a conformity that we need! We need not to conform! What we need is to burst out into all these beautiful colors!”― C. JoyBell C.

When we are young and immature, we want to “fit in” with the other kids our age. We all have to wear the same clothes and be like the cool kids, whoever they may be. If one of our friends has something, we want one as well.

That is a mark of immature development, and is appropriate in childhood. How we know we have grown up is that we are able to individuate to the extent that we no longer have to be or have what others do. It is no longer necessary for us to copy the cool kids. We have developed our own ideas and tastes and ways of doing things, without attachment to the opinions of others.

Most addicts never get to this state of maturity. They still need to be liked by others, and are afraid to exist without approval of everyone around them. If there is one person who is not accepting them, they will spend sleepless nights focused on how they can change that person, or if necessary, change themselves to get that person’s approval.

Conformity is the only way they can be secure about themselves, which means they have to “fit in” as they did in childhood.

It is risky and daring to walk a singular path, although it is the design of the Universe that we do this. If we are still stuck in being people pleasers and “part of the crowd”, we are going to find that there are many who just do not like us, for whatever reason. It is terribly uncomfortable to be around people pleasers for most who are no longer stuck in that dynamic.

They are untrustworthy because nothing they say or do is authentic or real. They are bad actors who mouth things they don’t mean to win approval from everyone. Which does not work of course. They are liked and trusted by none. They become the butt of manipulation and being used by those who are not integral. This is the dance of addiction and codependency.

I believe all addicts are codependents. It is a part and parcel of the disease. And most do not treat this part of their addiction, which is their addiction to making others like them. Does NOT work…ever!

When we learn to truly walk this path, we are free of that part of our addiction as well. It is toxic and ugly and so damaging to the people around that addict. They are phonies. We have all been this, and we can all recover, but so few do. Let’s work today to be REALLY free…of all of it!

Published by: Kelly

I am a therapist and counselor with long-term recovery from addictions and personal trauma. My writing reflects these experiences and the road I have traveled in 12-Step recovery settings, along with the work I have done for over 30 years in the field. My love of dolphins includes the stories of them being healers in places all over the world. I long to offer every broken spirit and body the experience of a healing hug. May my words and stories inform, uplift and delight your spirit and soothe your weary heart.

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