My standards were so low I didn’t trust me

Have I succeeded in establishing and living by my own standards or do I simply, or at times blindly, follow those handed down to me?

By “standards” I am referring to my chosen principles. For me there was the first set of principles that applied equally and then the second set that applied only to me. New in recovery I was scarcely capable of deciphering between the two. Over time I came to recognize that I expected so little of self and expected so much of you.

The solution? Set a higher standard.

This meant I was free to choose any standard I wished, however, I must agree to abide by my chosen standard. The glaring and overly obvious lesson that initially appeared: I must be willing to give—first. I must be willing to recognize what I want and then be willing to offer it—first. Give first, what I wanted to receive. Not give in order to receive, but give because that was the person I wanted to become—to be.

Society’s principles exist for harmony. My principles are a testament to my personal philosophy. When I set a standard it must be one that I am willing to live by and not demand others live by. Others get to live by their standards. They may correspond with mine but it is certainly no longer a necessity.

It took me too long to understand this. Until sobriety it had never occurred to me that I could choose. I was taught, that I was taught, the right way (as opposed to the wrong way, whatever that was). And this was not to be questioned. As I grew however, I recognized that I disagreed, but didn’t know what to do with my disagreement. Eventually, I buried it underneath alcohol. With alcohol gone my unaddressed ideals quickly surfaced. It was clear to me that I had learned it was okay to say one thing, but do another; especially when no one was looking. I no longer believed in me because I no longer trusted me. My standards so low, even I was not capable of feeling good about myself. I didn’t know who I was. I needed to find one set of standards and be willing to live by them and them alone.

It had been okay to be unaccountable, dishonest, controlling, and manipulative. I told you I had to be that way because my situation warranted this type of behavior. Once I identified and lived my principles, my standards rose in proportion. I valued a quality, in self first, and decided I would not worry or try and control your behavior. Now I was accountable, honest, and a team player. I expected more of me and in doing so I trusted me more.

I live by my standards today, not because I have to, but because I want to. Setting my standards higher, knowing and honoring self, these are the greatest gifts to self and humanity.


No Responses to “My standards were so low I didn’t trust me

  • Oh, Lis! I’m going through your archives and this post talks to me (like most of your posts). I am still confused on what my principles are though… I’m soo lost! I think it’s normal, but it still sucks. Another thing is, I tend to give in order to receive something. Maybe not so much spiritually, but materialistically? Like, when I give a gift, I expect for that person to give me something in return. It’s horrible, it is, but how do I get rid of that? Ok, gotta keep journaling and working on myself.
    Love you so!

    • See you answered your own question. I love it. It’s happening. Practice and discipline my little one.
      ps … someone was up late last night

      • Haha, yes, I was up late indeed. It was a night filled with thoughts and doubts. I must keep practicing :).

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