Food for the soul


I’m feeling a little, maybe more than a little, overwhelmed at work. Today I had to go in early to complete a project. It had a deadline of noon. My coworker and I got there a little before seven and worked non-stop to finish on time. We didn’t make it. But, we did get it done an hour later and nothing was said about it being late. It’s a good thing, because I was already irritated and I probably would’ve said something sarcastic and defensive if I had been reprimanded. It’s weird, I used to thrive on that sort of hurry-up-and-get-it-done, but-make-sure-it’s-done-right, kind of thing. That’s where I excelled – working under pressure. That just isn’t the case anymore.

In the past, I think that I used school and/or work to validate my self-worth. As long as I did well at those tangible things, the things that everyone could see and approve of, then I was somehow valuable. Consequently, I always did well. I had to, otherwise what good was I? I defined myself by the job I had or the grade I received, not the person I was. I often had people compltely fooled, because it seemed like I had it all together. But really I was wasting away on the inside. I think that lack of self-worth and constant need for approval was one of the things that led me to self-medicate with alcohol.

In sobriety, I am finding that the things that used to make me feel worthy really aren’t so important to me. Don’t get me wrong, most days I like my job, I definitely like my coworkers, and I do need a paycheck. It just doesn’t fulfill me the way that it used to. I think that I used to try to feed my intellect to make myself feel good. Now, however, I have a need to feed my soul. It’s spending time with other people, going to meetings, journaling, being creative, having bible studies with my husband, praying, blogging about recovery, and things like that, that fulfill me now.

The struggle that I seem to be having is finding the balance between what I have to do and what I want to do. If I were to let myself, I’m sure that I would only do the things that truly bring me joy. Can there be too much of a good thing? I think so, probably. I mean there is laundry to be done, floors to be vacuumed, work projects to finish, right? Lately, what I am trying to do is allow myself time to do those things that fulfill me – at least a couple of them a day – while I am still taking care of my responsibilities. It’s a delicate balance that I am learning to master.

I’ll have to see what tomorrow brings, but I know that no matter what, while I am doing the things I have to, I’ll be looking for those little things that bring me joy and feed my soul.

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