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Is it wrong to feel hopeful?

Old 02-09-2014, 02:10 PM
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Is it wrong to feel hopeful?

I posted on this site a few weeks ago about one of my closest friends who is a recovering alcoholic. We got into an argument...or at least it turned into one. It seemed like no matter what I said or how understanding of his feelings I tried to be EVERYTHING got turned around to make it look like I was the only one in the wrong. After posting on this board and reading a lot, I realize that's just manipulation and I'm not completely crazy. I also think that my friend is going through a "dry drunk" phase; this time of year is real rough on him and I think he's reverting back to that selfish and self centered, completely irrational, grandiose thinking and alcoholic behavior because he doesn't know how to cope.

I took other people's advice and detached. I haven't had anything to do with him and I've been trying to do the things that I know are good for me and to work on myself because I'm not a perfect person either and I'm sure I have a list of flaws a mile long.

I've been feeling really hopeful though! I feel confident in myself and who I am as friend. I know I am a good friend to him and I have nothing to feel bad about. And he knows that. He knows that I am good to him, hell he has said those words!

He's a alcoholic and even in recovery, life with him will always be rough. But I feel like he knows who the good people in his life. I've watched him go through knock down drag out fights with people before but in the end he always makes his way back to the people that really care. This is just the first time I've been his sparring partner and felt his wrath.

BUT. Is being hopeful and optimistic stupid of me or make me naive? If it is, tell me.
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Old 02-09-2014, 02:15 PM
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Originally Posted by 987g View Post
I've watched him go through knock down drag out fights with people before but in the end he always makes his way back to the people that really care. This is just the first time I've been his sparring partner and felt his wrath.
Is this what you want in a friend? It seems like a very volatile situation to me, that could turn very ugly at a moment's notice.

It might help you to take a good, hard look at why you are drawn to this type of person. Was there chaos or pain in your childhood that you are trying to "fix"? Are you hoping you will be the one steady, loving person in his life that will wake him up and turn things around for him?

Be careful with this type of relationship. You can't change him, but you can certainly seek out more stable and reliable people that add to the quality of your life, rather than undermine it.
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Old 02-09-2014, 02:31 PM
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You asked the question why is it that I'm drawn to this type of person. I have been friends with this person since childhood and a very good friend of his family's. Holidays, funerals, family functions, I'm there. Sometimes I'm closer to them than my own! So I don't necessarily feel like I sought him out or that I'm attracted to him because of that reason.
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Old 02-09-2014, 03:06 PM
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I understand. I have known my A for 25 years. We also have history together.

My question in that case is, why would you tolerate the abuse that you described - "feeling his wrath" in your words - regardless of how long you've known him? Friends don't treat each other poorly. Do you want to be on the receiving end of another "knock down drag out fight"? Do you need this in your life?

I had to ask these questions in my own situation, too. And I realized that because of a painful childhood, I was probably doomed to repeat the scenario of chasing after unavailable or unsuitable partners until I worked out some things for myself.

I hope you are willing to put all the love and work into yourself that you seem willing to expend on him. Because you are right, a relationship with an alcoholic, recovering or not, is no picnic and often takes more than it gives.
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Old 02-09-2014, 03:35 PM
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I'm confused is this a friend or a boyfriend?

And exactly what are you wanting to feel hopeful about?


but in answer to your question, "Am I wrong to feel hopeful?."

Hope clouds observation.

And until Mike here at SR pointed that out to me, I think I was going thru life with a pair of blinders on.

Maybe he is showing you who he really is, and you are not choosing to accept it. Maybe, just maybe, that dry drunk, is, who he currently is. maybe in time he will soften and be kind. I certainly would not hang around to see if he transitions, regardless if he is a friend or BF, this is something he must to for himself.

iF HE is in early recovery, he certainly in not in any position to start a relationship with you, he's in the fight of his life, he really doesn't have time for dating, and intimate friendships.

