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Who they really are...

Old 11-11-2018, 01:36 AM
  # 21 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by DontRemember View Post
I feel ya and good for you! Again.. I didn't mean to single you out..it was meant to be a 'general' question for all.
Understood 😊
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Old 11-12-2018, 08:55 AM
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I prefer to look at it through a disease model - in part because I believe that the stigma of addiction and all the bad behavior that goes with it is too easily attributed to moral character flaws than mental and physical illness, which has all kinds of financial and policy implications that lead to addicts and their families being mostly on their own with this nightmare.

But that said, the focus on "who they really are" always feels to me like an extension of codependency because a focus on who they are deep down inside is a really convenient way to ignore who *I* am deep down inside and whether or not my side of the road is well-tended.
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Old 11-12-2018, 09:50 AM
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THIS!!! Bravo!

Actions matter. Words are...nothing. You can try to separate behavior all you want, but the reality is, the behaviors are what make...or break...a person...and in turn those that love them. It's heartbreaking. Can someone recover? Sure. The reality is not many are willing to put in that sort of work, for the rest of their lives. For those that are, they can become someone else. For those that cannot, they are stuck in addiction and that is who they have become.

Originally Posted by Sasha1972 View Post
I’m not sure there’s even such a thing as “who they [we] really are”. All that exists in the world is what we do. If we do bad things, that is what we become. There is no “real self” that exists apart from our actions.
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Old 11-12-2018, 10:32 AM
  # 24 (permalink)  
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I think functioning is just a stage unless the drinking is arrested.

I have seen this from multiple perspectives--growing up with a functional, wage-earning alcoholic who eventually had to take early retirement and drank her golden years away as she became increasingly non-functional.

Also in myself, who never missed work and worked hard but when drinking became a problem for me, I realized I was not going to be able to function at the same level if I continued to drink.

You function until you don't, and that's different for everyone in terms of time and rapidity of decline. It is Russian Roulette.

But no doubt, it will happen and it's a terrible burden for those who are enmeshed with the addict.

When I see a homeless addict, I don't think my ability to "pay" for my addiction made me superior--just fortunate, and I realize that it is all too easy to fall once the velocity of long-term drinking builds enough speed, however comfortable one is at the beginning.
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Old 11-12-2018, 02:21 PM
  # 25 (permalink)  
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I appreciate the gist of Cyranoak's post which to me is a reminder to be in the moment, and when people show you "who they are" in this moment, believe them; which aligns with Sasha1972's point that it is in the actions not the words that people reveal themselves, and with Seren's point about how we can get hung up on "potential" which means we are not living in the real moment.

And I also believe it is important for F&F of A's to look at ourselves in the same clear-eyed way, what are we doing, where is our focus, how are we managing our own lives, struggles, dreams, problems? To me Cyr's post is about acceptance, once we get out of the denial/defense stance and accept that the person is an A whom we cannot cure, control, or change, then we have no choice but to look in the mirror and frame our choices differently.

Very very difficult stuff! Good to have a thought-provoking post that shifts perspective.
Peace,
B.
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Old 11-12-2018, 06:35 PM
  # 26 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Cyranoak View Post
Over the years, myself included, hundreds of people here have posted about their alcoholics, when sober, being great, loving, kind and funny people when they are sober and that's "who they really are."

And, if they'd just stop drinking, they'd be "who they really are" all the time.

The truth is, and I was very slow to this, who they really are is somebody who chooses to drink knowing they will become the selfish, narcissistic, destructive, dangerous, and horrible people they become. In that moment when they decide to take that first drink, for whatever reason, THAT IS WHEN THEY DEMONSTRATE AND BECOME "WHO THEY REALLY ARE."

To believe anything else in the face of repeated behaviors to the contrary is simply insanity.

WHO THEY REALLY ARE IS AN ALCOHOLIC, and there are only two kinds of alcoholics in my opinion-- the ones who are drinking and the ones who are not. Every time I hear people parse drinking alcoholics into groups (functioning, real, severe, mild, binging, etc,) I want to puke. THEY ARE ALL ALCOHOLICS-- who gives a **** what kind? Does that change anything? At all?

