Loss of control

During the work I have been doing with my sponsor S, a few themes have come up.

One of these, that arose this morning, was a fear of “loss of control”, or perhaps more accurately a fear of doing things that I know deep down are a bad idea, a fear of finding myself self doing things against my instincts.

This is evident in the occasional drinking dreams I still have. In these dreams I have had a drink, usually not more than one, and I am aghast, desperate, uncomprehending as to how I could have taken a drink. Its as though I have drunk alcohol against my own will. I think this is reflecting a deep fear inside me that I’m not strong enough to actually DO what I know is right, and that at any moment for reasons unknown I’m going to do something that I regret, because I’m not strong enough to resist. Or more specifically Im going to do something that I KNOW is wrong for me, to please someone else.

There is a big element of this in my relationships with other people, especially men. Its the “people pleasing” part that I have come to recognise is such a strong part of my character. I think part of the reason I’m so cautious around men is that I am afraid I will end up in some kind of relationship, whether I want to or not. That somehow I will get swept away by emotion and what someone else wants, that the people pleaser in me will end up in a situation I’m not sure about …. or worse, a situation I actively DON’T want, but have been too spineless unsure to avoid.

Basically I’m a chronic “people pleaser”.

Now that I have come to recognise this, I can see this character defect trait, in many of my interactions. At work I have to tell one of my employed doctors that it has been commented on that she consistently leaves early from an on-call session, and that others are getting fed up with picking up the work she leaves behind. I have been avoiding this task for 3 weeks now. And it is because telling someone else that they have done something wrong is really really hard for me. …

I see it at home with the kids, Im far to much of a people pleaser and let them get away with things I should not… the result is that I appear to be a pushover, inconsistent and slightly unreliable. Sigh

I’m like this with my mother, outwardly compliant but inwardly seething; revealing nothing because I don’t want criticism (read I cant cope with criticism) but unable to be honest and tell her that her visits are too frequent, too long and too stressful.

WHY I am such a people pleaser I don’t yet know. How on earth I am to fix this deep seated character trait I have no idea. But once again, now that I have seen it I cannot ‘unsee’ it, and so I will have to try to unpick it, and devise a way to change it….

Today I am 851 days sober, and I have been separated from my ExP for 691 days (I track both because both were necessary for my recovery) That Lily seems a thousand miles away from the Lily I am today… all the changes have been in little steps… so I guess this is just one more step along the way.



  1. The older I get the less need I have to please people because that is impossible to do. But it is such a habit. I feel like I can only be happy when everyone around me is ok…which means I can never be happy…Guess we have to keep working at it!

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