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Today I Judged The Me I Saw In You

Sober Mommies Today I Judged The Me I Saw In You
I overheard you outside today, surrounded by men, bragging about your “skills.”

I saw them eyeing you, hanging on your every word, and I became very uncomfortable. I saw the glint in their eyes, and I saw you eat up the attention as if your life depended on it.

I was disgusted so I walked away.

My head started to spin, and I immediately began to judge you in my high-and-mighty way.

Maybe you love the spotlight…
Maybe you don’t respect yourself…
Maybe you don’t know how what you present looks like to others…maybe you don’t care.
Maybe you’re afraid of women so you surround yourself with men…
Maybe you’re just a slut…

That last one was pretty fucking harsh, but I thought it. It didn’t feel good when I looked back a few days later. With the help of the most open-minded and tolerant woman I know, I was forced look inside myself and question why I judged you so harshly. The truth is, you are who I used to be. I saw you there, acting that way with the guys, and it brought back the shame of confronting my own behavior.  I wanted to scoop you up and FORCE you to acknowledge what has taken me years and a lot of pain to learn. 

I wanted you to see that the attention you’re getting isn’t worth the pieces of your soul you give away. I wanted you to want to protect your sexual health. I wanted you to be able to feel the light and joy that I do and stop trying to get it through men. I told myself it wasn’t judgement, but concern. I was lying to myself. Judgement, even when laced up with good intentions, is still judgement. I pretended I was “above” such behavior, as if I was somehow better than you. My ego was inflated as I thought, “at least I’m not that way anymore.”

I walked away, and turned my back on you. I decided that because you were behaving in a way I found unacceptable, you weren’t worth getting to know. For that, I am truly and deeply sorry.

You are worth getting to know, not in spite of your behavior, but because of it. I acted THE EXACT SAME way for years and today I know why. I was disgusted today, not by you, but by the part of ME I saw in you. It was the me I could be again if I stop working on myself.

The problem isn’t you, what you say, or how you behave. The problem is me. Who am I to decide how you “should” be? As I said, I didn’t come to this realization alone. It took a loving, caring, and honest woman to show me what I was doing. Someone who took the time to get to know me and look past all of my unsavory attitudes; a real and true friend.

The kind of friend I need to be to you.

It’s time I get to know you; what hobbies you enjoy, what season you like best, and what makes you laugh. I suspect we aren’t so different, You and I. I want to be your friend; not because of the things I can teach you to make myself feel better about my past, but to give you the same gift my loving friend gave me; acceptance.

original photo credit: Stephenie Schukraft via photopin cc

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  1. This is absolutely beautiful and honest, brought tears to my eyes. I also saw myself, in my later teens and early 20’s, looking for “love” in the wrong ways with the wrong people, when alcohol was involved. I am single now at 44, with two teenage kids, and I look forward to (although I cannot even imagine it!) finding love as a sober self, and as someone that has learned to love themselves first. Thank you for this beautiful post! xo

    1. Now YOU have me tearing up! It’s scary to put all my “warts” out there for the world to read, but knowing you relate makes it that much easier! Thank you so much

  2. I find myself doing this as well from time to time and yes I as well have to atop myself and ask who is it that this bothers you so much. Its because I see me in that person and its hard to accept that you can’t fix everybody. Early in my recovery I was extremely bad for this and in a way I think it was out of jealousy because that person could act that way and I knew I couldn’t anymore. Probably because I was still on that borderline of not being 100% sure that getting sober was what I needed to do. Today when I see someone I know I would be quick to judge I stop myself, open up my mind, and I see hope!

    1. I know it’s human to react the way I do, but I am grateful for the chance to be better. Love you bunches, Linds!

  3. I am guilty of this too. I have found it hard to balance the boundary thing and the judgement thing. Once I found how good it was to break free of negative relationships I got excellent at dropping people like flies. And maybe a little too much. Thanks for the reminder!

    1. It feels really great to not be alone, Lauren. Like amazing. I adore you!

  4. Wow! This was so honest. From as far back as I can remember, I wanted to be liked by every single person I met. I believed that I had the ability to win ANYONE over. This meant that I could A) Never judge others, or at least admit to it, because who wants to be friends with a person like that and B) Strive to be more beautiful, talented, funny and smart than any person I ever met. This left me secretly despising anyone who I thought was better than me, hating myself for all of my flaws, and masking the pain with pride and booze. In my mind, all of the above were rock solid facts that were out of my control…until I got sober and started working a 12 step program. There is such freedom in being able to recognize my character defects, call them out, ask for them to be removed, if even for a moment, and act differently. How quickly I return to my “old ways” which is why a community of recovery and healing where other women share their deepest darkest thoughts is essential to my recovery. Thank you so much for sharing this Rachel!

    1. Marnie, all I can say is ME TOO! I’m glad to find freedom & balance in my flaws today, even if it’s just admitting I have them!

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