Paranoia to me has always seemed like a silly concept. It is kind of an abstract thing to me... paranoia. Is it made up or is it real? Is it only drug or addiction induced? I would have told you flat out I have NEVER been paranoid...
Until I got clean.
Now that I look back on my life I realize that my entire life was paranoia. I was afraid to tell the truth to anyone because I was afraid of what they would say... I was paranoid that they would not love me if they knew the truth.
If I knew you before I was... PFT probably 21 years of age.... If I knew you before I married and divorced John--I have lied to you. I am sorry for this of course... I didn't do it to hurt you. In fact I did it for the opposite reason I did it to preserve your happiness. I want more than anything for everyone around me to have happiness at all times. That is all I ever wanted when I was younger. In order to get that, however, I used my talent of stretching (or completely ignoring) the truth...
One that comes to mind was when I borrowed my cousin's razor. She is about 3 years older than me and was already shaving and I really really wanted to see what it was like. I was curious. So I used it and then cut myself. Anyone who has cut themselves shaving knows that it is a pretty distinctive type of cut. When I asked my sweet, kind, and understanding aunt for a band-aid she said "What happened sweetie?" I told her some horribly made up story probably that the razor fell on me or something I don't even remember... The important thing is that she knew. She noticed how worried I was about her getting upset with me and said "You borrowed your cousin's razor didn't you?" and I had to tell her she was right. The horrible thing is that I remember how terrified I was of the truth.
I think when a person is addicted there is an innate fear of disappointment, and honesty. There was for me, a perpetual fear for what people's reactions might be if I just was honest with them. I think worried constantly that someone might notice that I am different or that I do things differently or, worst of all, that I was less than the best. That I was less than what they wanted to have around. A lot of that is self-esteem stuff. I can't blame my parents or my brother, they have always accepted me for who I am. Really, I have always had some great people in my life to show me what I am worth and remind me to be who I am. With that, I have always been pretty secure in who I am and not been afraid to be me.
That is not to say I haven't been incredibly paranoid (Oh there she goes, finally bring it all back around). I was not only paranoid of what peoples reaction to the truth would be... I constantly, as an addict, have a sneaking suspicion that people are talking about me, or thinking rude things about me or, even worse, that they find me annoying and intrusive.
To be honest part of the reason why I quit CrossFit and kept quitting was due to the fact that I had an unhealthy paranoia. I find papers from when I was in college and really in my disease at the worst place of it and they say things about how the people in the class must be talking about me and laughing when they were on the opposite end of the room. This happened with CrossFit as well. I was going and feeling good about myself, everything was going fine. Except I hadn't actually taken the time to work on my spiritual and emotional health, to focus on the addiction that played into my behaviors. I was eating healthier, most of the time, and I was working out at an amazing place. I was feeling great and strong and happy... but I was not healthy yet.
I started tumbling. I tripped into a binge, and then another one, and then another. I kept falling faster and faster until I was absolutely sick. I stopped going to CrossFit because I had an outbreak on my skin that hurt, had to get surgery, kept eating awful and then went back to CrossFit. The next time I went back I was back into the food all the way. I wasn't caring about anything else really, to be honest. I would go in to CrossFit and feel like people were staring at me, talking about me, criticizing me, and disappointed in me. I would come home completely upset and convinced the coaches thought I was a lazy pile etc.
Now the only thing that has changed is my abstinence. Which in turn has changed my mind frame. I am healthier in my mind and heart and I am able to be in a room with people without thinking that they are all hating me. I am able to go into Cross Fit and not only keep myself from crying because I think people hate me (Yeah that is how nuts I was) but I can be there without comparing myself to the others in there. I just appreciate them for where they are at and understand where I am at. Everyone has a beginning place.
So, all in all, paranoia isn't an untouchable concept. It is something I have been, something I have experienced. It is also something that might be a warning sign into my recovery. If I start to be paranoid about something or someone then it is probably a good sign that I am at a weak place in my recovery and need to be on guard.
Thank you for reading.
Peaceful week to you all.