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Old 02-24-2012, 12:17 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Praising Sober people

Why is it that I find it so hard to praise addicts or alcoholics? or even have compassion in some cases?
I am happy that people recover and stop using, but thats where it stops for me. I go to meetings and people will call people heros and use words like "amazing". I find people who have done great thing with their lives amazing. I find people who have gone above and beyond for humanity..Heros. Children who survive cancer.
But an ex addict or alcoholic?
Many who have done so much damage to thier families and have raised children in fear and hate. I knew of a man who shared in a room that he used to rape all his sisters when he would be drunk. I am happy that he is now sober, i truly am. But I always thought about his sisters. No letter, no amends can clear something like that. If you are the victim, sure you can let go let god, but you cant undo.
Whitney Houston was in so much pain as an addict, I get it...but I also know poeple who worked with her who said she was a nasty mean bitch...
Help me understand this people?
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Old 02-24-2012, 12:22 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Hmmm. I agree that words like "hero" and "amazing" are a little ridiculous/excessive. Are we doing a good thing? Heck yeah. But I'm no hero for putting down a bottle for a month or a year or however long. The hyperbole can get a little old, but it makes some people feel good to praise others, and people like being praised.
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Old 02-24-2012, 12:22 PM   #3 (permalink)
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When I get enough time under my belt, I never want to be praised for my time staying sober. I would love people to notice the special things I have done with my life because of my being sober and hard work.
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Old 02-24-2012, 12:22 PM   #4 (permalink)
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What do you think they should be called tony?....I'm assuming you are a recovered alcoholic or addict...What do you want to be called?...There are some really sick people in this world...And some of them never drank or drugged.....I admire people that recover from addiction or alcoholism....I guess I just want to be like them.
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Old 02-24-2012, 12:27 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I think they should be called "people who have recovered from alcoholism and drug use" calling a spade a spade. I want to be called a recovering alcoholic, thats it, "in the rooms"
I dont admire people who recover. I think its great and I learn from them, hear them, listen to them. I see what they have done so I can also stay sober, but I dont admire them. There was a woman in the rooms last night who had just finished her masters degree, she was also a single mom, I admire her for that.
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Old 02-24-2012, 12:32 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by mynameistony View Post
I dont admire people who recover.
I don't admire people that don't....By the way....Life without alcohol...Is amazing.
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Old 02-24-2012, 12:36 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I know it is.QUOTE=Sapling;3295076]I don't admire people that don't....By the way....Life without alcohol...Is amazing.[/QUOTE]
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Old 02-24-2012, 12:42 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I dont mean to upset people, Its just my opinion. I guess i was raised that you have to go above and beyond to be recognized. Not be recognized for what you should or should not already be doing.
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Old 02-24-2012, 12:43 PM   #9 (permalink)
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When I see people really struggling with this disease...All I can do is offer support and pray from them...And that's what I do....When I see someone that has recovered.....I have to feel good about that....That's the goal here.
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Old 02-24-2012, 12:52 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I always congratulate people on their sobriety milestones. It's not hero worship or anything like that, it is simply a way to acknowledge the accomplishment Kudos are nice now & then! When one goes from drunk, despair & destruction every day to living a peaceful, authentic life~I think that's pretty cool
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Old 02-24-2012, 01:03 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mynameistony View Post
When I get enough time under my belt
Once you've done that, maybe you will see and understand what you presently do not.



So many come to this recovery thing and see the unconditional love and support that is offered those who are doing the tough work of getting recovered ...as somehow letting us of the hook...

But once you see it as it truly is... I think your initial impression will change somewhat.
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Old 02-24-2012, 01:06 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Oh my! First let me say that I respect your opinion, I am not arguing with you, I just have a very different perspective and would like to share it.
I am a nerdy social worker so I think that whenever people take positive steps to change their lives for the better, it is worthy of acknowledgement.
As a RA/COD, I know how much it has improved my life that others acknowledged my positive steps when I was having rough times, it helped me hang in there and moved forward.
I think comparative thinking is not always helpful. Does a mother of someone with full blown AIDS deserve less compassion from me than a first time mom who is freaking out because her baby spiked a fever for the first time? I find that a "rule of severity" often is illogical when talking about the human condition.
I also think that recovery is a brave thing because of the disease model. I know plenty of people who can "successfully" drink-they don't overindulge, it does not negatively affect their life in any way. It is hard for alcoholics to come to terms that they are not built that way, and they have the extra burden of placing their energy into recovery, for me that IS going above and beyond. Plenty of people are in active addiction who are not working to make their lives and the lives of those around them better. Embracing recovery is an active, labor intensive choice and I believe it deserves positive responses. You mentioned those "who have done so much damage to thier families and have raised children in fear and hate" and they are now in recovery to make amends for that. They aren't just sitting around continuing the cycle of abuse, they are working to change it. I think it is very brave!
Thanks for letting me share. xoxo
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Old 02-24-2012, 01:35 PM   #13 (permalink)
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i was a few yrs clean and had finally filed [and paid] my income taxes. Home group [NA] gave me an ovation. When i told mom she was like : "What? That's a big dal? Honey we ALL pay our taxes... "

