My instant response to this graphic was, “That was me for 43 years.”
With semi-treated Bipolar Disorder, Alcoholism, deep emotional wounds, and a Porn Addiction, all of which had kicked off at a young age and had been undiagnosed for years, I was in constant survival mode. Sometimes barely hanging on by a thread, emotionally, financially, and even physically. And I was spiritually bereft.
Consequently, besides being miserable (tortured by my maladies), I was toxic to nearly all whom I encountered. Lying, cheating, stealing, taking, using, controlling, raging, hating, retaliating, isolating, dodging responsibilities, gossiping, addiction, ruminating, distorted thinking, mocking people, conniving, manipulating, and a slew of other character defects were my coping mechanisms and ways of being. I was a very sick person who did a lot of harm and was very self-destructive.
Thanks to AA, the Red Letters, the Higher Power of my understanding, therapy, medication, exercise, a strong support network, CBT, and a host of other blessings, today, at age 51, I am living. Via an architecture for living by which I can live life on life’s terms and function in society as a decent human being. Without having to resort to maladaptive, sick behaviors that perpetuate the illnesses and harmed others.