Pity Party: Self-Sabotage in Recovery

pity party

Original Oil (and one of my all time favorites) by Jim Draper


It is rare for me to feel a lack of confidence. Not the passing fancy, I am probably a little old to wear strategically shredded jeans lack of confidence, but the kind of bone-deep uncertainty that stops you in your tracks. I believe it is called self-sabotage and it is not something you want to feel one week into an important new job or after an irreversible cross-country move, but I felt it yesterday…


I mean, think about it – what can I do? Pack my belongings like some thief in the night and haul them down the belfry back stairs? Or leave everything where it is, like some ghost town saloon with a pot boiling on the stove and do a runner? I am here in Grand Rapids, Michigan and I want to be here. So what the hell is the deal? Why did I get scared yesterday? Why was I hamstrung and filled with self-doubt? And while I’m in a questioning mood, why don’t I just turn up the heat in my apartment instead of bundling into hideous layers of outerwear like hair shirts and shivering?


I’m Over It…

You’ll be happy to know I’m over it already. I called Kim last night from my office, with a sort of coded SOS: lots of meaningful pauses and comments about the weather and that I was fine… I knew I was going to be okay when halfway through the conversation I started thinking less about my gut-in-the-throat insecurity and more about what I was going to have or dinner. Kim said, “Well it must be nice having all your things around you again.” And it is…


Psychology Today says, “We all get in our own way occasionally and some people do it repeatedly, whether it’s procrastinating, drinking, or overeating. Self-sabotaging behavior results from a misguided attempt to rescue ourselves from our own negative feelings”.


Luckily, I’m new at this – and I’m nipping it in the bud. These are my favorite suggestions (from the host of articles written on “insecurity and self sabotage in recovery”), in case you find yourself feeling like I was feeling, even for a brief moment:

  1. Remember that things take time – do not expect miracles to happen immediately
  2. Trust yourself
  3. Focus on positivity – don’t feed negative emotions
  4. Stick with winners
  5. Keep a journal
  6. Rely on a higher power.


Check, check, check, check, check aaaaand check. And one more thing – remember you are human. I am only too human as it turns out…


And turn up the heat.


Today I’m not drinking because I do not self-sabotage.


How come you’re not drinking?