Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Bruises (ego and otherwise)

I often think of the forms that bruises take. During my drinking days I often had physical bruises that I could never remember where they happened or what I was doing. I was forever bumping into things, falling over, you name it. Because my body was so malnourished it took forever for bruises to heal. My ego took some heavy hits in those days because I was too caught up in self-righteousness and perfectionism. Those attitudes and habits have taken a very long time to heal in sobriety.

My body has healed, and I take vitamins, so banging myself into something has far fewer consequences, not to mention, if I get a bruise I usually know what I was doing that caused it. Bruises I used to get would turn deep purple, then that sickly yellowish, jaundice color that would last for seeming weeks, then turn red, and sometimes the redness wouldn't go away for months. I was just looking at my arms and legs, I don't have any active bruises now and my skin looks surprisingly healthy, yet a little pimply because of the weight gain from actually eating meals and not exercising enough :-)

The bruises to my ego happen frequently to this day, but I have learned to heal those very quickly. I am often in a position of knowing nothing and not having the right answer. For a perfectionist this is a tough corner to be in, yet I survive it. How I've done that is by regaining my sense of humor about life and myself and have begun to slowly accept that despite my best efforts to be perfect, I am human, and after all a very flawed one at that. Surrounding myself with other people who not only are human, but point out their human flaws (and sometimes with relish) has been extremely healthy for my ego and my self acceptance.

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