Overcast and cool here today. I walked down to the market for my morning empanada de carne and I was one of the first ones there, the fruit and veggie vendors were still sitting up their stand but the grease was already hot in the empanada pan. Walking home, amidst the dogs still sleeping amidst the trash in the streets (Mexico has many virtues, but cleanliness is not one), I had to remind myself to say “Thanks.” So I started my litany of things I had to be grateful for: I was walking, I was eating, I was seeing, I was sober (here at MM we consider successful moderation sobriety also)….Which led me to wonder, way back when I was just starting this journey, did I spend the days I woke up after successfully moderating or absing the night before wallowing in gratitude, pride and happiness to the extent that I wallowed in shame, self-anger and disgust on the days I woke up after drinking too much the night before.
The answer is, “No.” Oh, believe me, I felt pretty good about myself and those first hangover-free mornings were like a miracle to me every single sunrise, but I didn’t spend all day gloating about how great I was or patting myself on the back because I was such a success. But, the days after I drank too much, I didn’t just wallow, I buried myself in a stinky pile of self-hate and loathing that would take me days to dig out from under.
Why do we do that?
Why do we acknowledge our success but then kind of shrug it off and get on with our day but when we fail we become almost paralyzed in our disappointment in ourselves?