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Old 01-27-2011, 09:26 AM
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Question Thought ?

Just a thought but I am wondering.....if we don't like the way someone lives their life then shouldn't we try to accept that and either decide to allow them to live as they wish or move on ? Afterall it is their life isn't it ? Have I got this wrong ? I know it may not be so simple, and as black and white, but really isn't that the bottom line ?
If someone decides they want to be dependent on anything but themselves then they do have that right don't they as long as their actions aren't detrimental to others. Humans do the most peculiar things for whatever reasons. Sometimes for comfort, or thrills, the adrenaline rush, to help them cope, for courage...whatever, and if we can't live with their consequences then should we.... why not just let them find out for themselves, or is that too hard line ?
What makes the difference ?
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Old 01-27-2011, 09:30 AM
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No, you are right. Sounds a bit like Alanon-Let go. It's their life. I have had such a sense of relief since I decided to do that. The codie personality in me sometimes creeps in.......but now I can recognize it and put that girl back in her box.
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Old 01-27-2011, 09:38 AM
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I struggle with this quite a bit. It's really not so black and white, but the bottom line is that you are right. Still, as humans, we can't help but feel compassion and want for things to be different for someone. And when it becomes about someone obviously hurting themselves and even getting into risky behavior, it's harder to sit back and say, "I'm out of it. It's your life. Do as you will." It's natural to want to be of some support. I'm still having trouble deciding what is enabling and what is simply just caring about someone and being a support emotionally. It's a tough line to determine.
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Old 01-27-2011, 10:08 AM
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I am struggling with the same thing right now. My codependency makes me want to "fix" people. Better yet I tend to attract people who want to be fixed or taken care of. Anyway, I am working on saying no both to myself about the fixing/caretaker stuff and no to others making emotional demands on me that I can't provide. I want to be a good friend, but I also need to devote my energy to me and my recovery.
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Old 01-27-2011, 10:35 AM
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I agree. That is the answer. It's kind of selfish to say I want my loved one, but only on my terms. It's also painful to see people you love harming themselves. You wonder why they have this pull towards self-destruction. It seems so contrary to what life is all about. But then again, not everything in nature thrives. Maybe need to accept that our alcoholic loved ones are the non-thrivers in nature. Maybe they'll decide to change that, but it's their decision.

But boy, is it tough! I just want to take AH by the shoulders and scream, "Look what you're doing! Don't you WANT to live to play with your grandchildren? Don't you WANT to get your business back in high gear? Remember how happy you were when you had great clients and great employees? Where are they now?? Do you WANT to be sick? Why is it so easy to just roll over and give up??" But I don't.

I AM getting better at accepting that I'm not calling the shots here. I'm not God. AH has his own Higher Power. Thanks for the reminder.
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Old 01-27-2011, 03:45 PM
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I also wonder if they simply CAN'T do what's best for themselves anymore. I heard another cliche' "You can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make it lie on it's back and float" This may be what happens? I personally feel for them. On the otherhand it is not beneficial to them or us to enable them to carry on in their self destruction.
I have never been very good at "Tough Love" but sometimes even tiny steps might help I think. Trouble is that when one is in the thick of it all it is very difficult to maintain any sort of detachment. I believe this is where peer support ie. AA and or Alanon can help keep things in perspective and give a bit of distance. Sometimes it takes more than going to one group to find the right fit. I have been to several different Alanon groups over the past 25 plus years and only 1 group "felt" right. It was an immense help. Prior to that I found that Forums like SR were also good because this way we see the stories and the experiences and are able to come to our own conclusions without the distractions of the "feelings" of fitting in.
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Old 01-27-2011, 05:13 PM
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Originally Posted by CSHNow View Post
I heard another cliche' "You can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make it lie on it's back and float"
The picture this calls to mind is pretty hilarious/crazy/bizarre. (I'm picturing a spaghetti western movie setting - dusty grey-brown and setting sun; the cowboy dismounting at the river side, trying to lead the horse into the river by the reins; getting to where the water is up to the stirrups and trying to roll the poor thing; and the horse running off into the sunset as the cowboy sputters "But it's for your own good so we can cross the river!".... Oh and cow tipping!) The saying I know is "You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink." I like the floating scene better, seems to fit enabling an uncooperative A better...

I've read through the posts here and man am I in a cold, cold place right now. Figuratively, not literally. (Well, literally, too, but....) I really can't be bothered to give a rat's a-- about XAH and his issues right now. I have absolutely zero sympathy, zero compassion. I can feel it for others, but not him. If he can't get his life together to be a decent person and a good dad, then f- him. I feel bad for DS not having a good dad, but that's nothing I can control.

I don't think that's detachment or acceptance though. I think it's self-preservation. I'm OK with that right now.

On the other end of the spectrum, I remember being stuck in the "I love you soooo much that I'm going to help you since you won't do it yourself" mode.

I'm not sure where I'm going with this. I am really, really, really tired and have a major head and neck ache. (Stress? Me? Nah.) I'd like to say I need to find a middle ground with him: detach, and if not wish him well then at least accept that he's living his life however he sees fit. I just don't feel like I care enough about him or myself to do that right now. I do hope that that changes a bit further down my recovery path.
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Old 01-27-2011, 05:39 PM
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if we don't like the way someone lives their life then shouldn't we try to accept that and either decide to allow them to live as they wish or move on ? Afterall it is their life isn't it ? Have I got this wrong ? I know it may not be so simple, and as black and white, but really isn't that the bottom line ?
Yes, IMO that is the bottom line. It has not always been so easy for me to see it that way. And of course from my upbringing it has been a struggle to see myself through all of it. But eventually I realized that there was a reason I was welcoming these people into my life. Part of it was caretaking anyone but myself. I simply didn't know how. No one ever modeled that for me. My mother spent every moment of her life taking care of everyone. Also at some point I realized that I wanted to receive feelings from others I could not give myself. And I wanted the life I pictured in my head would bring me happiness. Over the years I have learned that all I ever needed was really already inside of me. Life is a journey and for me since I got into Recovery it has been a journey of discovery. It starts with awareness.
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