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Why do I feel guilty when I am having a good time?

Old 07-09-2013, 05:23 AM
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Why do I feel guilty when I am having a good time?

So I took my son out today, had some fun just the 2 of us my baby is at daycare. Then we went shopping, for the first time in almost 5 years I have some money to spent. Got myself two pairs of sexy boots that I have been eyeing for a while. Bought some stuff for my babies and we had a lovely meal even saw a movie. I should feel on top of the world right? Wrong, I feel sooo guilty because he is not with us and I did not get him anything. That's typical of a Codie, just when you start doing something for yourself you feel guilty. I'm even feeling selfish. But I have to push those feelings aside and enjoy the day with my son.
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Old 07-09-2013, 06:48 AM
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But I have to push those feelings aside and enjoy the day with my son.
It is hard to fully enjoy life when someone I love is suffering. It wasn't until I put it in a different frame in my mind that I could do it better. My Codie brain always feels better when I am doing something for someone else. It's the way I'm wired. So if I begin to understand that if I live my life well and fully I am demonstrating (rather than preaching) HOW to do it, I can do it without guilty feelings.

You are teaching everyone around you have to live with dignity and grace when you live, laugh, and love.....through tough stuff.

gentle hugs
ke
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Old 07-09-2013, 09:45 AM
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Indeed that is typical of a codie. The flip side of what you did is HEALTHY! Do it again and keep doing it It is okay to have fun and enjoy yourself. It is okay to buy yourself something nice and take the kids out to a nice dinner. It is more then okay it is right and good and there is nothing that you should feel guilty for or feel like you are being selfish.

You are living and it is okay to live. The more you do so the easier it becomes. Give yourself permission to enjoy life and to treat yourself and your children to good things after all you deserve it

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Old 07-09-2013, 10:26 AM
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Angel - Check your inbox. I sent you a private message.


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Old 07-09-2013, 01:10 PM
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I think your feelings are sort of like "muscle memory" after so many years of putting everyone else's needs ahead of your own. I like the way Kindeyes described re-framing the situation.

That said, there is one universal truth that can never be denied, the light and the way to happiness and fulfillment, one undeniable fact to which we can all synchronize our individual moral compasses, and the glorious truth is this: one must never, NEVER, feel bad about sexy new boots.
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Old 07-09-2013, 01:45 PM
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Being a healthy parent for your son is nothing to feel selfish about.

Good job at self care.
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Old 07-09-2013, 01:47 PM
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Survivor Guilt


Friday, July 5, 2013

You are reading from the book The Language of Letting Go

Survivor Guilt

We begin recovering. We begin taking care of ourselves. Our recovery program starts to work in our life, and we begin to feel good about ourselves.

Then it hits. Guilt.

Whenever we begin to experience the fullness and joy of life, we may feel guilty about those we've left behind - those not recovering, those still in pain. This survivor guilt is a symptom of codependency.

We may think about the husband we've divorced who is still drinking. We may dwell on a child, grown or adult, still in pain. We may get a phone call from a non-recovering parent who relates his or her misery to us. And we feel pulled into their pain.

How can we feel so happy, so good, when those we love are still in misery? Can we really break away and lead satisfying lives, despite their circumstances? Yes, we can.

And yes, it hurts to leave behind those we love. But keep moving forward anyway. Be patient. Other people's recovery is not our job. We cannot make them recover. We cannot make them happy.

We may ask why we were chosen for a fuller life. We may never know the answer. Some may catch up in their own time, but their recovery is not our business. The only recovery we can truly claim is our own.

We can let go of others with love, and love ourselves without guilt.

Today, I am willing to work through my sadness and guilt. I will let myself be healthy and happy, even though someone I love has not chosen the same path.
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Old 07-11-2013, 06:56 AM
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Without reading the responses of others who have written before me, I want to respond with empathy towards your feelings of guilt. I also have a substantial amount of guilt, not only if I am participating in an activity that brings me joy, but even if I speak out loud about my AH's addiction (yes, I'm being serious), I feel a tremendous amount of guilt.

My thought process is this: "I feel so bad that I am able to experience joy because I was not born with this affliction. I can't stand to talk about my husband in any kind of manner that would make other people think less of him, even if it is just me seeking consolation for the emotional trauma I have endured for almost three years now. I really want to talk about this, but I don't want to go into too much detail so that I don't talk about him behind his back. I would make plans to leave, but that would be dishonest and by premeditating a way out, that isn't good communication. Etc., etc., etc.

I think that the guilt comes into play because of the subtle way that we compromise our opinions and who we are over time. So, when we feel the emotions that we have been lacking for so long, like joy, hope, peace, and unconditional love, we tend to think something is wrong because these are not "normal" emotions for us anymore. We become immune to our unhappiness and accept it as a normal emotion, so guilt settles in when we begin to break away from that which is causing this (now daily) existence.

We actually have to make ourselves uncomfortable to become comfortable with positive emotions before we accept those positive feelings as a way of life. For instance, before we became involved with our addicts, we may have had different boundaries. These boundaries, when crossed, could have set off red flags as we thought "I don't like that. I'm not going to tolerate that behavior and abuse." As our compassion grows for the addict and we live for the addict because of this compassion, we begin to feel the unhappiness and imbalance that the addict feels. As we break away from this, guilt settles in. I believe, once recognizing this and addressing that we have the RIGHT to live joyously, the guilt will dissipate. Maybe not over night, but gradually. At least, that is what I have found in my personal experience thus far.

Love and light,
YG
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