Kudos to each and every alcoholic who has found a way to not have that first drink, and who has found a way to change "who they really are" into a sober person. You prove it can be done. Thank you to each and every one of you.
Thank you so much for posting this. No Truer words have been spoken and there's a couple of people in my life that will benefit from this knowledge. It doesn't matter which version is the true self it only matters what they continue to choose, and that makes all the difference.
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Old 11-13-2018, 02:30 PM
  # 27 (permalink)  
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People are very complicated, whether alcoholic or not. I'm not sure that being "great, loving, kind and funny" and being "selfish, narcissistic, destructive, dangerous, and horrible" are necessarily mutually exclusive. I mean, I consider myself the former most days and the latter on a bad day, just never to the same extent as my AXBF, of course.

An ACOA friend of mine once told me that the greatest gift you can give an alcoholic is compassion, and while I am in no mood to say nice things about alcoholics at the moment, considering recent news that proves the "selfish, narcissistic, destructive, dangerous, and horrible" side of my ex, I will say that I understand why people want to believe that the "great, loving, kind and funny" part is the authentic part. It might not be true, but it hurts less.
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Old 11-13-2018, 08:51 PM
  # 28 (permalink)  
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I love this...

excellent point--
Originally Posted by Sasha1972 View Post
I’m not sure there’s even such a thing as “who they [we] really are”. All that exists in the world is what we do. If we do bad things, that is what we become. There is no “real self” that exists apart from our actions.
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Old 05-07-2019, 03:11 PM
  # 29 (permalink)  
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brilliant post

My take is somewhat different. I think who "they really are" is the person that is revealed when drunk. All inhibitions drop away and who is in there is revealed by substance: not caused by it.

Sober they are able to cover this up. It's much easier to be kind and thoughtful when you have filters and monitors.

It doesn't matter who is right or wrong on this issue. What matters is that we all stay in recovery and commit to it and our peace of mind.
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Old 05-08-2019, 04:35 PM
  # 30 (permalink)  
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I read something here recently that was so brilliant in its simplicity.
There are no "types" of alcoholics, there are only stages..."High-functioning" is merely a stage. Kind of cuts through all of the confusion.
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Old 05-08-2019, 08:15 PM
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Addiction, Lies and Relationships

I thought this article seemed relevant to this thread. It seems that as a person progresses in addiction, they become more the addiction than their own person. So maybe who they really are depends how far along they are in the addiction process.
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Old 05-08-2019, 08:26 PM
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Originally Posted by PerSe View Post
Addiction, Lies and Relationships

I thought this article seemed relevant to this thread. It seems that as a person progresses in addiction, they become more the addiction than their own person. So maybe who they really are depends how far along they are in the addiction process.
I've read that article many times before. There are some very valid points contained. In my situation, my fiance (walked out a week ago, again) has a very addictive personality. I didn't know this until we were really involved. Years of being addicted to making money (selling coke, never using), gambling, and now drugs. I can assume it stems from childhood and a history of mental illness, but it's gotten progressively worse as he's aged. One thing that remained a constant though, in all relationships (family, previous marriage, our relationship) was the lies and manipulation, the sense of entitlement and lack of empathy. I think his behavior went from bad to worse over the years, then a bit better, and now unthinkable. It's truly sad, it's hard not to feel pity.
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Old 05-08-2019, 08:59 PM
  # 33 (permalink)  
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Excuses Alcoholics Make

I think this one seems relevant too to this thread. What I am understanding is that the addict's behaviors cannot be separated from the addiction.
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Old 05-08-2019, 10:48 PM
  # 34 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Cyranoak View Post
Over the years, myself included, hundreds of people here have posted about their alcoholics, when sober, being great, loving, kind and funny people when they are sober and that's "who they really are."

And, if they'd just stop drinking, they'd be "who they really are" all the time.

The truth is, and I was very slow to this, who they really are is somebody who chooses to drink knowing they will become the selfish, narcissistic, destructive, dangerous, and horrible people they become. In that moment when they decide to take that first drink, for whatever reason, THAT IS WHEN THEY DEMONSTRATE AND BECOME "WHO THEY REALLY ARE."

To believe anything else in the face of repeated behaviors to the contrary is simply insanity.

