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That darn old powerlessness!!

Old 06-03-2004, 10:25 PM
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That darn old powerlessness!!

Hi, everyone! I haven't posted for a while, but have been reading daily. Not really sure why, just that I think sometimes I need to shut my mouth and listen/internalize things (not one of my better traits, lol).
I have been getting a little frustrated, trying to help a friend of mine who is suffering from depression. I have been trying to sit back and pray that she finds her way, for her sake and her kids', and I have had to remind myself that I am very powerless over her choices.
Yet, I obsess like a faithful codie. What can I do to help? Well, I can't fix her, I know that or do I?
Anyways, I even stayed up obsessing the other night, finally falling asleep at around 5:30 am. I am ashamed that after being in my recovery for the last 6 months, there I was awake thinking, thinking, thinking. Yuck. Not something I want or need to do anymore- to get a whole 1.5 hours of sleep in a night b/c of my obsessing. I care about her, but I need to live my life, not hers.
Being codependent with my h, "S", I have noticed a lot of behaviors that I have changed in the last 6 months. But with her, it just seems so much harder to do. I want to be 100% honest with her all the time, yet I end up trying to fix her. It seems like the more time I spend in recovery, the more I realize that I have many codie issues with everyone around me in one way or another.
Thanks for listening.
-sfg29
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Old 06-03-2004, 10:52 PM
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Seem to remember doing that a few times myself.
Codie vs love and kindness towards another.
Sitting up till the wee hours talking with someone so they wouldn't cut.
Trying to fix or was I just being a friend who could see the problem clearly?
I would think as the steps are played out, wisdom increases and I will better know what I can change, what I can't, when to help, and then when to just be a friend who is needed at the moment. For a few times that I was able to help others with depression... it wasn't what I said but how I said it that made a difference. Seems like such a fine line at times doesn't it?
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Old 06-04-2004, 06:26 AM
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Hey SFG,
I know that you are working the steps. I have gotten to 6, "Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character." Well that is hard because one of my defects is to try to remove my own defects instead of letting God. When I obsess, I beat myself up and criticize myself for obsessing, instead of praying for God to help me with this defect. So this is for both of us: "Quit trying to do it yourself. Ask for some help hard head." (that last was for me. hehe.)
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Old 06-04-2004, 08:34 AM
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Thanks, guys. Yep, I am a definite hard head too, lol! I give it up, then take it back, then give it up, etc, etc!!
I think what frustrates me the most is that I "take charge" with her. I am constantly telling her to make sure she is looking at all angles on everything, and I feel like I need to otherwise she'll get taken advantage of (she is pretty passive usually). But then I end up making myself responsible for her decisions, and so my cycle of codependency continues.
As time goes on in my recovery, I can see more clearly what I can help with, what I can't.
I can't wait to start my step 4. I have a class I need to get completed by the end of the month (must write 2 more papers and study/write my final, YIKES), and then I can give it a start.
-SFG29
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Old 06-04-2004, 08:41 AM
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You sound just like a friend I used to have and your friend sounds like me. I am extremely passive. She was always telling me what I was doing wrong in my life...with my kids, my dogs, my boyfriends, my house, my ex, my leisure time. All the while telling me how much she loved me and worried about me. We now are estranged. She was a very good person but our relationship was just so out of whack and it got worse. I lost a very good friend because the two of us both have issues we need to work on.

I hope you can continue with "the steps". I'm new here so I am not sure what you are referring to. I assume i will learn and will be a few steps behind you!! I am so tired of all my relationships ending because I don't know how to deal with them and I haven't ever set a boundary in my entire life. sigh

At least you recognize your obsession and are working on it. hugs
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Old 06-04-2004, 09:13 AM
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Wow... Nightowl!
I guess I am a little offended that you think I am sitting around telling her what is wrong with her life. I have in the past gotten pretty p-off at her when she falls, but I do watch how I word things. I still treat her with respect, whether she is a depressed person, a passive person, or whether she is unstable at times. If I couldn't I wouldn't be her friend. But, I do try to be honest with her, and if she asks for advice or for my opinion, I will give it in a respectful way. If she wants to date someone that is a jerk that is her choice, and it is still her choice if she wants to date a murderer, lol. If she wants to crawl into a hole and forget she has kids that need her, I will say something or do something to protect the kids. That is a given. If I wasn't 100% honest with her and I just pretended everything was ok- that it was ok to neglect her kids while she crawled in her hole, etc, I would be enabling. She respects that about me, even if she doesn't like it when she is in a bad frame of mind.
The hard part is detaching from her, not being able to pick her up as she falls. It is hard watching her throw away opportunities, to perceive herself as a stupid screw up. She is very smart, and she does have a lot of great qualities that I do remind her of. But that is where Step 1 comes in- I am powerless over her and her actions. I do however have the power to make sure that if she goes into a deep depression and her kids are affected, that they do have me there. I can be there for her when she asks for help, but I can't make her depression go away. I am powerless.
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Old 06-04-2004, 10:11 AM
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Oops....I didn't mean to infer that is what you were doing OR offend you. I'm so sorry.

but you just said: "Well, I can't fix her, I know that or do I? " so I assumed you were struggling some with your boundaries. My friend was a great friend to me. Very helpful and made me realize that I had no life of my own. I'm working on being a lot less passive. And she and I both recognized we had huge self esteem issues. Sorry to have compared my relationship with yours...I shouldn't have. Just brought back memories.

I think I just made assumptions from your post based on my own past experience. Please accept my apology for any offense.

Now I'm off to try and investigate these steps you refer to.
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Old 06-04-2004, 10:21 AM
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No problem! It is perfectly ok to compare your experience with mine-I have had friends like her too, which is why I do not want to be one like that, lol! I have had friends who have told me to leave, and even when I wasn't putting up with any bs they would tell me that I was.
I am not really offended by your response. I am sorry if I came off harsh- the only part that bothered me was the beginning of your post, but don't worry about it.
I am struggling with keeping some boundaries in that I don't want to do for her what she can do for herself.
Anyways, like I said, don't worry about it! It isn't a big deal. I hope to see you around here again. You do have very wise things to add to this forum!
Take care!
-SFG29
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