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Comparing and Despairing

Tian Dayton MA, PhD, TEP
“False happiness is like false money; it passes for a long time as well as true, and serves some ordinary occasions; but when it is brought to the touch, we find the lightness and alloy, and feel the loss.” – Alexander Pope


Comparing and despairing is just another form of self-sabotage; it’s another way of not taking responsibility for my own life, for who I am, for my day. I need to remember that emotions run high during recovery. My joys are higher, I feel my sorrows more keenly as I heal them, and my longings are stronger. The world is more intense than it usually is. When I forget this, I get afraid of what I’m experiencing if it doesn’t fit my image of what I’m supposed to be experiencing. I start to feel out of step if I’m not where I think I should be. I see others as more able to manage their lives or having a better experience than I am having. Then I engage in a cover-up, only the person I am covering up is me. When I do that, I am only half there. I will not compare my insides with everybody else’s outsides and use that to make myself wrong, today. I will let myself have my full range of feelings, knowing that they may, at times, be a bit of a roller coaster, but knowing also, that I will land comfortably at the end of the ride. Peace begins with me.


I accept the emotional intensity of healing.   




You are reading from One Foot in Front of the Other: Daily Affirmations for Recovery by Tian Dayton, PhD (Health Communications, Inc., 9780757317880, paperback, 384 pages, $11.96).

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Tian Dayton, PhD, is the author of sixteen books, including The ACoA Trauma Syndrome; Emotional Sobriety; Trauma and Addiction; Forgiving and Moving On; and The Living Stage. In addition, Dr. Dayton has developed a model for using sociometry and psychodrama to resolve issues related to relationship trauma repair. She is a board-certified trainer in psychodrama, sociometry, and group psychotherapy and is the director of The New York Psychodrama Training Institute.


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