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Old 06-13-2019, 03:43 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Apologizing & reconnecting with lost friendships post ex


I need some advice. Iím now reflecting and coming to terms with all the friendships I have lost because I was so focused and consumed by my alcoholic ex.

I feel horrible looking back over the years... all the ways I protected her... I ignored, defended, justified & accepted unacceptable, toxic behavior. I lost some very close friendships ó but they were just so sick of her addiction, excuses & issues. Also, Iím sure they were sick of me defending her!

Iím now re-living in my mind their last attempts to pull me out... but I just kept choosing to stay.

So one by one, they just disappeared from life.

I know this must be a very common situation... but I feel like a wet, lonely dog with his tail tucked between his legs... hoping to apologize & mend these friendships. But scared that everyoneís moved on... or they just wonít care... or theyíll think Iíll go back to her again.

Iíd really appreciate some advice on how others here have asked for forgiveness from old friends... or just focused on getting new friendships?

I already sent one email today to a friend that really saw a lot. He had a friendship with both myself & my ex... but cut off contact with her a few years ago after being burnt too many times. He really tried to help me... but I was so stuck on the toxic rollercoaster. So we sadly just stopped talking. What a mistake that was!

What are your experiences? Good/bad...

I know we canít control others & their responses but I didnít fully reflect (until now) all the hurt addiction caused all my former friends. Looking back, I know they were all disappointed from many situations. And there I was, defending her or completely ignoring the obvious! (Hitting myself in the head!!) Obviously I shouldnít apologize for my ex, nor should I have to... but I do take responsibility for not being a better friend. I really feel horrible.

Why did I let things go that far? How was I that caught up? Why didnít I see and react!? Frustrated with myself today.
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Old 06-13-2019, 06:55 PM   #2 (permalink)
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LifeChangeÖ.don't spend too much time flagellating yourself....
Who among us have not ignored others when we were mired, knee-deep in our own personal needs (for whatever reason)Ö..

Thankfully, you have moved on to a place where you are much more aware and have much more insight.....you have grown....
I don't have an example of my own that is as extreme as yours.....but, I have had to reconnect to old friends and family after a long absence.....

I think that doing a bit of penance is far better than doing a bunch of personal flagellation.....

My style of penance is to write a letter, in a beautiful card....and thank them for being such a good friend and tell them what they mean to you....You might mention, briefly, they you have moved on from that place in your life....
You might give your phone number and email address and let t hem know that you would love to hear their voice, again...
True, some of them may have just moved far along....but, I don't think all of them will have....If they loved you then, they will still love you....
At least, you will have put your cards on the table, and thanked them....and, just doing that , I think, will give you some peace....

***"Writing" is an old form of communication that us fossils engaged in....with the use of quill and ink or pencil...on a paper product....and , send by a mail carrier service. That has. largely. been abandoned by the much more impersonal email or text.....If you would like more information on this, you can google it.....
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Old 06-14-2019, 06:35 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I did it on Facebook, via Facebook messenger.

I told the truth. That I was in a bad mental head space and that I was aware they had tried to help me, but I was not ready. That I hoped they could accept my apology for being an absent friend, and I really hoped we could reconnect.

Every. Single. Friend.....did nothing but show me support and love. People have good hearts for the most part. Just be honest.

I like Dandys idea even more...of a nice card....
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Old 06-14-2019, 07:24 AM   #4 (permalink)
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When my AXH and I went through our separation and divorce it was very interesting to see which friends stuck by me and which ones went away... also which ones I chose to keep in my life and which ones I let go. It was a painful side effect of a major life changing event. It was very apparent to me that some of those life long friendships just weren't going to fit into my new existence, mainly because of lifestyles and behaviors I knew weren't healthy for me to be around. It's still not comfortable to accept that my best friend of 30+ years did not (and does not) have my best interests at heart. More names on my "love from a distance" list.

That being said, I did have to have a few heart to heart conversations explaining why I had been so distant. I had to swallow my pride and admit how far down the rabbit hole of codependency I had gone and how it had taken up ALL my energy to bite, claw and scramble my way back out of it. I apologized for a lot of things, one of which was not explaining to my friends just exactly what had been crashing and burning in my life... I could have had so much more support if only I had been honest instead of trying to keep up appearances.

