Living without a backbone sets you up for severe consequences in the domains of health, finances, career, friendships, romance, recovery, and your dignity for starters.
What does this mean? How can this be? It means you don’t know how to advocate for yourself and even worse you have insidious rationalizations on why you shouldn’t stand up for yourself. It can “be” for many reasons, but for openers because of dysfunction or perceived dysfunction in your family of origin. Enter chemical dependency and your recovery and we have a huge mess.
For the purpose of our discussion, developing a backbone includes the following:
a) Your ability to say no when you mean no, which usually also means you just said yes to yourself.
b) Your ability to make requests/ask for what you need.
c) Your ability to speak your truth.
Although this may seem simple, if you are addicted to such statements as “I don’t want to rock the boat,” “I will avoid conflict at all costs or I hate conflict”, “I want people to like me”, “I don’t want to hurt people” and on and on, take a deeper look; you probably cannot do any of the three things necessary to have a backbone.
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