Imposter-Syndrome in Recovery
(How I won the battle today)
That burst of motivation that pushed me to write my first book, looked like a blessing at the time — Now, it gets scary when I feel that way. As I scrolled through the two-hundred plus posts I had made on Instagram, concerning my book launch, book excerpts, motivation for addiction-recovery, poetry, and even some reels, the dominant feeling that stood over me was that of disbelieve. I felt like a person without shame, who had really gone ahead of herself. I tried to share my journey online daily, even through the relapses, Certain days, I was on fire; other days, it felt so wrong, when I would share about addiction-recovery, knowing I had not been sober that day. Again, knowing all that effort did not even yield it’s intended results, seemed like a confirmation that I was not good enough to do what I was doing.
It was a miracle within my circle of habitual smokers, that I was able to go even a month sober. However it turns out, going a few months sober, then relapsing, was a common thing with people in the online recovery community. When I took my ambitions to Twitter, I found an unusual vulnerability in the way people shared their failures on the addiction-recovery journey. Then there was me; struggling , but delusional, and hanging on to my past glory of being “about eight months sober”.
I had it all planned out: to quit smoking, write my first book about it, share my journey on my social media platforms, and eventually become an authority in the niche of recovery; walking the talk, and sharing the light. The funny thing about all this is that, I had to choose between publishing my first fiction novel, or this self-help book. Most of my friends knew of my passion for fiction writing, but this came as a shock to many, as I do not look like the typical stoner. I chose the self-help book, because I was ready to live the rest of my life sober. Honestly, I wish for massive sales, and recognition, without apologies. I put my heart and soul into writing this book — edited it several times, till I was satisfied to call it a book any addict (especially stoner) will be inspired by. Here’s the link, if you wish to check it out:
HER DIARY OF SOBRIETY: The Journey of a Recovering Pothead
HER DIARY OF SOBRIETY: The Journey of a Recovering Pothead - Kindle edition by Khat, Morning. Religion & Spirituality…
Motivational messages do have a way of giving us the energy to start, then leaving us alone to realize our actual interests, and abilities.
As you may have rightly guessed, things did not go according to plan. I relapsed, but that was not the worst thing — I underestimated the weight of my relapse, for I thought, ‘a few days of backsliding cannot hurt eight months of sobriety; I just need a break, will continue the journey immediately.’ Thank goodness I found out about the self-compassion journey, so this is not me blaming myself for the relapse. Relapses are a part of the Recovery Journey. Rather this is me confessing the role I played in my own fall. I simple could not imagine myself being honest with my followers, every single time I fell. There were weeks in a row, where I constantly escaped reality, and I could not bring myself to share those moments. There was a part of me, who despite all I knew about relapse and self-compassion, was sure I would be rudely rejected.
Today, the temptations have come to me in waves, but it’s late now; I never gave in, and it’s bed time now — I feel proud of myself. These are the moments I can hurriedly share. This is me actually — the caring friend, who always provides listening ears, and empathy, but suffers alone; she is too scared of rejection to put herself out there, when it’s not pretty. Aside my fear of rejection, there is also the impostor syndrome to be overcome. It usually comes as a mocking voice saying things like: “You couldn’t even do one year sober, and you went ahead to write a book… who are you deceiving; you can’t stay sober — look at those who have stayed sober for years; do you really think you can do it? Do you even want to be sober?”
Today is day two of sobriety for me, but it’s Day one of Honest Recovery blogging. I have decided firmly that Imposter-syndrome will not win; this is a battle I’m determined to win or die trying. Every part of me prays to see at least a one year milestone this time, but I’m also ready to look as bad, as I can look good, because I’m only human.
“most of the time, It’s simply a defense mechanism against failure and disappointment.”
-Medium Writer, Darius Foroux
When I discovered the quote above, I felt liberated because it was my truth. Several times in the past, instead of facing the possibility of failure, I rather took the shortcut of yielding to the voice of Impostor-Syndrome. I’m no stranger to self-sabotage; sometimes we simply need to admit how much laid back we have been with our own life’s progress, and repent of our sins. Other times, like today, we need to say to Impostor-Syndrome, “What you are saying sounds true, but I have good intentions, and if anyone deserves to be their best-self, I do too! — I may have made mistakes or allowed a little progress to inflate my ego, but I still deserve to correct myself, and guilt-freely continue working towards my dreams.”
Mentally speaking, it’s been a rough day. Impostor-Syndrome kept coming at me, trying to make light of the value I have placed on living in the present, but as many times as it came at me, I fought back with words of affirmation. Two things get the credit for today’s win in sobriety:
1. Affirming that I have good intentions for my goal of becoming an author and blogger.
2. Uncovering what impostor Syndrome really is, and knowing that although it may feel like truth, it is not.