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Old 04-24-2009, 09:05 AM
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If you are having an issue with someone...

Is it always important to tell them? I think of drinking over stuff and wonder. Is it ok just to know it yourself and not say anything? How important is it to sobriety to say how you feel? This may seem like a dumb question, but this is the kind of stuff I've always resorted to drinking over. Thoughts?
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Old 04-24-2009, 09:21 AM
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If the relationship is important enough to drink over, then I'd say it's important enough to discuss with the other party.
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Old 04-24-2009, 09:42 AM
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I think expressing emotion is important, but more often than not verbally expressing every emotion and disappointment is not only tedious, but it's downright tiring. Instead, when I have an issue with someone or something in particular, I try to run it by someone whom I trust (a close gal pal, sponsor, etc..) just to check my own actions and recognize that I am human and can be overly sensitive. If I receive validation that my emotions are pretty on-base then I may or may not disclose my certain comlaints towards the individual I'm struggling with.

It also depends on what kind of problem I'm having and who it's with. For example, if I'm having a disagreement with a close friend, you bet your bottom dollar I'm going to try to resolve that a.s.a.p. because I really care about the relationship. However, if it's with a repeat offender (new guy, old enemy, etc..) i'm more likely to either let it blow over or just start distancing myself from them.
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Old 04-24-2009, 02:05 PM
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I think it's very important to say how you feel, whether to a 3rd party or to the person you have the issue with. It seems most alcoholics/addicts wind up that way because we keep everything inside of us and we use to numb the feelings/pain.

Judy
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Old 04-25-2009, 12:05 AM
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Whatever it is that provokes you to drink is something that you need to consider very carefully. I’ve read suggestions such as making a pledge to yourself that “I promise that if [whatever whatever…] happens I will not drink.

Having said that, look at what a wonderful situation we have here. We have a forum where we can find other people who are recovering from addiction, and who have a secular identity. It seems to me that we don’t always have that luxury in life. The people that we meet at work or in school or wherever may not have specific values, beliefs or goals similar to our own.

I have had to deal with multiple people at my job who are addicted. When you are not high or drunk, and you are talking to someone who is, it’s like talking in circles.
“You shouldn’t drink that right now, we have XYZ to do…”
“Well if I only have one, then it shouldn’t be a problem.’
“Yeah, I know, but you’ve already had one, and now you want another.”
“Sure but since I’m only going to have one more, it won’t really make a difference.”
No matter how much evidence can demonstrate problems in the life of a chemically dependent person, they will always find a way to deny a problem and continue to center their lives around their drug of choice.

This doesn’t just apply to chemically dependent people. This could apply to anyone who is in denial for any reason.
“We’re just friends.’
“Yeah but you spent the night at his house.”
“Well, we didn’t do anything. See? Proof that we’re just friends.”

Look, I don’t have to prove myself to anyone. I don’t have to answer to anyone. If people want to lie to themselves, that’s their business, if they want to lie to me, then I don’t have to put up with it.
Obviously, if it’s a family member or someone that is intimately tied to your life, then it helps to try to work things through, but even family and intimate partners part ways for good reasons.

If there is some potential enlightenment or closeness that can be realized through argument or discussion, then communicate.
Many people are unwilling or unable to realize any benefit from communicating, and, it seems to me, there is very little point in wasting time trying.

Maybe I’m the wrong person to ask. I’m painfully seasoned in the act of severing ties.
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Old 04-25-2009, 08:41 AM
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Very interesting points - all of them and I am going to chew them over and respond individually. I had a setback of sorts, day before yesterday. I was honest, called the treatment center and said I would not be coming as I was drinking. I did receive a call back from the therapist saying he was looking forward to my return on Monday. I can see there are layers upon layers of things I just do not address. So what do I do? Sit and second guess myself over my feelings and pick up a drink. I tell myself I must be "sure" I am entitled to my feelings and that I am "being fair." I sit and tell myself I have to "process" said feelings in order to avoid ruining relationships. Well, the two I have had down here are ruined, for all intents and purposes. Now I am COMPLETELY alone. My one GF here told me she has tried to include me in her life as she feels "sorry for me," as if I'm some charity case. And Freepath, I *did* spend the night with someone and I am *not* casual about that - but he is. I know I should kick him to the curb, but...

