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Has this site or your experience changed how you view others?

Old 04-17-2015, 03:45 PM
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Has this site or your experience changed how you view others?

Has this site, your experience and/or new knowledge on addiction & related issues affected how you view others other than the addict in question?

Do you look at people or situations in general differently? Has it helped explain things, deal with or accept it? I found myself looking at other family members in particular differently and their various issues and behavior. As I do with friends or current events.

Have you become an amateur profiler or diagnostician? It's not so much about jumping to conclusions although that could happen but do you look at people in general differently now after becoming educated and/or familiar with addiction & related issues?
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Old 04-17-2015, 04:29 PM
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My participation in the recovery community has broaden my horizons more than I believed possible. I'm friends with people that are black white, gay straight, rich poor, sinners saint, educated and not, sane and mentally ill, those in recovery those using, young old, male female.

What is amazing is all these diverse people I consider friends. They are not casual acquaintances these are people I've known for years

One thing I know for sure is what you see on the outside is not what is on the inside
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Old 04-17-2015, 05:34 PM
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This site helped me in knowing that I am not alone. That thousands, no, probably hundreds of thousands of parents are also struggling with what to do about a young adult child who is an addict. I don't judge others but I still RARELY ever discuss my daughter's addiction with anyone other than my husband and the people on this site. I may not judge but I feel others do.
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Old 04-17-2015, 06:49 PM
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Originally Posted by MIRecovery View Post
...

One thing I know for sure is what you see on the outside is not what is on the inside
You definitely got that right!

I call it the show or lengths addicts go through to make it seem like it's somebody else's fault or they don't have a problem at all.
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Old 04-17-2015, 08:25 PM
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Everyone has a story.... and, everyone's story matters.
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Old 04-18-2015, 12:46 AM
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We are not so different from one another as our arrogance
would allow us to believe.

Hey...as far as Vale-isms go, that one doesn't suck so bad.

(and I DID learn it the hard way!)
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Old 04-18-2015, 04:52 AM
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when I encounter people who behave poorly, I no longer write plots of intrigue to try to understand them. I keep my English major skills in check.
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Old 04-18-2015, 05:37 AM
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My time in the chat room has DEFINITELY impacted in how I communicate with people in my day to day life.

I find i think A LOT more about what I say in certain situations and have more empathy for people in general.

There have been times where individuals have disclosed their addiciton issues (or that of their loved ones) and i have been able to (with out any hesitation) recommend them to the appropriate support service.

I remember once i was at work and meeting with a parents and mid conversation I was able to look up local AA meetings(for the family alcoholic) and Alanon meetings (for the wife sitting next to him). I could tell them when and where they were and make sure they added the relevant contact number to their phones ... without the knowledge and experience from this site ... I would never have followed that thought for that conversation .. it just happened so naturally

and i listen better ... a lot better

I could go on and on
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Old 04-18-2015, 07:27 AM
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I have not moved from the animosity I have towards my wife. Sometimes I feel my marriage was nothing more than a lie and I was sucked in, I was even not sure about the drug use but had thoughts before we were married. However, I thought I was just imagining things. Thanks to the board I have learned to appreciate the three "C's" but I still harbor resentment and ill will to an extent.

To my own benefit I have moved into an acceptance stage and now focusing on protecting myself and learning to be happy again. To be very honest codependency was my down fall and now that I am focusing on my own happiness I am starting to feel I as though a weight has been lifted. I almost forgot what it was like to be happy and not dealing with the drama of a functioning addict.
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Old 04-18-2015, 08:41 AM
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I have a friend who used to have a drug problem. He ended the drugs and began drinking to replace the habit.

I listened to him over the years and found out recently that he had been doing the drugs off and on when he wanted to. Along with drinking.

He decided to stop living this way and went thru detox and rehab. He is off of any drug except for the one that stops the craving for alcohol and Zoloft.

I found that I didn't interject myself immediately into the recovery process. I left him to his own choices. He is doing well.

I also don't want to be that person for him.

His recover is his and only his. He has stuck with it while rebuilding his life a little more each day.

It's a good feeling that I keep myself in check now. Learning so much over the years but the most from SR. From people who have been thru it, sharing themselves here helping each of us. It truly is a blessing.
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Old 04-18-2015, 08:56 AM
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This site an being in recovery has taught me more about human beings than I ever learned myself. I used to see in black and white and learning to see in shades of gray has changed my life in huge ways.
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Old 04-18-2015, 10:45 AM
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As a Mother of an addict, I have learned humility. Before JJ's addiction rose its ugly head, I had very little empathy or understanding of people's needs. I also was superior thinking and in my job I had so much pride. I now can be very honest with some of my close coworkers about being powerless and I really have learned not to make JJ's addiction a reflection of ME! That is the biggest gift that SR has given me. I am not ashamed of being a mother of an addict and I have such respect for those who have embraced their recovery. I pray JJ becomes a survivor and I will shout it from the rooftops that my son is sober!
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Old 04-18-2015, 10:56 AM
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If I've learned one thing on this site, it's just how much denial and dysfunction there is in this world, and how many people are unable to cut through the denial and make good decisions for themselves.