WHO THEY REALLY ARE IS AN ALCOHOLIC, and there are only two kinds of alcoholics in my opinion-- the ones who are drinking and the ones who are not. Every time I hear people parse drinking alcoholics into groups (functioning, real, severe, mild, binging, etc,) I want to puke. THEY ARE ALL ALCOHOLICS-- who gives a **** what kind? Does that change anything? At all?

Kudos to each and every alcoholic who has found a way to not have that first drink, and who has found a way to change "who they really are" into a sober person. You prove it can be done. Thank you to each and every one of you.
I couldn't agree more, it's like there's a degree of alcoholic, but it's does not change the fact of the alcoholic.
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Old 05-09-2019, 06:58 AM
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Cyranoak thank you for your post. In the last few weeks after finally cutting all contact with an alcoholic friend I have come to the same thing.
What attracted me to this person, though they pursued the friendship not me, was they seemed a kind, understanding, empathetic and intelligent person.
The drinking brought out another side.....the b side. I always thought they were really the a side. Which kept me going with them. But the increasingly short amounts they were sober I could sense they were like a shadow. Almost like a non person. The niceness remained like an echo but they were weak and almost non functioning. I can see this exact same thing in a neighbour who I avoid.
You are right side b is who they truly are and side a is just a front to get them by.
Wow........totally nutshelled it. Thank you
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Old 05-09-2019, 06:44 PM
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PS Just been talking to a friend and they told me that in Japan and Korea it is known that when a person is drunk that is who they really are!
This has really spun me around 380 degrees!
The whole thing is a bit like narcissism in that the narc can keep the charm up for only so long and the alcoholic can keep it up only while sober! So much makes sense now. I wish I had known this ages ago.
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Old 05-09-2019, 10:56 PM
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Originally Posted by NoAnotherRound View Post
PS Just been talking to a friend and they told me that in Japan and Korea it is known that when a person is drunk that is who they really are!
This has really spun me around 380 degrees!
The whole thing is a bit like narcissism in that the narc can keep the charm up for only so long and the alcoholic can keep it up only while sober! So much makes sense now. I wish I had known this ages ago.
On the other hand, many people (alcoholics included) are nicer when drunk! It works both ways.

Regardless, they are both, the good, the bad, the sober-ish the drunk, one and the same person. There is no use separating them?
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Old 05-10-2019, 01:47 AM
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And maybe people who are nicer when they are drunk is who they really are as well. The alcohol allows the normal constraints to be dropped so people show their true colours. Good, bad or otherwise.
So far though I have not come across an alcoholic who wasn’t at the very least somewhat annoying, disagreeable or quick to anger. Also who found it often difficult to motivate themselves when sober for responsibilities such as work.
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Old 05-10-2019, 05:46 AM
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Originally Posted by trailmix View Post
On the other hand, many people (alcoholics included) are nicer when drunk! It works both ways.

Regardless, they are both, the good, the bad, the sober-ish the drunk, one and the same person. There is no use separating them?
Yeah, there's no use in playing little mind games with oursleves about who someone "really is." My XABF poured affection and attention all over me when lit, then would descend into anxiety and silence when hungover, then be nose-to-the-grindstone for a workday of sobriety, then back to school boy love gushing after a few drinks. ALL of it is who he "really is." There's no point at all in trying to ferret out who someone really is, they're the entire kit 'n caboodle because all of them is who we have to deal with.
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Old 05-10-2019, 06:19 AM
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Originally Posted by FallenAngelina View Post
Yeah, there's no use in playing little mind games with oursleves about who someone "really is." My XABF poured affection and attention all over me when lit, then would descend into anxiety and silence when hungover, then be nose-to-the-grindstone for a workday of sobriety, then back to school boy love gushing after a few drinks. ALL of it is who he "really is." There's no point at all in trying to ferret out who someone really is, they're the entire kit 'n caboodle because all of them is who we have to deal with.
This.

ALL the behaviours are the same person.

I think as a recovering codie, I was always about desperately trying to find the "good" parts of a person. I see now this is wrong, it is the whole package that is the true person. Not just the bits it might please me to pick out. Which is about me not the other person.
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