Sure, I have friends in CA and MN - but no one where I live. And I constantly struggle with the concept of what am I doing here? Then I look at where I live and there is no way in heck I could replicate what I have. It's quiet, it's peaceful, it's beautiful and I have more space than one person needs - except for me I need a LOT of space. And it just happens to be paid for. That is my internal battle almost each day.

Well, enough about me. I am just trying to make it through the day without beating myself up too much. There are closets to be cleaned and things to throw out and things to be donated to people who have far less than I do. My house has never honestly looked so good in ages - if ever. I have a great shrink, great therapist, great meds and great treatment program therapist. The only thing missing is the support piece where I live. SR is a Godsend, if I don't mind using that language, which I don't.
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Old 04-25-2009, 08:58 AM
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As a sidenote, my friend Larry from CA is given to "disclosure" about me! At first I was upset and just hid from the neighbors. Turns out the guy across the street is a Dr. who balances neurotransmitters as part of his practice. Turns out the next door neighbors - one has been in Alanon for 25 years and her husband is going to an AA retreat this weekend. I've lived here five plus years and NEVER knew I had these types of people living right here. I may just call on them. In fact when he was out in the driveway, one actually asked how I was doing. He responded - very well, which was true at that moment. Well, my point is I don't have to seclude myself here. I CAN ask for help, which is very good.
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Old 04-25-2009, 09:14 AM
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Originally Posted by katie 09
but this is the kind of stuff I've always resorted to drinking over.
Then yes it is important to say something.

One thing i learnt early on in sobriety is that i have to face issues i have with people head on. The mad thing is that once it's sorted out the issue isn't half as big as i originally thought. It only gets big if i dwell on it and not sort it out, chances usually are the other person has only given it a little thought.

I never liked confrontation, i would always back down or back off then dwell on it. What i have learnt now is that confrontation is a necessary evil, it has to be done to keep me sober.

Paul
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Old 04-25-2009, 04:27 PM
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Well, tonight I am going to get a LOT of practice regarding confrontation. I almost feel sick.
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Old 04-26-2009, 12:32 PM
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I tell myself I must be "sure" I am entitled to my feelings
Why wouldn’t you be?
I have to "process" said feelings in order to avoid ruining relationships.
Or realize that some relationships are better off ruined.
My one GF here told me she has tried to include me in her life as she feels "sorry for me," as if I'm some charity case.
That wasn’t a nice thing to say. If she was sincere, perhaps she’s not a very good friend.
I *did* spend the night with someone and I am *not* casual about that - but he is. I know I should kick him to the curb, but...
Just for the sake of clarity, I was not making a statement about how people should live. I was just saying that sometimes we have relationships which are incompatible for whatever reason and fretting about it is useless.

I once heard it described like this:
You kneel at the edge of a stream which is flowing from you left to your right side. You put your hand into the water to take a drink. Water will flow in and out of your hand. You can’t worry about the water that has passed. Lift the water that is in you hand, and take a drink.
Now think of the water as love.
Quit worrying about the love or friendship that has passed through your hands, and take a drink of the love and friendship that exists in your hands right now.
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Old 04-26-2009, 01:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Freepath View Post

I have had to deal with multiple people at my job who are addicted. When you are not high or drunk, and you are talking to someone who is, it’s like talking in circles.
“You shouldn’t drink that right now, we have XYZ to do…”
“Well if I only have one, then it shouldn’t be a problem.’
“Yeah, I know, but you’ve already had one, and now you want another.”
“Sure but since I’m only going to have one more, it won’t really make a difference.”
No matter how much evidence can demonstrate problems in the life of a chemically dependent person, they will always find a way to deny a problem and continue to center their lives around their drug of choice.

