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Curious - Open or Closed

Old 06-07-2012, 09:24 AM
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Curious - Open or Closed

Personally I'm OK with it either way.

In my neck of the woods we have 'Closed' AA meetings where ONLY alcoholics are in attendance. This allows me to open up and share things that only another alcoholic would be able to understand.

We also have 'Open' meetings where family, friends and even the 'just curious' are allowed to attend. They are allowed to give their opinions and offer advice from whatever viewpoint they come from.

The way SR is set up there are several forums going and as long as you are a member of SR you can take part in any of them. But should we?
If you as 'Friends and Family of Alcoholics' want to have this forum closed, where all conversation threads come as opinions from friends and family, I'm sure that most that aren't in this category would respect that.

On the other hand, do you want the other perspective? Do you want to hear from the former alcoholic bad spouses, family, or friends that have gotten better and can possibly give you insite into how to help yours.

Personally, I am a recoverying alcoholic/addict. I have never had a wife or kids when I was still using, but I did have an alcoholic father when I was growing up and a mom, dad, 2 sisters, 2 brothers, grandma, and a host of others that were watching me destroy myself, and them during those days.

In addition, I am now married to a recoving alcoholic, so I feel that I'm qualified to speak from either prospective. I can keep my opinions to the 'Friend and Family' vector, the 'Alcoholic' vector, or both.

As I said at the beginning - I'm OK with it either way, but I think it needs to be made clear one way or the other. Perhaps there should be 2 forums. One closed, one open.
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Old 06-07-2012, 09:36 AM
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Many RA's (Recovering Alcoholics/Addicts) post here as many of us are 'double winners' and some are just recovering from their DOC.

I personally do not believe that it needs to be closed.

What I do believe is that I have to always remember that I am posting from my co dependent (and most A's are co dependent also, notice I said most, not all, lol) side and not from my alkie/addict side and yes there is a difference.

In other words, I have learned to use a lot more 'tact' in the Friends and Family forums, as many of the folks posting here, especially the newer folks are very 'wounded' individuals who had no chemicals to 'numb' them all these years. By the time they hit these forums they are RAW.

I am not perfect yet, lol and once in a while my 'tact' disappears. When I am too harsh, Mike will usually let me know, rofl.

I think I love these forums more than the forums for my A side, because they are a constant reminder to me of just how badly I did hurt my family and friends, those 24 years I practiced my alcoholism.

I share my ES&H as to what worked for me, and what has worked for those that I have sponsored in BOTH programs.

So there is my take on this.

Love and hugs,
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Old 06-07-2012, 09:40 AM
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I like to hear from the A's side as it gives a different perspective. I do appreciate that most people posting from that aspect identify themselves as addict or recovering addict etc so I can look at the comments with that in mind.
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Old 06-07-2012, 09:44 AM
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Speaking strictly as a friends and family person I have no problem with anyone posting here. There is a lot of wisdom on just how to live sanely which I think almost anyone could benefit from.

Your friend,
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Old 06-07-2012, 09:48 AM
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as always, good perspective, fred. for this ex drunk, i have been blessed to be able to see from both sides of the bottle( but not til i got sober). i have seen the path of destruction that i left in my wake and what didnt work for the people that stayed around while i was still drinking.

openmindedness is a valuable asset of either side. if someone doesnt want to hear the perspective from my side, so be it.

even after 7 years in recovery, you friends and family talk about me when i was drinking. i am blessed to remember how i was and not that man any more and also blessed to be able to see what didnt work too good for those ones the other side of the bottle.
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Old 06-07-2012, 10:01 AM
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Well, I hereby, publically apologize, if I've offended anyone by my comments made in the last week or so, in various place throughout this forum.

I DO sometimes make generalizations and assumptions that I shouldn't. I also sometimes react strongly when I see someone physically and/or emotionally abused by someone who could have been me.

In addition, I also react strongly, even though perhaps I shouldn't, when I see anyone advocating totally giving up on a drunk/addict. In my time, I've seen individuals, who were so close to the end of their life journey that it was a total miracle that they recovered. One of the 2 founding fathers of the AA program, being one of them.

So...for those that I may have offended, or for those I might in the future, 'cause I almost certainly will, I most humbly apologize. If I have or if I do, please let me know. It's the only way I will grow.

Theres a quote I heard recently about AA meetings - If you find that you like everyone in AA, then you haven't been to enough meetings
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Old 06-07-2012, 10:04 AM
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I'd also like to say, as an adendum, that this forum and the people in it are teaching me a lot about who I was as well as who I am. Even though I'd be OK with it being closed, I'd surely miss it
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Old 06-07-2012, 10:10 AM
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I do appreciate it when RA's post here. I am also an RA. My ex was and still is an alcoholic. I think it helps a lot of times for people to hear how the RA was thinking and acting before recovery.

I've been on many forums, verbal abuse, depression, bi-polar, and I would also gain a lot of insight from the people there, from both sides. I think on this forum it is kind of difficult to go to the newcomers forum, to gain that insight. The newcomers forum and also substance abuse and alcoholism are all geared to help the addict. I can do that also because I am an alcoholic (10 months sober), but if I wasn't I feel reading there at times might feed into my codie ness. I would only be seeing people putting in the hard work to recovery and it would have me still thinking, maybe there is still help for my relationship.

