The root of the problem

I was on the forum, wanted to post or talk to someone… feeling very “blah”… just hollow & lifeless… didnt have the emotion or energy to compose my thoughts enough to post. So I exited the app… laying in bed then thinking about this situation… starting to think I have stumbled upon one of my roots of my addiction.
I have this need to be constantly “put together”… not so much physically… I’m out of shape & will go to the grocery store looking like a bum… but as far as conveying or expressing myself to others, I have a serious need to make sure it comes out just so… often very complicated & frustrating to control. So I often feel like I cannot express myself & I keep it all to myself…
I think this may be part of the reason I used alcohol, it lowered my inhibitions a d self made restrictions on how perfectly things needed to be expressed. And why I turned to cocaine, because I could then talk for hours and hours, rambling out everything I have held in for so long…
I think I have stumbled upon a root. And now I have to figure out how to change it.

Feels like progress in self awareness, discovery & growth.

Feel free to post your own self discoveries & we can help each other grow from them.


One thing that helped me tremendously was to keep a journal. I started with study questions for a 12 step study guide that my sponsor had me working on. There were questions in there like “why is alcohol only mentioned in the 1st step”? and I would use that as a springboard for a page or two. Maybe if you are interested in what might almost be free association, you may find yourself winding your thoughts into phrases and sentences and a whole essay, eventually. Keep on trying the new things!


Yep I can relate to this. The root of the problem being the need to be in total control all the time and when it can’t be done to hide behind alcohol…”f it” right. This make belief that I am happy and put together all the time is exhausting. Oh and my expectations of those around me more than impossible for any normal human to achieve!


That’s a good idea. Maybe I will start journaling. I have to start doing it as a stream on conciousness though, because as practice to not always editing everything I think. But defi Italy something that could help me. Thanks!

YES! I am an absolute control freak… I dont freak out & get mad when I dont have control, but it does make me very anxious. And yes, it is very exhausting… to be constantly filtering my own thoughts and words, to feel like I am incapable of expressing myself. It’s like a weight on your back constantly & absolutely exhausting.
As for others, I am never as hard on others as I am on myself… I am much more forgiving with others, but myself… I replay things I’ve done or said from years ago still in my head mortified & upset with myself.
I have this idea that everything I do or say should be just so… cookie cutter perfect… it’s an unattainable idea really. Like with games or sports, I expect to be good, LIKE REALLY GOOD, at them right away. That’s with everything really, I am a fast learner & pick things up easily… but if i do have trouble with something at first i get so frustrated & will often not do it again because I cannot accept that I was not automatically perfect at it.
I set such an unattainable standard for myself that it’s exhausting just to live in my “perfect little world” & it breaks my spirit more often than not…

I’m glad you understand where I’m coming from because I know what I’m saying is absolutely bonkers… but that’s how I feel.


When talking with my therapist months ago I realized that the earliest memory I have was about being “not good enough”. It is a silly memory of a 3 year old drawing pictures with a friend but I remember my mother gushing over my friend’s picture but not mind. I vividly remember wondering “does she not like my picture? Is my picture bad?”

That became a common theme throughout my life. Always sure that I was not good enough, not loveable, needed to change to have others like me.

At the time my therapist had me write a letter to my mother explaining that memory and how I felt, both st the time and now as an adult. But in the letter I was to forgive her. I was to try and see what her motivations were for that moment and let her know that I understood and I forgave her. This is a letter that I never sent, I keep it with me.

My goal was to write similar letters to other people for other situations in my past where I felt hurt. But I never did. I need to get on that.

I guess it’s a form of step 4???

And now I’m reading Radical Acceptance. I am bound and determined to find love for myself. I want to make sure I die knowing that I’m okay. Of course I hope that I don’t die for like 50 years!!! LOL


Wow that’s such a great idea… and an overwhelming one… I’m going to have to spend some time meditating and thinking how far back this really goes. I’ve always just chalked it up to a personality trait that I was born with… but I’m sure it must have stemmed from somewhere.

I’m glad you were able to make that progress and face it like you did. That’s awesome & I’m proud for you. It seems like it helped you in the process so I definitely encourage you to get on that goal of making up similar letters. I’ll even join you!

Thanks for sharing your progress & inspiring me to make some more progress of my own!

I’m still angry with my mother but I’m learning to understand that she was dealing with her own pain.

But it is possible that this was the beginning on my own fear of not being good enough. Or perhaps I was born with it, I don’t know. All that matters now is unlearning those beliefs.

It’s interesting because the letter to my mom took no time at all. I think I was ready to forgive her before the pen even hit the paper. My husband, on the other hand, is much harder. My resentments to him go deep. It’s very hard for me to let that go. Maybe it’s because my mom is gone so there’s no new events…it’s only about letting go. With my husband it feels for every time I feel ready to release the resentment some new thing happens and I get angry all over again.