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He's out of rehab and now he's MEAN!

Old 08-08-2008, 06:28 PM
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He's out of rehab and now he's MEAN!

PLEASE HELP TO DECIPHER THIS ISSUE!!!

My xabf/friend/work colleague dude got out of rehab earlier this week. He came by the office for a quick minute to pick up some paperwork (he's still out for a few weeks)...i saw him...he smiled/winked at me, but didn't talk to anybody...he had to leave.

I thought it would be nice (not codie- just friendly) to leave him a voice mail message saying it was great to see him even for a minute, but that it would be great to keep in touch while he's out...and that I know things may be tough right now, but to hang in there and call on friends like me if he needs support...and that I'm not here to ask questions, just to look forward-- and be a friend if he needs one.

The text message I got back was saying things like "you will NEVER know what i've been through" and "don't assume you know what it's like.....stuff like that....VERY NASTY. Not the type of texts Im used to from him.

I replied, acknowledging that he is right, I DON'T know what its like... kindly, noting that Im not judging, Im just here as his friend.

HERE'S MY QUESTION....

When alkie/addicts get out of 6 weeks of intense rehab, and are attending two AA meetings/day, plus counseling, I KNOW they aren't "good as new"...I know there is alot of work to do...but I would think that their body/brain is detoxed and they are a bit more emotionally balanced to handle simple interactions.

I'm sure getting back into life adds some stress, but can someone clarify if this seems typical?

I don't want to use the word "normal", as this disease seems to have it's own set of rules. I know it's not "acceptable" to be spoken to like this, and to be made to feel like "I'm guilty", but I understand him being a bit crunchy.

My boundary is up, and I'm not catering to that behavior, but don't want to send a slew of text messages "asking" him to be nicer to me.

He needs to focus on himself...I get that.

I don't want to regret communicating with him. I did it from the heart...not as a scorned lover, or insecure Codie, but as a supportive friend.

I AM focusing on me...but should I cease communication with him for a while til he can settle in to a new routine?



thanks,
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Old 08-08-2008, 06:36 PM
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Originally Posted by rivka View Post
should I cease communication with him for a while til he can settle in to a new routine?
From everything I know and have heard from those in recovery, yes, you should back off. It's his recovery, you cannot be his support system and he doesn't seem to want you involved either. To continue to try would also seem to me to cross the line into codie behaviors.
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Old 08-08-2008, 06:36 PM
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If and when he is ready he may come to you. I am not familiar with the relatonship you had? Did you drink or use with him? Sometimes they are just angry because they are going through and accepting so much about them selves that they were in denial with for a long time.

He is dealing with a lot and I would step back for sure. When he is ready he knows where you are. Maybe telling him you wanted to be there for him and help him through was to much for him
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Old 08-08-2008, 06:36 PM
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Originally Posted by rivka View Post
The text message I got back was saying things like "you will NEVER know what i've been through" and "don't assume you know what it's like.....stuff like that....VERY NASTY. Not the type of texts Im used to from him.
Not too much help here, but hearing "you will never know...." stuff triggered something in me.

If I never hear this stupid phrase again, it will be too soon. Even reading it makes me all angry right now.

Dude sounds toxic and self-involved. I would give him some time to sort himself out. Don't waste your time on someone who doesn't appreciate you. You sent a very thoughtful message, and no decent person would view it as an opportunity for some weirdo pain competetion.

Hope he does well, though.
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Old 08-08-2008, 06:38 PM
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My post was unusually harsh. Sorry. Like I said, that type of talk makes me crazy.
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Old 08-08-2008, 06:39 PM
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Remember take care of you. It seems this man has hurt you in the past so just take time to think about your self and let him worry about his recovery. Don't take offense that he is pushing you away, although I imagine it tugs at the heart strings and hurts a bunch, but you will get passed it. Focus on you for a while - as he is trying to focus on his new life...
I wish you luck and happiness.
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Old 08-08-2008, 06:55 PM
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These days, I'd take that kind of response as an indication one does not want to communicate with me so I'd leave him alone.

Regardless of the reason, I'm not into people taking out their own issues on me today, I got better things to do.
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Old 08-08-2008, 07:34 PM
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Barbara/Sad/Good/Liz -

Thanks for the supportive comments. All extremely valid.

'Good Luck' - that was not harsh at all! In fact, it was well articulated. I'm sure he IS toxic and self-involved.

I'm not giving him a hall pass on acting like an a**hole, just because he is recovering..... I KNOW I'm worth more than that....(this confident outlook courtesy of SR forum therapy and it's members) but it seems apparent that he needs more time/therapy/meetings/whatever before I should get in touch with him again.

