We offer a secret Facebook group for women who have joined one of our programs. It’s filled with over 1,000 women from over 132 different countries around the world.
The Facebook group is a wonderful tool, and I love popping in there and seeing what you are all talking about and how you are all encouraging each other.
But there is something that is disturbing me. And I’m going to be real and honest with you today. I used to do this, too, so there’s no judgment. We are using the word “crazy” so much in the group.
And my beef with that is that you guys keep calling yourselves crazy. You keep saying, “I am going crazy. I am driving myself crazy. This is crazy.”
Here’s the deal:
Addiction tries to make us believe that we’re crazy—that it’s us. It’s our fault. It tries to mess with our head.
But that is not true; you are not crazy. There’s nothing about you that’s crazy.
You’re the least crazy person in this situation.
You’re the rational one.
You are the convicted one.
You’re the one in the relationship that actually has and knows what’s healthy and what’s not—what’s acceptable and not.
You might feel like the situation is crazy when you love somebody struggling with addiction.
And the truth is: the situation is nuts. Let’s be honest. It’s not like loving somebody normal who doesn’t suffer from this disease.
When somebody comes into a relationship that chooses drugs and alcohol, pornography, gambling, or sex over us all the time, that’s crazy.
Please don’t use that word to describe yourself, my friend. You are sane. You are loving. You’re doing your best.
Today I was on a run. I’m thinking very seriously about signing up for a marathon.
The first 20 seconds of running, I feel like I can conquer the world.
I feel like I’ve got this. I put on my music, or I put on a podcast, like this one, and I’m rocking out for about 20 seconds.
Thirty to forty seconds into running, I think, “I don’t remember being this tired last time.”
And by second 55, I’m like, “I’m going to die. It’s over for me. There’s no point in continuing. I just need to turn this into a walk and surrender the dream.”
But it’s been on my dream board to run a marathon, so what I do now is say, “Okay, Michelle, just make it to that really tall tan apartment complex. Just make it there, and then you can stop. It’s okay if you can’t, but just try.”
I get to the tan building, and I think, “This is good. You did it. You actually ran.” I feel so proud of myself.
So then, I said to myself, “Okay, run to the next building. Don’t stop now.” All these 55 and 60-year-olds were jogging past me. I thought, “Just stick with it. You’ll get there one day.”
At first, I was judging myself, but I recognized it, and I said, “No, you ran to this tan building. Give yourself some credit. Now, walk the rest of the way home. That’s good enough for today. Tomorrow is a new day, and maybe you pick a new building. Maybe you pick one farther.”
I was reminded that I have to be kind to myself. I’ve got to celebrate the small victories in my life.
I deserve to congratulate myself for being courageous enough to even try.
Then, I thought of you because I’m always thinking of you. I said to myself, “I wonder if the women in our community need to be lovingly reminded that they are making an effort.”
You are running to that building by purchasing the program, logging on, and doing the work.
That is something to celebrate. That is something to give yourself credit for. You don’t need to master everything that I’m teaching right away. You don’t need to run your marathon immediately.
It’s small, incremental steps and victories that we need to pause and go, “YES, this is one step closer to the goal.”
So right now, you’re reading this. Right now, you’re trying. Can I tell you that is not normal? Most people like to remain stuck because it’s comfortable being stuck.
It’s easier to look at the people we love and go, “Well, it’s really all about them. It’s really all about their recovery, and I don’t need to do anything about it. There’s nothing I can do.”
It’s easier to be a victim and a martyr and to believe that everything that has to do with addiction has to do with the ones you love.
But you and I know that’s not true. We know there’s room for growth in our world and ourselves to become the women we were meant to be. That happens with small, little victories.
Do not get upset at yourself for not mastering these skills that I am teaching you. You are not allowed to beat yourself up if you backtrack. If you know better, and you still messed up— grace. Grace for you, grace for me, and grace for all of us.
You’re doing work; you’re trying.
You are doing better than most. Forgive yourself immediately, and try again next time.
I believe in you, I believe in your recovery, I believe in your heart, and I believe that you are completely capable and possible of having the most wonderful future—a future where you are not bullied or held down in this disease. Where you are confident and beautiful, and you know it in your soul.
That is the ultimate goal of all of this. That is the end game. It is not to get them sober. It is to get YOU healthier and stronger. That is why we are doing all of this work. That is what all the programs are about.
Do you notice we don’t talk about ways that they should be getting sober?
This is about you and me.
This is about us as women coming together, sharing our pain, and growing and becoming stronger and wiser and loving.
You are running your marathon right now. Get your gear on, listen to the Love Over Addiction podcast, join the programs, and share your truth.
Baby steps. One at a time.
I’m here for you. I am cheering you on. I am your greatest fan. Your biggest believer.
If you need any encouragement, just email us at MLA@MichelleLisaAnderson.com. We are here for you.