Many of us grew up in home situations where we had little or no idea how our parents would behave on any given day. On some days they were loving and respectful. At other times they could be quite volatile. They might be filled with rage or anger. They would often without warning lash out at us. Violence was sometimes part of the story. There were times when they walked around in a state of self pity and depression. All of these states were frequently fueled by drugs and or alcohol.
In our youth we valiantly tried to get our parents love and approval when they were “in one of their moods”. If we could only finally make our parents happy then everything would be alright. We applied the same strategy as adults and found that it usually ended in our being resentful, angry or depressed. These feelings were intensified by our drug of choice.
In sobriety we began to internalize a very deep concept; that other people’s happiness was not dependent on our actions. We were not responsible for other people’s feelings. The converse was also true. How we felt was not the result of the actions of others. Rather, our state of being was determined by our level of comfort with ourselves.
Personal Reflection: Am I still a people pleaser?