Blogs


Notices

Help! Reaching out to SR

Old 05-22-2013, 04:24 PM
  # 1 (permalink)  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Leshar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Canada
Posts: 3,001
Help! Reaching out to SR

I'm on day 22 today, and I'm feeling very irritable, because of a task that a friend wants me to help her with. She's a teacher, and co-ordinates an art show for students, the prizes are donated by various local businesses, and art patrons.
So, she wants me to help her address thank you cards to the various donors, with a note to each student winner inside, basically saying that they should send this thank you card to the prize giver. The cards are given to the winners at the prize giving, about 40 winners.

I think it's silly and a waste of time, because, in my opinion, it infantalizes the students, if they want to send a nice thank you card, that's their business. I tried to tell my friend that last night on the phone, but she's stuck in her idea. She said before she had the thank you card idea, that some students sent an email thank you note to the donors, and she thinks that's so rude. Well, I don't, and I'm sort of old school, but it's the world we live in now, and I don't really have a problem with it.
So, I have to go over there in about an hour, and I'm so irritable I'm afraid I'll lose it with my friend. Before, I'd get a bottle of wine to have at home, once I got home, and that would sustain me through a tense time at my friend's, knowing that I had my "stress medicine" to look forward to.

I love my friend dearly, she's one of very few friends I have and I don't want to hurt her. She doesn't want to listen to other time-saving ideas I had about the art show, it's her baby, and it's her way, no-one else can have ideas.

I've read here about how you don't have to anaesthetize feelings with booze, but I'm really struggling last night and today.
I know it seems really trivial, sorry for going on, but I don't usually reach out to anyone for help, and I'm soooo having a bad couple of days.

Any ideas on how to grin and bear it with my friend and this time waste project so I don't get mad at her? Feeling like I could get mad is a new feeling for me, I guess I have to learn so many new ways of coping with life's stressors, big and small.
Leshar is offline  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Leshar For This Useful Post:
RevivingOphelia (05-22-2013), tootsl1 (05-22-2013)
Old 05-22-2013, 05:23 PM
  # 2 (permalink)  
Member
 
OneLessLonely's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 1,424
Congrats on 22 days!! Try to focus on that amazing accomplishment. AND good job for reaching out when you're having a difficult time. If you truly think going to your friends may trigger you to drink, then by all means, cancel. You should protect your sobriety by any means possible. If it were me and my sobriety was safe, I would look at this in the most general sense possible- helping out a friend, regardless of my own disagreement of the task. I would regret saying I'd do it, but follow through, and know better for the next time. While you're doing it, try to stay in the moment. Pay attention to your breathing, the feel of the paper, the sounds around you. Maybe it will turn out to be a great night with good conversation that you would have missed out if you didn't go. You know?
OneLessLonely is offline  
The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to OneLessLonely For This Useful Post:
AugustWest11 (05-22-2013), Leshar (05-22-2013), sugarbear1 (05-22-2013), tootsl1 (05-22-2013)
Old 05-22-2013, 05:31 PM
  # 3 (permalink)  
Living and Loving Life at Last
 
tootsl1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: gods own country
Posts: 10,702
Blog Entries: 8
Personally, I would take a deep breath, put my own feelings to one side and help my friend.
As you say, this project is her baby, she is obviously wanting to control it her own way, but is it really such a hardship to write these notes? Look on it as a chance for a chat, time to spend together.
If you still consider it too much of a trigger, I would suggest it is more likely the nature of this particular friendship rather than the specifics of the task which is the real issue. Only you know the answer to that.
What ever you chose to do though, drinking is never a solution.
tootsl1 is offline  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to tootsl1 For This Useful Post:
doggonecarl (05-23-2013), Leshar (05-22-2013)
Old 05-22-2013, 05:57 PM
  # 4 (permalink)  
Administrator
 
Anna's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Dancing in the Light
Posts: 54,131
In my opinion, you should do what you feel is right.

It was really important for me to stop doing things I 'should' do and learn to say 'No' when appropriate. It was crucial for my recovery to stop being a people-pleaser and to stop stifling my feelings. If you don't want to do the thank-you cards, tell your friend you're not available to help out right now.
Anna is online now  
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Anna For This Useful Post:
1newcreation (05-23-2013), Leshar (05-22-2013), tootsl1 (05-23-2013)
Old 05-22-2013, 06:03 PM
  # 5 (permalink)  
Administrator
 
Dee74's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Australia
Posts: 189,220
Blog Entries: 1
I'm with Anna - if you feel it's silly and a waste of time, and your contributions are not heard, then have the courage of your convictions and say so...or at least bow out.