SadandHopeless writes:
Maybe telling him you wanted to be there for him and help him through was to much for him
Could be. We had a brief relationship beyond friendship from late February through June, but agreed to be friends (he iniitiated the backing down) because we work together, and I was cool with it. We've been close friends since...even hugging outside of work...just close friends...when we went out socially to hang out. But everything was cool...when he was "in control" of his situation (I won't say sober, because I don't know if he was 100% sober when we were together, but he wasn't sick/drunk/withdrawling during those times.)

We DID drink together once..very early on......but this was before I knew he had issues...I GOT tipsy after 2 beers....he had the other 4 beers, one night, we ate and watched TV...that's it. He didn't leave my sight until late the next day...no other drinking together...ever...because I'm not a big drinker...and don't go out to drink, and often get non-alc drinks ANYWAY if I go out with friends if I'm driving. We've hung out and chatted alot since the drinking episode until he went to rehab at the end of June...he's opened up about lots of family and personal stuff back then too...not sure why "NOW" he is distancing this way....

You're right, Sad, I just learned (about 10 minutes ago) from our mutual friend who is sober 7 years that he called her and said (very pissed off, about me) "WTF? G*d Dammit! Does she know? DID YOU TELL HER I WAS IN REHAB??? How does she know? Did you tell her???!!! Dammit!"
Though I made some educated assumptions on where he was (uh, I'm not stupid, and was with him for an informal detox over a weekend in late May/....which he probably forgot) I never told him I KNEW he was in rehab. He's still trying to keep that a secret from everyone.

True, it's HIS business, and no one else's, but he seems more focused on "not letting anyone know" than he is on just being honest and working the program.

It's not mine to own, and I hope I will never know what it's like to be in his shoes, so I will back off, gladly, so as I don't compromise his recovery.

TOXIC is the right word. I don't think I can win in this situation....might be that whatever I do (even if it's with the best intentions) might be flipped around...and I don't NEED that crap.

AAARRRGGGGHHHH!

Thank goodness for all of you....my "reality check".
What would I do without you guys? Glad I don't have to find out. You're shoulders are mighty broad and soft to lean on. Thanks for the support.

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Old 08-08-2008, 07:41 PM
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Being in recovery myself, I would say that recovery is where the hard work begins.
Some can tell you using is easy compared to what being in recovery is.
Maybe he was having a bad day, maybe he's wondering how the hell he is
going to live life clean and sober and doing it with people in it, anyone in
it, seems impossible, who knows... We get so used to numbing our emotions
learning to deal with them, and "express ourselves" what we mean, can be very hard. Yet you are not his punching bag, nor his learning curve.

Personally I would walk away and let him do what he needs to do. I would wait till he comes back to you, and leave it at that. That is what I would do, anything more may add pressure to him and just continue to bring you down.

JMO~
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Old 08-08-2008, 08:08 PM
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maybe he's wondering how the hell he is
going to live life clean and sober and doing it with people in it, anyone in
it, seems impossible, who knows... We get so used to numbing our emotions
learning to deal with them
We get so used to numbing our emotions
learning to deal with them, and "express ourselves" what we mean, can be very hard.
Done-With-It,
Wise insight. Though I have my own issues, I'm often humbled by the strength, courage and conviction of recovering addicts/alcoholics, like you, who open yourselves up to help us learn and understand what we're dealing with.
It's not just "your opinion"...it's your LIFE...and for you to share from obviously painful past personal experience is very gracious.
Thank you.

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Old 08-08-2008, 08:21 PM
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Originally Posted by rivka View Post
Done-With-It,
Wise insight. Though I have my own issues, I'm often humbled by the strength, courage and conviction of recovering addicts/alcoholics, like you, who open yourselves up to help us learn and understand what we're dealing with.
It's not just "your opinion"...it's your LIFE...and for you to share from obviously painful past personal experience is very gracious.
Thank you.