I used to doubt my own judgment, but I thought that other people were generally together and competent. If someone believed strongly and loudly about something -- an opinion about me, about a relationship, or even about life -- my default presumption was that they were probably right and I was probably wrong.

I no longer doubt my own judgment the way I used to. After a couple of years on this site I am far more discerning now about what I believe of the stories and opinions of others. This goes for everyone in my life -- family, business associates, spiritual advisers -- everyone has their issues. No one is perfect. Nor do they need to be.
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Old 04-18-2015, 04:28 PM
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I have way more empathy now, big time. Recovery is far more complicated than I ever imagined.
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Old 04-19-2015, 08:01 AM
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Originally Posted by thequest View Post
Has this site, your experience and/or new knowledge on addiction & related issues affected how you view others other than the addict in question?

Do you look at people or situations in general differently? Has it helped explain things, deal with or accept it? I found myself looking at other family members in particular differently and their various issues and behavior. As I do with friends or current events.

Have you become an amateur profiler or diagnostician? It's not so much about jumping to conclusions although that could happen but do you look at people in general differently now after becoming educated and/or familiar with addiction & related issues?
Yikes. This is a loaded question.

The short answer is yes. The way I view people and how they behave is different than it was before I knew my AXGF. The 15 months I spent with my AXGF were quite eye opening. It was really a masterclass on how to identify and deal with highly dysfunctional behavior. And the lessons learned in that masterclass are lessons that I apply on a daily basis.

I have a buddy who was living with his GF for a while. He started experiencing personal problems (including codependency) that put a strain on his relationship with her. The way he described her behavior told me she was bad news, and I said so. How did I come to that conclusion? My AXGF taught me words don't matter. Actions and behavior do. My buddy's GF was behaving poorly and in a way that reflected poorly on her character. He fought me on this, calling me cynical and jaded and a misogynist. He told me I didn't understand their relationship and how complicated it is. I simply told him the only thing I need to understand is she was unable to be a committed, mature partner in a romantic relationship with him when the sh*t hits the fan. He came to see, in time, that I was right, and he ditched her.

I no longer tolerate people behaving poorly. What people are is, ultimately, what they do. By that definition, the only people that are in my life are the ones who have shown kindness and loyalty to me when I was at my worst. Everyone else is on the outside looking in. Once someone's there, I don't let them back in. That's how I protect myself. Yes, it's an extremely rigid boundary, but I make no apologies for that.

Hope this helps a bit.
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Old 04-19-2015, 08:49 AM
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Ilovemysonjj,
Just wondering how you got past being ashamed of being an addict's mom. I feel ashamed, embarrassed and like a failure as a mom even though my other adult child is doing great. I feel like if I disclosed his addiction, there are some "friends" and family members who would actually take pleasure in the situation. Maybe I'm wrong. So sad.
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Old 04-19-2015, 12:48 PM
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Dear Gardener, I don't proclaim his addiction on the rooftops, but I DO seek support and I get it from my dear friends. They are all very supportive and would do anything to help JJ as well as our entire family. One of my friends Dad's went to an expensive rehab a few years ago and he is one of JJ's biggest fans. He encourages me to never give up hope. Many of our friends are "partiers" who drink and have fun but drug use is not part of our circle. I used to envy my friends children who are now all grown up and doing well. I still wish my son could enjoy the fun things we do with our other two kids. I think my acceptance that I didn't cause it, I cannot control it and I cannot cure it really helped me see that his drug usage was not due to my actions. There is always a guilty feeling ready to take me over if I let it. What Mother would want her son to be homeless? Then I realize that whenever I bend to the guilt, I begin my enabling all over again!
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Old 04-19-2015, 06:13 PM
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I would say I'm a lot more compassionate. And grateful.
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Old 04-22-2015, 06:35 AM
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I now realize a lot of people have addictions and that explains their weird behavior.
But I'm only trying to save myself nowadays.

Also I have a much better understanding of my parents' and relatives' weaknesses, I feel compassion instead of anger for them because I see that they are carrying pain from previous generations.

And I don't rely on them for validation, so my relationship with them has vastly improved, I have boundaries and they respect my boundaries and I respect theirs.
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