This doesn’t just apply to chemically dependent people. This could apply to anyone who is in denial for any reason.
“We’re just friends.’
“Yeah but you spent the night at his house.”
“Well, we didn’t do anything. See? Proof that we’re just friends.”
I don't see how the two scenarios above have anything to do with each other? I completely agree with the first scenario, but the second is sketchy.

Are you saying that spending the night at someone's house means you are automatically involved with them as more than friends and are in denial if you say you are only friends? I have spent the night at the homes of single male friends on a number of occasions. And guess what? I have never been more than friends with most of them, and never will be. It was late, it was a long drive home or I was drunk, and I slept on the couch. Alone. That does not mean I'm in denial about wanting to be involved with them because mostly I don't like them as more than friends and the ones I like as more than friends I am crystal clear about (even if I would never tell them). So... how does that tie in to being in denial about drinking?
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Old 04-26-2009, 01:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Freepath View Post

Just for the sake of clarity, I was not making a statement about how people should live. I was just saying that sometimes we have relationships which are incompatible for whatever reason and fretting about it is useless.

I once heard it described like this:
You kneel at the edge of a stream which is flowing from you left to your right side. You put your hand into the water to take a drink. Water will flow in and out of your hand. You can’t worry about the water that has passed. Lift the water that is in you hand, and take a drink.
Now think of the water as love.
Quit worrying about the love or friendship that has passed through your hands, and take a drink of the love and friendship that exists in your hands right now.
I feel like you just slapped me on the face. I needed that. Cuz I've been very worried/upset about my ex (I haven't spoken to him in 6 days now, and have a new phone number that he does not have... *sigh*). And I have other things to worry about. Staying c&s for one. And... there's this guy who has been very patient and is not pushing hard for anything and is letting me have my space to work everything out. But it's obvious he's waiting for me to pull it together and have time for him.

I'm so about to cause family drama if I decide to date this guy (not yet. Giving myself some sober time before that happens). My sis *likes* him.
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Old 04-26-2009, 02:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Freepath View Post
I once heard it described like this:
You kneel at the edge of a stream which is flowing from you left to your right side. You put your hand into the water to take a drink. Water will flow in and out of your hand. You can’t worry about the water that has passed. Lift the water that is in you hand, and take a drink.
Now think of the water as love.
Quit worrying about the love or friendship that has passed through your hands, and take a drink of the love and friendship that exists in your hands right now.
That analogy is awesome it created such a clear picture in my mind of the water flowing etc, thank you for posting that I think I'll print it out and keep it handy.

Judy
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Old 04-26-2009, 03:04 PM
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Originally Posted by digderidoo View Post
Then yes it is important to say something.

One thing i learnt early on in sobriety is that i have to face issues i have with people head on. The mad thing is that once it's sorted out the issue isn't half as big as i originally thought. It only gets big if i dwell on it and not sort it out, chances usually are the other person has only given it a little thought.

I never liked confrontation, i would always back down or back off then dwell on it. What i have learnt now is that confrontation is a necessary evil, it has to be done to keep me sober.

Paul
True, and it doesn't even have to be all that bad, as long as one is respectful. The kind of confrontation I refer to is the relationship ending kind of confrontation - when things have just been damaged beyond repair. I hate when that happens. I was told by a "friend" that the only reason she was "friends" with me was because she felt sorry for me. That is a deal-breaker. I don't need anyone's pity.

Well, I must admit I had a great night last night - no confrontation - rather COMMUNICATION! I was able to share my vulnerabilties and it was all good. But then this is a person who does homeless outreach for a living - so he is clearly not all bad. In fact, I've heard stories about what this really means - not to gross anyone out, but can you imagine having to clean someone up - if you know what I mean? This is not something I could do for a living and God Bless the people who are able to do this. I can volunteer, sure, and I have volunteered in a place where odors were powerful, but still...
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Old 04-26-2009, 04:24 PM
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You're correct, confrontation is all about communicating your feelings in a respectful way. I guess that was something i never did whilst drinking, it always ended up with me being argumentative.