If, on the other hand, you just might be a bit irritable cos you're feeling a little sorry for yourself and everything is stupid right now, then you need to work that out too

D
Dee74 is offline  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Dee74 For This Useful Post:
Leshar (05-22-2013), tootsl1 (05-23-2013)
Old 05-22-2013, 06:07 PM
  # 6 (permalink)  
Crazy Cat Lady
 
DisplacedGRITS's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 2,662
Blog Entries: 3
In the future, if you have a problem with a task like this consider turning it down. You don't have to be everything to everyone. For now, take a deep breath and consider what you're doing. You're being self centered right now. The task you're taking on is helping your friend. Perhaps, instead of focusing on how much you dislike the task, you should focus on the fact that you are being of service to someone. Give your heart over to the spirit of the task, not the task itself. Are you missing out on doing something important because of this or are you just pissed that you are being inconvienced? Get out of your head and get into the spirit of being of service to a friend. I wonder if she would regret asking for your help if you snap at her. It's not her fault that you are discontent. It's yours.
DisplacedGRITS is offline  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to DisplacedGRITS For This Useful Post:
Leshar (05-22-2013), tootsl1 (05-23-2013)
Old 05-22-2013, 06:30 PM
  # 7 (permalink)  
Member
 
bigsombrero's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Central America
Posts: 4,063
Blog Entries: 5
I don't think it's silly at all. When I was involved in PR and sales, recognizing the donors, clients and contributors was a huge part of the job. Every winter my sales team sent huge boxes of popcorn, chocolate, and other goodie baskets to our clients. I didn't address the envelopes - but somebody did! It was important to us to reach out. I understand you feel you're doing this by "prodding" a child, but maybe you should change your thinking. A child will learn manners, how to say "thank you" - not every kid gets that kind of training at home. This is a little thing that is both helping your friend, your friend's business, and a kid somewhere. And who knows, the donors will probably appreciate it too.

Nice job on staying sober, keep it up!
bigsombrero is offline  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to bigsombrero For This Useful Post:
Leshar (05-22-2013), tootsl1 (05-23-2013)
Old 05-22-2013, 07:07 PM
  # 8 (permalink)  
Member
 
Bruce292's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Center of Mass
Posts: 622
Originally Posted by Leshar View Post
I know it seems really trivial, sorry for going on, but I don't usually reach out to anyone for help, and I'm soooo having a bad couple of days.
It's not trivial if it's turning your thoughts to drinking. Yesterday I came very close to driving to the liquor store because we were going to have a thunder storm. Yup, a thunderstorm! I remembered how much I loved to be high when those storms rolled through. It made me really angry that I couldn't be in a certain mental state to experience it properly.

I'm finding lots of little things that irritate me. These are the sorts of things that would always give me an excuse to drink. That being said, I think certain things have always irritated me. The only difference now is I'm not drinking. When I think back on it drinking never helped much with life's annoyances. Often times it made it worse because I would obsess over them. At least now I can look at whatever is bugging me with a rational mind even if I can't always solve it.

Hang in there and don't give up!
Bruce292 is offline  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Bruce292 For This Useful Post:
Leshar (05-22-2013), tootsl1 (05-23-2013)
Old 05-22-2013, 09:53 PM
  # 9 (permalink)  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Leshar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Canada
Posts: 3,001
Many, many thanks for all the responses and support, this means a great deal to me.

It was a very difficult evening, but I kept trying to pay attention to my breathing.
My friend is an angel, she takes on far too many projects, and she is disorganized by nature, but even more so when she's got too much on. She couldn't remember where shed put half the stuff we needed, that took ages to find, then, well look the bottom line is that if she had a better system going, just some easy changes to make, things would go better.

She was so panicky about getting everything done on time that we didn't have time to really visit. The exact same thing happened last year when I helped. I'll bow out next year i think!

Toots, no we have a very good friendship and I love helping her, a couple of weeks ago i helped her clear out her garage, that was a lot of fun. I guess I just don't like inefficiency where I know that simple changes would make her project easier and take less time.

Big sombrero, thanks for your interesting point, I never thought of this as a means to help a young person learn/be aware of some good old fashioned values! Point taken!

Displacedgrits, you're so right, it is my fault not my dear friends that I am discontent, and I do really enjoy helping her, I guess I admit I was projecting my irritability onto a tangible annoyance, thanks well put! Dee, too.

Bruce, I'm with you, we just have to ride out the negative, irritable feelings sans booze.

Thanks all, it feels good to be heard and given a gentle dose of reality!
On to day 23.
SR rocks!!
Leshar is offline  
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Leshar For This Useful Post:
Bruce292 (05-23-2013), Dee74 (05-22-2013), tootsl1 (05-23-2013)
Old 05-23-2013, 02:14 AM
  # 10 (permalink)  
Living and Loving Life at Last
 
tootsl1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: gods own country
Posts: 10,702
Blog Entries: 8
I'm glad the evening went ok and you survived without the dreaded drink! Well done!
I also get irritated at inefficiency so I do know what you mean! Perhaps there is a way that you can offer future help that doesn't come across to her as telling her how things should be done? Nothing in life comes with out complications large or small!!
tootsl1 is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to tootsl1 For This Useful Post:
Leshar (05-23-2013)
Old 05-23-2013, 07:12 AM
  # 11 (permalink)  
Grateful to be free
 
Threshold's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Arizona
Posts: 3,681
Blog Entries: 64
I'm glad it went ok. But I'll pipe in for the sake of the folks reading this ex post facto...because I think it's an issue that comes up a lot of the time.

A very important part of my recovery was to learn to establish healthy boundaries. I needed to learn to manage even budget my time, energy, emotions etc.

I had to learn to stop saying yes to things that I didn't believe in or agree with. I needed to learn to be realistic in how much time and energy a task would take and if I could afford to add it to my schedule.

If your friend asks you to do something that goes against your beliefs, then say no to that and see if there is some other part that you can feel good about assisting with. Be clear about how much time and energy you have, don't leave it open ended. Choose your battles wisely.


I found I fretted over some things that just weren't worth the time or energy. I just said no, the same way I do to booze and drugs...and the thing became a non issue. I quit some organizations I had previously been part of. Dropped some contributions to groups I didn't feel 100% about. And found causes that I feel fulfilled for putting time and effort into.
Threshold is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to Threshold For This Useful Post:
Leshar (05-23-2013)
Old 05-23-2013, 07:34 AM
  # 12 (permalink)  
Member
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Canada
Posts: 63
One thing that I have been learning is safe people, boundaries, personality disorders, and friendships. Its helped me to learn that when a yes means yes, and no is no. What you have/are feeling and expressing is normal. The fog has lifted and now your seeing what you have aloud into your life. Congrats on 22days!
Sabotage No More is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to Sabotage No More For This Useful Post:
Leshar (05-23-2013)
Old 05-23-2013, 01:59 PM
  # 13 (permalink)  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Leshar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Canada
Posts: 3,001
To Threshold and Sabotage no More, you have both given me food for thought, thank you.
I've always tended to be a people pleaser, and at times it has worn on me, and I would stuff away resentments with booze.
It's not so much that I'm afraid of uncomfortable dialogue if I say no to whatever, it's more that a friend may just cut me out of her life if I try to maintain my boundaries and I only have a couple of girlfriends i see not too often, and I feel lonely and isolated as it is. That happened a year ago with one friend, when i tried to assert myself, long story, and she didn't talk to me for at least 6 months, and I drank more then i was so unhappy.
We have repaired our friendship, thankfully.

The friend I met with last night, she always asks me to do cat care, plant and lawn care when she goes away, even though she has a bunch of friends who live closer than me who could help. I think she thinks its good for me cos im single and not working, her other friends are married with kids etc, but I do have a life! oh wait! well, yes, im looking forward to really living, haha! She's going away for 3 weeks this July, and I plan to tell her that I will happily help for one week, but she must ask others to cover the other 2 weeks. I remember last year when I was on duty for 2 weeks, I felt so resentful by the end of the time that I drank multiple drinks from her booze cabinet, so much so that I was wasted, seeing double, had to get a cab home. I feel terrible thinking about it now, so not the way I want to deal with life's stressors.

[B]i have a voice!![B] I can use it!
Thank you everyone, yes the fog is lifting and I am learning day by day.
Leshar is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to Leshar For This Useful Post:
Threshold (05-23-2013)
Old 05-23-2013, 02:05 PM
  # 14 (permalink)  
Keeping it simple!
 
LadyinBC's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Surrey, BC
Posts: 3,285
Blog Entries: 2
Congrats on 22 days! Yup I'm also a people pleaser. I also remember being extremely irritable in the first couple of months so maybe sit back, take a few deep breaths and see if you are really irritable at her or yourself. I know many times I was annoyed with myself and I would become irritable with others. Hope this makes sense!
LadyinBC is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to LadyinBC For This Useful Post:
Leshar (05-23-2013)
Old 05-23-2013, 02:14 PM
  # 15 (permalink)  
Grateful to be free
 
Threshold's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Arizona
Posts: 3,681
Blog Entries: 64
That's awesome that you are being proactive and have planned how you will handle the pet sitting thing when it comes up.

I think it's a huge help for us to be prepared with a "script" and not be put on the spot and us stuttering for words.

I "lost" some friends when I began to make better choices for myself, but I also strengthened my relationship with myself, and it's important that I be my own best friend first. I also improved as many relationships as I lost!

the thing is healthy boundaries work BOTH ways! When I respect my own I am actually being more respectful of other people's boundaries as well. And I am freeing them of the burden of defining me and myself of the burden of trying to shape myself to fit their definition.
Threshold is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to Threshold For This Useful Post:
Leshar (05-23-2013)
Old 05-23-2013, 02:24 PM
  # 16 (permalink)  
2Cor5:17
 
1newcreation's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Between Doctor's opinion & pg 164
Posts: 3,391
Good for you on 22 days!
All that you're feeling is restless, irritable & discontent so you get rid of R.I.D by going to a meeting or calling sponsor/network. Its tuf I undstd but it will take a few wks(maybe mths) for u're body to adjust to dealing w/ life w/o alc
U doing good just hang in there
1newcreation is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to 1newcreation For This Useful Post:
Leshar (05-23-2013)

Currently Active Users Viewing this Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off




All times are GMT -7. The time now is 06:18 PM.