It's great that you are a good friend to him, but there is a possibility he can never be return this friendship. the fact that you are questioning it, leads me to believe you already know this.
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Old 02-09-2014, 04:03 PM
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I understand what you are saying and I thank you for it! I guess it's time for me to realize that even though he has always treated me very good, we have gotten a lot closer lately and I'm finally really seeing the darkness to it all first hand.

I know I don't deserve to be treated badly and it's not like I'm chasing him around or expect him to just come dashing into my life one day and admit what a mistake he's made. Someone did that to me once actually and it really freaked me out lol

I don't know, I guess I'm just feeling conflicted! I love this person and his family so I guess I just want to be hopeful and believe that it will all be okay for everyone. Especially since he was doing so great before this stressful time. Like I said, he's not drinking but he's being a real ass just because he doesn't know how to deal with all the emotions that he's going through.

But another part of me knows he is who he is. I've seen the hurt he can cause. This will happen again. And I will get my feelings hurt again. Jesus and AA may help him but the way he treats people and behaves, that is purely up to him.

Thanks for the input! It helps to hear what others have to say and I appreciate it! It also helps me to look more at myself, even though I might not have had a traumatic childhood, I have my own issues too. This isn't the first encounter I've ever with an addict. One of my closest friends in high school ended up being a heroin addict. But I don't really feel anything for him at all. I just look at him and see that he is not the friend that he was when we were 16 and I see the path that our lives took as really a blessing.
Maybe it's just harder with my friend now since I'm so intertwined with him and his family and the fact they live 4 feet away!
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Old 02-09-2014, 04:14 PM
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Originally Posted by marie1960 View Post
I'm confused is this a friend or a boyfriend?

And exactly what are you wanting to feel hopeful about?


but in answer to your question, "Am I wrong to feel hopeful?."

Hope clouds observation.

And until Mike here at SR pointed that out to me, I think I was going thru life with a pair of blinders on.

Maybe he is showing you who he really is, and you are not choosing to accept it. Maybe, just maybe, that dry drunk, is, who he currently is. maybe in time he will soften and be kind. I certainly would not hang around to see if he transitions, regardless if he is a friend or BF, this is something he must to for himself.

iF HE is in early recovery, he certainly in not in any position to start a relationship with you, he's in the fight of his life, he really doesn't have time for dating, and intimate friendships.

It's great that you are a good friend to him, but there is a possibility he can never be return this friendship. the fact that you are questioning it, leads me to believe you already know this.
I guess you could say it is complicated. He was always just a friend, a family friend, until earlier this summer when we started spending more time together (which he initiated)! But then after some time he would disappear or say that he was keeping me and everyone else at arm's length because he hurts people. And he would literally disappear. But then he'd be back. He convinced me it was just part of his personality. Which I realize that sounds dumb, but I am that kind of person too where I really like to be with people but then other times I just need "me" time (but then again it is not quite to his extremes!)

I guess this fight needed to happen in order for me to see his true colors, right now anyways as being a dry drunk. Maybe he will come around, maybe he won't but I can't control it. I've already tried to be nice to him and be a friend but like you said, he just might be ready for that. And I can't stick around just to be his only friend, I realize that. He really doesn't have many and THAT should also have been another red flag.
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Old 02-10-2014, 12:27 AM
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987,

No I don't think it's wrong to be hopeful. It's important to remember just how drastically addiction can alter a person's personality. What can be perceived as flaws in a person's character, are actually the result of a very strong physical addiction.

My friend was awful when he was drinking. It was like I was dealing with a complete stranger, I didn't even recognize who he was. He's now been sober for two years, and I feel like I have my friend back.

Hope is only a negative emotion when it's mixed with delusion. Being hopeful that one day you're going to win the lottery and depending on that hope to get you through life is delusional. Being hopeful that your friend will get better and overcome this life threatening illness that he has, is just you being a good friend.

I can't say that I know a lot or even a little about how to manage through tough life situations. But I have learned a few things. One thing I've learned is this - never give up on the people that you love. This doesn't mean exposing myself to abuse or mistreatment if someone is sick and lashing out. But it does mean having compassion and loving them even when they struggle through the dark times.


C
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