An Online Al-Anon Email Meeting
I always had self esteem confused with self-confidence. I had plenty of self confidence, in my skills, abilities, etc. But that has nothing to do with self esteem or self worth.
Before Al-Anon, my thinking was like this: Everybody else belonged to the group, but I was just visiting -- maybe even intruding!
So, to be really part of the group, committee, association, etc. I had to over-achieve by selling the most tickets, raising the most money, volunteering the most hours, signing up the most new members, or whatever it took to gain their approval.
Even that never really worked. I never felt like I was one of the gang. I was different. I had secrets I had to keep. There were things going on at my home that did not happen in their homes! If they really knew me, they would run away!
That's what I like about Al-Anon, it is a fellowship of equals where no one is in authority over anyone else and everything is decided by the group as a whole. Just by showing up and participating I am just as much a part of the group as the oldest long-timer.
The feeling of belonging I found inside the rooms, slowly one day at a time, spilled over into other areas of my life. For example, now instead of thinking like, "I hope I'm not in someone else's favorite parking spot..." I now think, "Hey, somebody got my parking place!"