This word, judgment, is something that we encounter DAILY in life, whether anyone is an addict or not. No matter what you do in life, there will ALWAYS be people who judge you. You can have your whole life together and people will still choose to find something wrong with you. They will choose to pick you apart just to build up their own self-esteem. You will never have control over the actions of other people. You only have control over how you react to them.

Typically, people who choose to judge others are insecure about something in their own lives. Instead of dealing with what is making them uncomfortable, they choose to attempt to bring other people down to their level. Misery loves company, right? At this point in time, people being judged have one of two options: they can either allow their moods to be affected by others trying to bring them down OR they can brush it off and keep on with their lives.

I know the latter of the two aforementioned options is a difficult one. I know this because I used to be one of those people who allowed the opinions of others affect my mood. Not only did I allow their statements and opinions to affect my mood, but I would try to change myself in order to change their minds, or I would simply try to blend in more if I felt I couldn’t change.

I was the subject of being picked on and bullied growing up. Now, I realize that damn near everyone has this issue as a kid, but not everyone allows it to follow them into adulthood. I did. As I got older, I would allow the opinions and judgments of others to dictate how I would act, dress, who I would talk to, and the things I would do. This created a miserable existence for myself and I am pretty sure it is one of the many things that fed into my addiction.

I wanted to hide from life and be numb. I was so uncomfortable in my own skin that I didn’t know what to do with myself. I had allowed myself to be so incredibly lost that I didn’t know which way to turn and didn’t I have a single clue how to cope with life. I also changed my attitude so many different times, it would make a normal person’s head spin. One day I would be flipping the bird to the camera, screaming how much I didn’t care what other people had to say and the next day I would be trying to appease everyone in my life. Still a day after that I would be curled up in the fetal position, an emotional mess. No matter what way I chose to act, none of them were healthy. I was miserable in all of them.

In the past six months, I have grown to understand that it doesn’t matter what people say or think about me. One of my favorite quotes is by Dr. Seuss: “Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” These words couldn’t be more true. Yes, I am still insecure about a lot of things in my life, but I no longer allow the words of others to influence my own insecurities. Some of my current insecurities are residual feelings from things that have happened years ago, but they are no longer as bad as they used to be for me.

As I have traveled in my journey of recovery, I have learned how to heal myself and how to build myself back up. Not only that, but I have also learned how to surround myself with people who will truly be there for me and love me for who I am, with no expectations or requirements to change who I am. My tribe loves me for me, and we all build each other up and focus on the good points of everyone versus trying to drag each other down.

There is a good chance that there will always be pieces of me that I will be insecure about. What’s different now is that I understand there will always be those in this world that want to drag others down by judging them. Through this understanding, I no longer allow their negativity to pierce my being and make me question who I am to my core. I actually have learned to avoid these people, or to just tune out their words if I cannot avoid them. Either way, I will not allow myself to react to the negativity of others in this world.

Stay true to who you are.

#justme