Hope I made sense
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Old 06-07-2012, 10:10 AM
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I highly doubt this forum will be closed. Our moderators do an awesome job of keeping things under control and taking care of all of us. (No pressure mods. ;-)

We have way too many double winners and people who need this forum to have it closed. On that note, I wish to thank you for posting and for reflecting. Its what we do here. Post, reach out, reflect, learn, and grow.

And on that note...a from me.

Take care,

Lily
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Old 06-07-2012, 10:10 AM
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In addition, I also react strongly, even though perhaps I shouldn't, when I see anyone advocating totally giving up on a drunk/addict.
Just a different perspective. What you might see as give up on the alcoholic can be looked at from this side of the street as:

I didn't cause it, I can't control it and I can't cure it. It's time for me to start taking care of myself.

Your friend,
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Old 06-07-2012, 10:36 AM
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Fred, I have most enjoyed your comments here lately. This side will never be closed - we need to learn from each other. Isn't that a big part of alcoholism anyway that the Big Book talks about avoiding - isolation?

I am not an A, but I am in the midst of divorce from a recovering A. Unlike you and Tom and the others who regularly post here and offer amazing wisdom and experience about this disease, my A really can't acknowledge the path of destruction left in his wake on me and my kids. He has a bad case of the "it wasn't that bad's" and it's over and he went to AA and stopped drinking, now would I kindly stop bitchin at him so much? The attitudes toward me, our marriage, and what it all really means aren't there, and that's not conducive to a solid, healthy, beneficial relationship. I will go as far as to say he really is quite mean to me still...something I thought would end when he got off the sauce. But now I see it really is a part of who he is and how he views the value of women.

I rarely advocate people to leave, unless there is scary stuff going on and its a safety issue. Like Mike says above, we heavily advocate for people to focus on themselves and their own lives - back off the alcoholic - and let them figure out sobriety for themselves.

I never gave up on my husband - he just needs to think that. We would still be together if he could give up the attitude and learn to be a husband that values his wife and family, but that is something only he can do. In the meantime, I need to live my life, not live in wait for a "potential".

I am glad you are here, and hope you keep coming back!
~T
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Old 06-07-2012, 10:47 AM
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I agree with M1k3. I don't think anyone takes the decision lightly. I am struggling with it right now & It is tearing me apart. It is after all, HER disease. I have my own (codependancy) to deal with, and that is the only thing that I can change. I will always have some hope for her & won't ever entirely give up on her, but there will come a point where I can't cope with her disease any longer & I will have to leave for my own well being. Another sick person will not help her.

As for posting here, I welcome a different view. I believe it helps both sides. I think sometimes it easy to just see the disease & not the person. So post away I say!
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Old 06-07-2012, 10:53 AM
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I'm fairly new, but I personally need to hear the A's perspective as the wife of a RA.... my husband is only 10 months sober & still struggling to identify all of his issues so he can't always verbalize what he's going through. (and he is HORRID at communication all around, it's the #1 thing we have been working to correct.) I lurk quite a bit over in the Alcoholics forums because it really helps me to gain understanding of things that happened in the past & all the physiological changes his body & mind are still going through. It helps with my patience.

And often, I bring up things I've read here when I'm at home & it becomes a great conversation starter for us.
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Old 06-07-2012, 11:12 AM
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I really value opinions from both sides and would not wish the forum to be closed.

Fred, people like you give me hope that my XAbf will recover one day but sadly he isn't ready to admit his problem and get help. You can't give up on someone who won't try.
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Old 06-07-2012, 11:28 AM
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Originally Posted by FredG View Post
In addition, I also react strongly, even though perhaps I shouldn't, when I see anyone advocating totally giving up on a drunk/addict.
Fred, so is it true what they say about the Big Book? “It is the most talked about book that is never read.” Page 96, “To spend too much time on any one situation is to deny some other alcoholic an opportunity to live and be happy.”

I had no communication my sister for three years. Now that she has been clean for two years, I have resumed minimal communication. I need to do whatever is necessary to take care of myself. She is the only one left of my bio-family that has not had a letter returned to them, unopened and stamped, “Deceased – Return To Sender”. Alcoholism and addiction is a problem with my bio-family and many are dead. It is not my problem. I have enough issues of my own I do not need their crap messing up my life too. If someone wants help, I will help. If they do not then I will not waste my time.
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Old 06-07-2012, 11:35 AM
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Hello FredG,

First let me say, Welcome to SR!

I can tell you that none of the individual forums here are physically closed to registered members. That said, there are separate forums for a reason--those for people who struggle with addiction to alcohol or other substances, those whose lives are affected by a friend or family member who is addicted, and separate forums for men and women.

Perhaps a few things to keep in mind for anyone who posts in a forum that is not on "their side", so to speak.

Please share from your own experience. If I let someone know what worked for me from my own experience, I am sharing. If I repeat myself over and over because someone just 'isn't getting it', then I'm trying to control that person.

If you are responding to a post, try to take the time to read the Original Poster's story. When I keep this in mind, for example, I'm not likely to tell a woman who has been emotionally, verbally, and physically abused by her alcoholic husband that she did not try hard enough to help him --merely because I have only read one of her posts.

I try to keep in mind that the people posting on SR are NOT the one(s) who hurt me, so it is not fair for me to take out any pent-up stress or anger on anyone here.

Ultimately, we all have the same goal--to have peaceful and joyous lives! In order to keep things peaceful, for now, this thread is closed.

Peace in the valley,
Hydrogirl
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