I have another confession: I'm an addict in recovery. It's not pills or booze that I'm addicted to, but something equally as seductive. I'm addicted to being a victim. I'm addicted to playing small, blaming the world for everything that's wrong in my life, complaining, acting fragile, making others responsible for my feelings, and using victimhood to manipulate.
It's a socially acceptable addiction as the majority of the world is equally lost in the fog of the same addiction. My closest loved ones are often the people who collude with me the most.
Then, four years ago something incredible happened. I won't tell the story here, but it dramatically and quickly shook me out of the grip of victimhood and into something I will call (for a lack of a better word) God. It was fleeting experience, but it changed the trajectory of my life.
The victim did not die that day, but something in me woke up—and I began the process of sobriety. The process of taking full responsibility for my own life.
It's one of the hardest things I've done, because the lure of victimhood was and is hypnotic. It's sneaky, and I have to stay alert to catch it. I still slip into the fog of victimhood and I'm still in recovery. But, the good news is I've met some people along the way who refuse to collude.
One of those people is my coach. A couple of days ago, we had a session and quickly into it she pointed out that I was acting like a victim to a circumstance in my life. She was right, I could feel it. This circumstance is one of the last places in my life where I haven't been able to get out of the victim fog. It's a place where I still hold on to blame.
As soon as she pointed it out, I felt everything in me begin to resist. I wanted to hold onto blame and keep playing small. It felt scary to let it go. I would have to step up and claim my own power in a situation where I felt powerless—and power comes with responsibility. My body started shaking and tears involuntarily spilled from my eyes. My coach was unshakable, I could feel her holding the truth that I had power in this place where I felt powerless. She didn't believe my victim story for a second.
I kinda hated her.
Then, I popped through. I clearly saw that I wasn't a victim to this circumstance and my system was flooded with both relief and electricity. It felt good. Life on the other side of victim is always one million times more amazing.
Now, two days later I can feel the story of victimhood reentering—but I'm not worried because it doesn't have the same grip. It's not as intoxicating. The process of dismantlement has begun and it's impossible to go back. I've tasted what's on the other side and I want that more than I want to stay stuck in victim.
And, I've surrounded myself with people that won't let that happen anyway.
Life wins again.