Before we get into the actual questions that you should ask yourself, I want to let you all in a little bit more.
I used to paint for fun. I used to be silly and laugh a lot. And I was confident in a room full of people. I was adventurous and had a great group of friends.
That’s who I was before I fell in love with a wonderful man suffering from addiction.
And slowly, over time, the confident, joyful woman he was attracted to became insecure. I lost my friends because going out meant that I couldn’t monitor his drinking or drug use. The laughter was still there, but it was less frequent and layered under sadness.
I became a shell of the woman I was before I met him.
But… it didn’t stay that way forever.
I decided that I was worth fighting for. That addiction might be taking down the one I loved, but I wasn’t going to let it take me down, too.
How do we get back in touch with the woman we once were?
How do we rekindle the spark within ourselves that makes us feel like we’re a light to our friends and family?
What’s the best way to get back to a place of fun and joy?
Here’s the good news: it’s not difficult or complicated. It’s actually very simple. But we need to stay committed to making choices that foster our best selves.
We need to give ourselves permission to make it about us, not them.
Today we are not going to talk about their addiction (oh my goodness, don’t we talk about that enough, already?).
Instead, I am going to be asking you some questions (because you know how much I love questions).
And I want you to make me a promise.
Please, please don’t move to the next question without answering the one I just asked you.
Seriously. Because if you just go from one question to the next without answering and taking self-inventory, then this just becomes something you’ve passively learned instead of done.
And in this community of 20,000 strong women, we are all about the work. The commitment and rededicating our lives to ourselves.
Are you ready for your questions? Did you make the promise? It won’t take long, I swear – there are only seven, and I guarantee if you think about this hard enough you’ll learn something helpful within yourself.
1. Who are you?
Think about the woman you were before this disease came into your life (or if you had parents who suffered from addiction – who you were before you realized they had this disease). And think about the woman you want to become. When you think of a perfect you, using all your best skills and traits – who are you in 3 years from now?
2. What do you want?
I did a whole episode on this very subject, and you can find it here. It’s one of my best podcasts if I do say so myself.
3. What do you like?
Do you like comedy movies? Are you interested in cooking? Do you like to ski or a good game of chess? Your identity is not wrapped up in the ones you love.
4. Have you gotten comfortable with pain?
Are you in a place in your life when you are complacent with very little? Are you settling for crumbs instead of the whole delicious pie? A simple yes or no will do.
5. Are your expectations too high?
Let me cheat a little and break this down into two questions:
- Are your self-expectations too high?
- Are you expecting too much from your kids, partner, parents or co-workers? You can be honest. There’s no judgment here. If I were in the room with you, I would raise my hand or possibly both hands.
6. Are you an expert on your own thoughts, feelings, and wants?
Or are you wishy-washy? Do you listen to the advice of 2 dozen people and change your mind constantly? Or do you know what you want, how you feel and what you think, and own it without apologies?
7. Are you comfortable with your own weaknesses?
I know most of you know this by now, but I am dyslexic. I can’t spell worth a darn (as some of you have lovingly pointed out). But I write for a living! I love writing more than I love talking. And my love affair with books is borderline obsessive. I am proud of my “weakness” of dyslexia. It helps me think outside of the box, and thank you, Jesus, there is auto-correct and Grammarly.com.
What are your weaknesses, and do you fully accept them?
I hope you found these 7 questions a helpful way to make sure we’re not placing all the attention on the ones we love but rather on getting to know ourselves.