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I received some weird advice yesterday

Old 08-20-2010, 08:42 AM
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I received some weird advice yesterday

So I was talking to my bff of 30 years (yikes I'm getting old!). Her AH never sought help and died an AH, so did my Dad. Anyway, I briefly mentioned that I was reading Codependent No More, and some of the things I am learning in that book (without sounding preachy at all), just basically told her how I'm turning my focus on ME. Her 24 yo son is an AH and also smokes pot. I am dealing with my AH as he is currently "testing the waters" meaning hmm I can have a "few" and still be normal. I pray HE realizes that the right number is zero but that is not my call (although a few weeks ago I thought MY influence over him would MAKE him realize that, but no more I'm focusing on myself). So, my bff makes the very odd recommendation to me that I should go out and take my dh for a few drinks, WHAT? She says that they won't do it in front of us. I flat out told her that it was a horrible idea. My new skills and learnings over the last week, then stopped me in my tracks because I was about to say something about how she is dealing with her son, but i SHUT UP and just changed subjects. That to me, as a co-dependent means that I am truly focusing on the right stuff because what I really wanted to tell her that it was the dumbest idea I had heard in really long time, but I refrained, because I know she is trying to be supportive in her own co-dependent self....So, co-dependents, my question is, how do you "reject" such ideas with love. I'm sure we get all kinds of unsolicited advice. My next step is to stop talking about my marital problems with my friends who don't have the knowledge about codependency and that I need to engage with people on this site who have the insight to actually help me instead of getting odd advice. Did part of your co-dependency recovery include distancing yourself from friends who give this kind of advice, or did you simply stop talking about your issues with them?
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Old 08-20-2010, 08:49 AM
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I think I posted this before.
STAR
stop
think
access
react
This really works for me, but I write it on my wrist to remember until it sinks in.
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Old 08-20-2010, 09:04 AM
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Well once I let go of my illusions of control I realized it didn't actually matter what I SAID in any given situation, not to alcoholics, not to codies, not to anybody!!

As a trained codie (thanks Mom!) I used to obsess over saying just the right thing at exactly the right moment thinking it would have just this certain effect etc. Baloney.

Now when I am confronted with something someone says that makes me want to respond w/ my "say exactly the right thing" brain I try to slow things down and I just say "Hunh." or "Oh." or "Let me think about that." By letting time pass in those moments I usually come to see that whatever I was chomping at the bit to say probably didn't need to be said at all, or didn't need to be said by ME!

I think you handled your friend's suggestion great!

how do you "reject" such ideas with love.
Say what you mean, mean what you say, but don't say it mean!

And yeah I guess I just don't discuss my issues with the As in my life unless I am with a trusted friend or advisor who will not overwhelm me in vulnerable moments with bad advice or toxic ideas! That's part of looking out for myself, which doesn't come naturally to us codies!

Peace-
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Old 08-20-2010, 09:16 AM
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If hearing the advice or comment is something I find painful and they continue to act that way I usually will tell them something like; "thanks for the input....I'll think about that but I'm already decided about what course I am taking." If somebody keeps up after that- I make a decision based to limit or stop contact with them.

When I'm really hurting I won't discuss things close to my heart with people who haven't proved worthy of hearing it. Over many years I've kept very few of my pre-recovery friends- including those who know about my family members addictions and those who don't.

I've purposefully cut off contact with those who continually bring me down. There were a two or three that were especially hard for me to make the break with- mainly because they could not, would not understand or care about me in the first place- much less see why I don't enjoy their company. I chose to avoid a confrontion because I didn't want to engage them anymore.
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Old 08-20-2010, 09:33 AM
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if it's just occassional off the wall advice...I tend to break out laughing and say,
nah, I don't think I'll try that
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Old 08-20-2010, 10:07 AM
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I think it's healthy of you to see more freely the reason why she might give such odd advice. It was really based in her own codependence and denial and not in your interest.

Had she been truly listening to you, she would have understood that wishing your AH seek abstinence & recovery and sticking to your own path is the polar opposite of taking him for cocktails. But that may be where she is in her own coping skills at this point.

I agree with the replies thus far. Let your own recovery detach you from her well-meaning codie advice giving. Smile and say thanks but it's not what you had in mind or some such phrase and let it go. "Take what you need and leave the rest," right?

She's not at the same recovery point as you clearly, but there's no reason that I see to throw away such a long friendship. You'll just have to tailor your sharing a little to topics you both relate to equally. If this is the only topic you have in common or she cannot move with you onto other bonding topics, then yes, you might need to move on from the relationship, IMO.

Best wishes to you!

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Old 08-20-2010, 10:21 AM
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Well first of all, I think that close friends of 30 years should be not only able to respectfully dialogue about everything, esp. those things that are important, they should want to it seems to me.

Every once in awhile, you will probably touch on a sensitive subject in which you don't see eye to eye, and might agree to disagree, and move away from it. But it doesn't sound from the original post that that's the deal.

Yes, you're right about not giving her advice. You done good, buddy.

But I do think, especially given your recent growth and change of perspective, that these would be relevant, healthy and possibly meaningful kinds of discussions to have w/each other.
Or am I missing something?
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Old 08-20-2010, 11:58 AM
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I actually think there is a famous quote out there somewhere about handling unsolicited advice. I came across it when I was pregnant and first had a newborn, since anyone and everyone seems to have parenting advice. Something like say thank you, and then do what you want anyway.
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Old 08-20-2010, 12:09 PM
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My mom once said / did a similar thing to my alcoholic sister--she took my sister to the alcohol aisle at the supermarket and said, "well, pick out what you want--let's stop hiding this!". AS, needless to say, was not amused.

But anyway...I find that 'huh...I'll think about that..." and changing the subject--usually something to put the focus back on the other person--works well with unsolicited advice. And then just drop it out the other ear and go on your merry way. IMHO...some topics are like politics; even with well-meaning friends, you just can't talk about them. I have a good friend who is on the polar opposite spectrum politically than I am...and we just don't go there.

Sending you hugs...
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Old 08-20-2010, 12:23 PM
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although a few weeks ago I thought MY influence over him would MAKE him realize that, but no more I'm focusing on myself
loved this!

and yes, i too am stopping in my tracks and catching myself in co-dependent behavior in a lot of relationships. for me, the best choice for me is often silence.
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Old 08-20-2010, 12:49 PM
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Originally Posted by wow1323 View Post

stop
think
access
react


NOW this I really get!!! I must write this on MY FORE HEAD!!!
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Old 08-20-2010, 01:28 PM
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Hi FM, The STAR really does work. I was so use to just re-acting off of my emotions; it was very over whelming. It does take practice for we are all a work in progress.
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