yeah , Sure, 'you' Do Not Get It.. nor do you need to get it - it IS the mundane adult behavior that we addicts measure ourselves against...and yes, a while later I understood how important it was for me to understand that all i am really doing is learning to act like a grown up - so i DO need to STFU and don't expect a parade every time i do a grown up thing....

Still - me not using IS a miracle ...
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Old 02-24-2012, 02:07 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Ha, I really like this thread!! I just recently had a year sober and the only praise I got was from my sponsor and my father who is also an alcoholic (sober 8 years). I don't say that as poor me that is all I got, it was perfect! I just wanted my sponsor and my father to reognize that I had made it through 365 days without a drink, and it made me feel good about myself. Now, they didn't say I was amazing or anything like that they just gave me a little kudos, which is what the fellowship is all about; support and equality.

Now, some of my friends have said I am amazing, but because I beat cancer at age 24, and then got sober at age 25 and am now the healthiest I have ever been in my life (not my opinion....it's theirs, although I am pretty pumped about it)! Where I am going with this, is sometimes it is not always about just getting "sober" it is the WHOLE timeline! Some people that I have met have really been through some stuff and have gotten back on track through sobering up and I think they are great/amazing to face their demons and come out on top. But just because someone puts the bottle down, and doesn't change their actions to better themselves and better this world, they are not worthy of Greatness in my opinion. The "greatness" comes out of the persons actions and kindness after battling addiction to better this world.
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Old 02-24-2012, 02:16 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Congrats on One Year...Whether you like it or not!
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Old 02-24-2012, 02:34 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I cringe at the praise thing too... just a personal feeling I guess. I feel like I'm just doing what I should be doing, I don't walk around and congratulate my normal friends for being so dang normal. I'm not a fan of the celebrations or cakes or balloons or 10 year sober anniversary parties. BUT.. that's just my personal opinion, if people feel like a sober party, party on.
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Old 02-24-2012, 03:00 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Sobriety allows for those amazing or heroic things to happen.
In the rooms, we dont know or sometimes we do know the horrific things people have done when they were using, yet people pay that no mind. I am extremely picky on who I allow from the rooms into my life, which is less than a handful. Some people bring their kids to AA parties, I couldn't. I guess I still have not got it.
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Old 02-24-2012, 03:12 PM   #18 (permalink)
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The depth of despair some of us pull ourselves from is pretty amazing - no matter the cause, the result of the disease is the same. I agree, I'm not sure how the term "hero" applies.

I'm extremely happy to hear about a child beating cancer. I'd call them courageous for their fight but I don't think hero applies here either.

Many of us in recovery are in a real fight for our lives. I personally will take kudos freely and openly. Our disease does not just kill us but acts like an atom bomb on our families as well. While in active addiction we are not free to choose what we do, we only do what we have to do.

I think maintaining recovery is incredibly courageous and demonstrates strength and willingness to set ego aside and do whatever it takes to be healthy.
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Old 02-24-2012, 03:12 PM   #19 (permalink)
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I don't expect praise for acting like a grown man. I also don't view alcoholics as "victims" with a "disease" who should be coddled. My mother rotted away with cancer. She never smoked, drank, and rarely ate unhealthy...THAT is a victum of a disease.
Having said that yes a little "good job" every now and then is pretty cool.
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Old 02-24-2012, 03:15 PM   #20 (permalink)
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I think it's really admirable of people to recover from addiction because I know how hard I am struggling to stay sober and I just find long termers inspirational. Many addicts I know are the most compassionate wonderful people who use to essentially "numb" their feelings and finding new coping skills and living sober are admirable to me. Heroes? Nah....I would save that term for someone who saves others. People in recovery save only themselves which is IMHO one of the hardest things ever.
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