rivka
Thank you.. I look back at myself at the first few month especially, and omg,
how embarassing, I was yelling at some people who I had no right to yell at,
(on here) the ones who were in pain just expressing their pain, and I didn't mean to, but I did..... I don't know why, it was just where I was.... Luckily they were patient with me, but they did call me on it. But it was a recovery board, in my real life I pretty much hid from everyone for a long time because I was kind of afraid of myself. Little outbursts were kind of normal, but not "Normal" for me. I remember my Mom saying honey it's okay often, lol.. It took me some time, but my brain started to get back to normal...
and I learned again how to feel, and how to express myself. But it takes a lot of work, and learning how to 'feel pain' again, is really hard...
That's a common thing we addicts seem to not be able to cope with more than others... But it is definitely doable. And if he is going to meetings twice a day, then maybe he is doing work on himself...
But the bottom line I think is we teach people how to treat us..
so now matter what he's going through its never okay to treat you bad.
And I would NEVER want anyone to 'let me' treat them bad.... no matter what was going on...... that doesn't help me...(or you)..
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Old 08-09-2008, 02:51 PM
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Sounds familliar "You'll never understand" and "It's all about me". When does it start to be all about us? When we start to take ownership of our own lives.
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Old 08-10-2008, 02:22 PM
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I've learned to ease communication with people who mistreat me. These days, I don't care what reason they give for their rudeness (or what reason I convince myself in my head). There is no excuse to mistreat others. When I limit my contact with rude people, I am not only protecting my serenity, but I'm showing them with my actions that rudeness is unacceptable and I won't tolerate it.
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Old 08-10-2008, 07:43 PM
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Originally Posted by rivka View Post
I AM focusing on me...but should I cease communication with him for a while til he can settle in to a new routine?
YES!
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Old 08-11-2008, 03:09 PM
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Have you thought about putting yourself in his shoes? I said the same thing to my ex A. What I really sounded like to him was that I was far better than him and it was a putdown on my part. Have you thought about how toxic your comments can be to others? I sure didn't until I started listening to myself. "If you need help I am here for you" translates into "You are not strong enough as a human being, so call me because I am stronger than you".
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Old 08-11-2008, 05:27 PM
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At that stage in my recovery, I was still nuttier than a fruit bat. I was still trying to deal with the flood of emotions I had numbed for so many years. I was still egotistical, yet low in self-esteem, thin-skinned as hell, and barely grasping a concept of a higher power.

I was frequently on my pity pot, if not pissed off about something.

6 weeks into recovery is a mere drop in the bucket compared to years and years of active alcoholism and stunted emotional growth.
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Old 08-11-2008, 09:55 PM
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londonvanpelt-
thanks for the insight....interesting perspective
."If you need help I am here for you" translates into "You are not strong enough as a human being, so call me because I am stronger than you
i had re-recorded my vm message about 10 times before i sent it...making sure it wasn't "offering help" but just "an unconditional friend"...my message that i left was like i noted above:

I thought it would be nice (not codie- just friendly) to leave him a voice mail message saying it was great to see him even for a minute, but that it would be great to keep in touch while he's out...and that I know things may be tough right now, but to hang in there and call on friends like me if he needs support...and that I'm not here to ask questions, just to look forward-- and be a friend if he needs one.
but in hindsight, and considering all of the stuff he was/is going thru, i could have just said "hey it was nice to see you, please keep in touch"...which is so generic, how could you interpret it "the wrong way"...but it also wouldn't have really said anything.

I don't want to feel guilty for having good intentions....and I almost caved to that. He came in to the office, looked great, etc, and was calmly chatting with another person so I didn't expect him to freak out.

I DO know, (as today there has been some chatter) that he is still blaming his anger/work issue situation on his mom, the company, some office gossipers, and not taking responsibility for problems he created before he left.
With what I know and see, he is NOT ready to be working, he doesn't have the ability to think and respond rationally, and he is not healthy. At all.

I absolutely love who he is beneath all of this disease, but that person is not here right now...he is trapped in this disease, and I empathize with the unbelievable struggle and the hole he needs to figuratively climb out of. My heart aches for him....but I've suffered too many sleepless, guilty, obsessive nights for months wondering how I could have done something or said something or worded something differently..or smiled differently or was it the way I waved at him? or was it the lack of punctuation in the text message that made him read it and take it wrong? OMG. I reflected on all this stuff this weekend (again, when I couldn't sleep..and it was swirling in my head) and I finally said to myself outloud last night......NO. IT'S NOT MY FAULT. I LEFT HIM A VOICE MAIL MESSAGE WITH A WARM, FRIENDLY GREETING. ALL I MEANT BY IT WAS TO LEND SUPPORT AND A FRIENDLY VOICE. I DIDN'T DO ANYTHING WRONG. I CANNOT OWN HIS MISERY. HE CAN BLAME ME ALL FKG DAY LONG, BUT I WILL NO LONGER TAKE THAT ON. IT'S HIS LIFE. AND HE CAN GET HIMSELF HELP AND OWN HIS OWN RECOVERY. IF HE CHOOSES TO REMAIN IN DENIAL, AND AS A VICTIM, HE CAN DO IT WITHOUT TAKING ME DOWN WITH HIM.

And with that, I felt a bit more free.
I don't disagree with you, and I don't know what it's like to be in an addict's shoes, but my codie shoes hurt too.

love ya,
rivka
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