Most of that was done face to face, but some was done via email as I had moved far away. I don't think it matters so much HOW you reach out, it's just important that you do. Even if some of your friends don't boomerang back, that's OK, you will know you said your piece... besides not every friendship is meant to last until the end of days anyways.

Everybody goes through rough times in life, any friend worth having will understand that.
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Old 06-14-2019, 11:07 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Thank you for your thoughts. Unfortunately I donít have many recent addresses for hand written letters... but it is such a sincere gesture. I emailed 2 people yesterday and no responses yet ó but Iím sure it will take time. Thatís OK, Iím patient and glad I reached out regardless of the outcome.

It was important for me to go through the process so I donít repeat patterns again in the future. Isolation happens so quickly when someone elseís addiction becomes your #1 focus.

Picking up the pieces... growing... forgiving yourself & others... grieving... itís all part of the process Iím currently navigating. Appreciate the kind words and examples.
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Old 06-14-2019, 02:50 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Wow! What a great statement of self reflection. In other words, you realize you cannot control how they react, but are absolutely controlling not only your current actions, but future ones as well.

Well, well done friend! That is a huge statement of your own recovery!

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Originally Posted by LifeChangeNYC View Post

It was important for me to go through the process so I donít repeat patterns again in the future. Isolation happens so quickly when someone elseís addiction becomes your #1 focus.

Picking up the pieces... growing... forgiving yourself & others... grieving... itís all part of the process Iím currently navigating. Appreciate the kind words and examples.
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Old 06-14-2019, 03:03 PM   #7 (permalink)
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You and me both...

What I did was reach out, apologize, take responsibility for my part in it, and then explain how I was going to operate going forward. What I believe is very important is that I only apologized once, not annoyingly and repetitively, I made no excuses for my behavior, nor did I try and explain it. Also, I've followed through on how I said I'd operate moving forward which is also critical. Do what I say and say what I do... something that was absent during the insanity.

Most people responded positively, and some friendships came back alive, but others couldn't be saved and I had to accept that.

You are a fundamentally different human being now than you were before. You will never be the same as before, but you can be great as who you are now. Some of your old friends will show up for that, others won't, and as long as you are consistent in your new actions your relationships will prosper in my opinion.

As always, more will be revealed...

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Old 06-14-2019, 03:28 PM   #8 (permalink)
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LifeChangeÖ..Ahah! I anticipated that you would not have recent addresses for your old friends. That does happen, these days....
Thus, I propose that one deliberately ask for current addresses in your emails...(and include your own address, of course)Ö..
This helps to keep personal connections....Comes in handy when you want to send them flowers, or a small birthday gift, or plan a drive to their place, etc.
Or, even to send someone to do a wellness check on a friend who is in a crisis...(you never know).
I have preached (nagged) my own adult children to keep a hard copy of vital info. ..collected in a special notebook or stone tablet...Ö
Funny, how they always call ME to find out Uncle John's telephone number or address.....

On another subject....I do think that patience will be required, with your old friends.....some may respond, right away....but, others may need to have a longer time to begin to trust, again.....It does make sense that they may not trust that you would not reunite with your ex, again, and begin the cycle all over, again.
That does happen with the majority of people who have been locked into dysfunctional relationships.....
Again, time....time...time...and, patience. They will probably be watching your actions and behaviors more than just your words.....
Meanwhile, you will have the exciting possibility of building you new social circle....like a flower garden....A "garden" made up of a lovely mixture of the old and the new....Old, trusty and durable perennials....intermixed with fresh, vibrant annuals....the occasional appearance of seasonal bulbs....
All the more beautiful because of the diversity...Ö
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Old 06-14-2019, 04:03 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Cyranoak; thank you, loved your response... especially -

ďYou will never be the same as before, but you can be great as who you are now. Some of your old friends will show up for that, others won't, and as long as you are consistent in your new actions your relationships will prosper.Ē

Youíre right ó Iím certainly not the same person. I am a new man...& hopefully, an even better individual & friend than I was prior. I havenít acknowledged that until now. Thank you for inspiring a validation within myself

Contacting these old friends has provoked many feelings ó & most importantly, makes me feel accountable for myself and my future.

Oh dandylion thank you, as always for your beautiful responses! They ALWAYS make me smile... love the flower analogy as it really is so true. Ultimately Iíd love a diverse group of friends who all knew me at various times and stages in my life. And I will ask for their addresses.

Thank you again everyone. Very helpful...
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