Advertisements

Beyond Criticism

Does anyone like to be criticized? Even constructively?

I’ll admit I hate it.  Even the constructive stuff.

Before you hit “comment” and start extolling the virtues of criticism, let me say that I know I’m wrong.  I know it is good for me. I know I improve because of it. I know how to step back, let the ego-hit pass, and then actually use the advice or discard it.

I just hate the initial slap! of it, the same way I hate a jolt of cold water even though I love a good water fight.

Being an approval junkie involves staying a step ahead of criticism.  If I volunteer enough, donate enough, am thin enough, pretty enough, organized enough, recognized enough, and generally moving fast enough I am a difficult target to hit with the stun-gun of criticism.

That twisted thinking wormed its way into my life and motivated my self-conscious, exhausting quest for perfection.  It has caused me to do silly things, like change outfits over and over again because nothing less than perfect allowed me to feel comfortable and confident.  It has caused me to do dangerous things, like diet my 5’8″ frame down to a bony 118 lbs. (Fret not, I’m a muscular, healthy 145 again).

It has also led me to achieve impressive goals and receive positive recognition.  Maybe it’s not all bad but I have had to sort it out.

One of the most delicious gifts of my journey into sobriety has been a release from this frantic pace.  Once I stopped pickling myself everyday, I had an opportunity to face that little approval monster.  I was ready to slap her in the face and tell her to shut the F up, but in turned out not to be a monster at all.

Really it was a little girl version of me, frustrated and scared and wanting love.  She needed a hug, not a slap.  Giving her warm milk and cookies seems so much more appropriate than glass after glass of wine.

Advertisements

About UnPickled

I am learning to walk without the crutch of alcohol. As I begin I am 1 day sober. Gulp. I drank in private and hope to quit just as privately. The purpose of this blog is to help make me accountable - just by following you will give me enormous support and encouragement.

Posted on July 10, 2011, in Getting Sober. Bookmark the permalink. 13 Comments.

  1. oo, I liked the Four agreements as well

    Like

  2. I hope you gave her a hug then…. she deserves it!

    Like

  3. Recovered2006

    There is a liitle book called The Four Agreements that has helped me tremendously in dealing with “the critic” whether internal or external. I highly recommend it!

    Like

    • I am downloading the audiobook right now. We are about to head out on an 8-hour drive to the family cabin for a week and I will be listening and learning on the journey. I’ll let you know my thoughts. Thanks for the recommendation!

      Like

  4. Criticism seems to come from people who watch what everyone else is doing,rather than look at themselves. Most people like this feel the way to get ahead is to try to take others down a notch rather than improving the problem aka themselves. To me the source of the criticism has little credibility,if any at all. I would like to point out as someone who is working on self esteem thingys that to not care what others think can be a bad thing. You mentioned you do care how you appear to the world. That can’t be a bad thing really, at least from my POV. Since sobriety,3/13/11, I am halfway to saving enough to fix my teeth,something the drunk me wouldn’t give a rats furry ass about. Thanks for your blog. Made me think today.

    Like

    • I appreciate your thoughts and you made me think about something also — part of the reason I dread judgement is because I can be a harsh judge of others sometimes. I do it, so I expect it back. I have some work to do…

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Thank you for the post, I really liked it.

    You know, it’s ok not to like criticism. We have it beat into us all the time that “X” is good for you or “Y” may seem like is sucks but it’s really for the best. We can be made to feel that if we don’t just absolutely love every criticism or bad thing that happens like it’s the greatest gift in the world that we are bad people.

    I believe the truth is, it’s ok not to like it… it’s ok to think that it sucks, and it’s ok to feel you’d rather not have to face it. The danger, as always, comes when we believe that BECAUSE we think or feel that way that something OUGHT to happen. Ot that we NEED something to happen.

    Criticism often sucks, and we don’t have to like it… but we do have to live with the fact that it sucks, and not drink over it, use over it, or demand that the world bow to our desire that it be different.

    Those are my thoughts… thanks again for the post.

    (BTW, unless you object, I’d like to add you to my blogroll)

    Like

    • I love what you’ve written here and have come back several times these past weeks to read and re-read your words. Thank you so much for your insights. And I am honoured to be included on your blogroll (hope it’s okay that I’ve added you to mine as well!) Cheers (with tea)!

      Like

  6. confrontation (criticism) without solution is brutality

    Like

Your Turn! Have Your Say:

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

the soberista.

a nonlinear collection of musings on unlearning how to destroy and remembering how to create. told from the perspective of a depressed alcoholic in recovery.

StoneColdTemperate

I used to drink to do life, now I have to figure it out the old fashioned way - dazed and confused, lucky it's hilarious.

rockinthesoberworld

who knew life would be better????

Total Fatty

Escaping my escape mechanisms.

Hurrah for coffee!

My new sober adventure!

Blog - LAURA McKOWEN

How I Secretly Quit My Secret Habit of Secretly Drinking

Honeybee Living

How I Secretly Quit My Secret Habit of Secretly Drinking

suburban betty

clean & serene

Heya, Monster.

A SoberBlog by a TallWoman.

A Spiritual Evolution

an alcoholic's blog and addiction memoir

life without vodka rocks

Quitting alcohol on my own terms

feelingmywaybackintolife

living without alcohol, living again

Seeing Clear Lee

musings on becoming alcohol-free

The Truth About Alcohol

We Are Not Alcoholics and we Refuse to be Anonymous

My Road To Abstinence

Sober, me? Really?

ainsobriety

Trying to ace sober living

viatoday

Today is the first day of the rest of my life. Starting today I am on my way.

The Six Year Hangover

A BLOG BY A GAY MAN GETTING SOBER IN NEW YORK CITY.

sparkly sober

writing my way out of drinking

And Everything Afterwards

How I quit alcohol and discovered the beauty of a sober life

Raising Healthy Children in an Alcoholic Home

A Book and Blog for Parents in Recovery from Alcoholism and Codependence

unsmashed

Finding myself by leaving the wine behind...

HealthyJenn

From daily wine drinker to alcohol free living...this is my journey.

Mrs D Is Going Without

How I Secretly Quit My Secret Habit of Secretly Drinking

A hangover free life

Waking up to the sobering reality that booze is the problem not the solution

Mished-up

Mixed-up, Mashed-up, Mished-up.

Off-Dry

I got sober. Life got big.

Heather Kopp

about grief, grace, and recovery from addiction

Sober Grace

Finding and practicing grace in recovery

themiracleisaroundthecorner

There are no coincidences.

Running on Sober

This blog is on permanent hiatus, thank you for your support.

Sober Identity

Sober Identity #Life Coach #The 50+ Years #Striving #Thriving #38-Empowering Affirmations #"Emerge: Growing From Addiction-Starter's Guide" #AfterRehabCoaching #Motivate

%d bloggers like this: