Is there such a thing as redemption? - SoberRecovery : Alcoholism Drug Addiction Help and Information
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Old 04-19-2019, 01:27 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Is there such a thing as redemption?


Like many of us I left a path of destruction with my alcoholism. I embarassed myself numerous times (although mostly I was too drunk to remember any of it). More importantly I embarassed friends and company in general. There are friends who most certainly will never speak to me again and I do not blame them one bit.

I do not expect the friendship back. That will not happen. Is there a subtle way to give something back to people who I embarassed and let down without giving them them any obligations towards me?

Saying sorry is lame and totally inadequite given the circumstances and places of my disgraceful behaviour.
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Old 04-19-2019, 02:14 AM   #2 (permalink)
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There are things in sobriety that are probably best left to the side early on, while one focuses on the need to nurture one's own recovery. It's not necessary to get people to immediately know that you are sorry, but it is vital that you do be sober. Is your motivation that you want them to feel better or that you want to feel better about yourself right now? Behaving differently from a distance may or may not be noticed by others. Leave it up to them to see that you are changing, rather than trying to see that they do notice. The responsibility for prior actions is going to be there forever, whether you feel that you can make amends in some way or not, it's something we have to live with and finally find either self-forgiveness or equanimity.
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Old 04-19-2019, 02:17 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Hi Callas

I think many of us felt that way in the beginning...as it happened, in time, most people forgave me for things - I think they knew I was more than an alcoholic.

I think it's vital we don't forget that either

most of us are good people dealing with a bad problem.

Don't beat yourself into a pulp. Save that energy for staying sober and becoming the real you again

D
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Old 04-19-2019, 05:19 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by letsgetsorted View Post
Theres a saying that goes something like.... "care what people think and forever be their prisoner"

Caring about people is all well and good until it starts to take something from yourself. I think people should be far more selfish.
I really like this thought. At the same time it puzzles me that I like it so much since I often hear in AA that one should learn to be less selfish.
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Old 04-19-2019, 05:30 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I really like this thought. At the same time it puzzles me that I like it so much since I often hear in AA that one should learn to be less selfish.
Yeah, well life is a mystery like that.
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Old 04-19-2019, 06:17 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Redemption: Actual redemption may or may not be possible with other people, who often have long memories. I suppose you might say, "Well forget others. You can redeem yourself." I don't buy that completely. Redemption usually involves others, even if you want to assume all responsibility and control (which you don't have) on your own.

Amends: If you may allow me to be pedantic for a moment, I don't believe amends have anything to do with being sorry. You may in fact feel sorry, but that doesn't come close to making amends even if you formally call the person and tell him you are sorry. I see this over and over in real life, and I recall Hollywood making fun of the AA amends step with someone making a formal apology in a scripted scenario.

An amends is a change in behavior, usually a permanent change. It's an action. Being sorry is not an action beyond saying you are sorry. Those are just words. I could tell you I have a billion dollars in off shore accounts, but those are just words. Saying you are sorry, especially coming from an addict doesn't really mean anything.
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Old 04-19-2019, 06:19 AM   #7 (permalink)
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SELFISH: It depends on the context the word is being used in.

My therapist said no AA for me because it would create a conflict in treatment.

She was trying to build me up following trauma and improve my confidence, they start off tearing down what the believe is an over inflated ego.

Which is fine if you have one.

If youre an abuse or trauma survivor to say that is not a beneficial approach is an understatement.

People use drugs and alcohol for a variety of reasons and this calls for a variety of effective methods of treatment.

If youre using the word selfish as in selfcare you have every right to set your own boundaries and limits on what that includes for you.

If youre using the word in a derogatory fashion it means youre walking on the boundaries of another for your own gain (taking taking taking), and the flip side of that coin is using the word to manipulate, control or put another down.

For instance my sister called me selfish when I stopped being her go to person whenever she needed supoort, but managed to be "busy" whenever I needed a shoulder.

I set a boundary. People dont like change, and yup, it was time to be selfish before I had the life sucked out of me.
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Old 04-19-2019, 09:35 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Callas View Post
Like many of us I left a path of destruction with my alcoholism. I embarassed myself numerous times (although mostly I was too drunk to remember any of it). More importantly I embarassed friends and company in general. There are friends who most certainly will never speak to me again and I do not blame them one bit.

I do not expect the friendship back. That will not happen. Is there a subtle way to give something back to people who I embarassed and let down without giving them them any obligations towards me?

Saying sorry is lame and totally inadequite given the circumstances and places of my disgraceful behaviour.
A sincere apology, followed by new behavior goes a long way.
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Old 04-19-2019, 03:07 PM   #9 (permalink)
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If you make the transformation from a practicing alcoholic to a recovering alcoholic who acts to good purpose everyday, who is honest and who tries to understand and help others, you will undoubtedly experience redemption.

Peoples' image of you will change from being Exhibit A for alcoholism to the face of recovery - an picture of what recovery can be.

That itself is remarkable.

I went from being a case study in what an alcoholic lawyer looks like to being my profession's image of a lawyer who has overcome great hurdles to achieve sobriety.

I credit God and AA, and not myself, for that transformation.

It's interesting that your inquiry about redemption occurs on Good Friday, when we Christians are celebrating our own redemption.

Great thread and question.
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Old 04-19-2019, 03:21 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Saying your sorry is an apology. Making an amends is correcting behavior so that you don't repeat actions that need an apology. Redemption comes from amends, not apologies.
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