It was a hard one for me to do, but it was the very first thing i learnt. For me, it's all about facing any issues head on and stare at them in the face, rather than dwelling on them. But you are correct it must be done respectfully but also with assertiveness i feel. And what i've found is that the other person generally respects you for it, and if they don't well that's just something they have to do deal with.

Paul
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Old 04-26-2009, 07:04 PM
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Are you saying that spending the night at someone's house means you are automatically involved with them as more than friends and are in denial if you say you are only friends? I have spent the night at the homes of single male friends on a number of occasions. And guess what? I have never been more than friends with most of them, and never will be. It was late, it was a long drive home or I was drunk, and I slept on the couch. Alone. That does not mean I'm in denial about wanting to be involved with them because mostly I don't like them as more than friends and the ones I like as more than friends I am crystal clear about (even if I would never tell them). So... how does that tie in to being in denial about drinking?
Yeah, maybe that one (which seems to have caused a little stir) could use a little clarity. I suppose that I was trying to make a point by thinking of people in my past who I had to sever ties with simply because we were not compatible.
LOL please! Everybody! Just go out and spend the night at each other’s houses! I promise it’s okay with me!



I had an ex-girlfriend in the dim dark past; we were on again off again many times…a lot of it simply had to do with the idea that she was not ready for a commitment. She said she was, but every time I turned around she had met someone new. Every time she went out on the town or started to date someone else, we would have arguments which sounded a lot like the above.
Had we both been more introspective and realized what was actually happening, we could have realized our different needs and goals and avoided a lot of drama…
Talking in circles, arguing without getting anywhere, that was what I was thinking of.
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Old 04-26-2009, 07:24 PM
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Old 04-27-2009, 01:21 AM
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Originally Posted by windysan View Post
Took a couple of years to get my thick skin back.
And just how did you do this? I confess this IS an issue for me. I think sometimes people with addictions are more sensitive than regular folks. What is your secret?
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Old 04-27-2009, 01:22 AM
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Originally Posted by suki44883 View Post
If the relationship is important enough to drink over, then I'd say it's important enough to discuss with the other party.
I could not agree with you more. Thanks for stating this in a way that I can just keep in mind without taxing my brain too much
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Old 04-27-2009, 01:27 AM
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Originally Posted by 123bubblegum123 View Post
I think expressing emotion is important, but more often than not verbally expressing every emotion and disappointment is not only tedious, but it's downright tiring. Instead, when I have an issue with someone or something in particular, I try to run it by someone whom I trust (a close gal pal, sponsor, etc..) just to check my own actions and recognize that I am human and can be overly sensitive. If I receive validation that my emotions are pretty on-base then I may or may not disclose my certain comlaints towards the individual I'm struggling with.

It also depends on what kind of problem I'm having and who it's with. For example, if I'm having a disagreement with a close friend, you bet your bottom dollar I'm going to try to resolve that a.s.a.p. because I really care about the relationship. However, if it's with a repeat offender (new guy, old enemy, etc..) i'm more likely to either let it blow over or just start distancing myself from them.
Yes, there is no reason to discuss every little feeling and I agree it can be tedious. I guess I am thinking about the kind of things that I mull over too much and get thoroughly confused over. Tomorrow night I spill my guts at rehab. I was already told once or twice I am not there to entertain them, or something like that, which I think I am finally getting. I tend to want to be "pleasant" and really hate confrontation and anger. I would rather drink at times than take the risk to really say how I feel and perhaps start some ugly argument. Heck, my entire immediate family doesn't even know I deal with what I deal with in terms of issues. But I like to keep it that way, so no one can use it against me.
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