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Any Other Secular Friends/Family Here?

Old 06-22-2013, 05:40 PM
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Any Other Secular Friends/Family Here?

Hi,

I'm new, and hope there are others like me here (see title line).

I've just ended (perhaps permanently) a friendship of several years, with someone with multiple addictions as well as mental illness. I should've done it sooner, but I couldn't bring myself to, before now. And I was partly in denial.

I'm sad. And I know that I really need to learn better to set boundaries, for my own protection.

Anyway, I'll be really glad to hear from anyone else who's a friend or family member and is dealing with similar issues.

My best to anyone/everyone who reads this.

Nat
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wiscsober (06-23-2013)
Old 06-22-2013, 07:48 PM
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Thanks Natasia....I was trying to find a good thread to plop my butt down in and end the night with.

I am agnostic and attend Alanon.

I am well-versed in rational emotive therapy

In other programs I use I know of many alcoholics, addicts, with schizophrenia.

One of the greatest needs in dealing with addicts and the mentally ill,
and really anybody in our life is setting boundaries.

It can be as defined as stating if they are using they can no longer call me...blocking them...

to simply asking if it is alright to hug or touch....

boundaries let us react appropriately, or best -- not to react at all.
prevents verbal and physical abuse,
expresses our rights to privacy

In working with alcoholics/addicts first thing right up, even with my sponsor, we focus on recovery and ourselves -- relationship counseling, finances, medications, employment, housing, are all off limits....we don't ask for advice seek out a professional

Natasia sounds like you have moved on....
I think it would be helpful for all of us that you posted often
seems to me either it comes naturally for you, or you learned how to lead a positive life...an assertive life

Thank you...good night!
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Natasia (06-22-2013)
Old 06-22-2013, 10:59 PM
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Hi Wiscsober,

Thanks for replying. I can use all the insight I can get.

I've partially moved-on, I suppose. This has been coming for longer than I was consciously aware of. Probably much longer. And my friend and I managed a graceful end to this, really. There wasn't a big fight or anything; we told each other how much we cared. This happened at a relatively good 'moment' as far as her mood went; I can only imagine how she'll react when her mood changes (it almost certainly has already, maybe several times).

I hope she'll finally get serious about getting help, but I don't know if we'll ever speak again. Even if she gets well, being in contact might be a trigger to one of us. Time will tell.

I have an odd combination of grief and relief. There's part of me still second-guessing myself, but I know deep down that this was the best thing to do. I'd never had experience with an addict before, wasn't aware of her addiction for a long time, and I'm no professional. It's simply not a job for a friend.

I have sub-clinical PTSD myself, and see a trauma therapist once a month (it's all I can afford, but he's great and it does help). I also take an anti-anxiety med and have finally found an antidepressant combination that works for me, so I'm able to actually make use of what I learn in therapy.

My mom was severely mentally ill and untreated, and being with messed-up people has been a pattern. I've been plenty messed-up in my time, myself. I married a verbally abusive man (twice), and most of my closest friendships were with people who had serious problems that they weren't attending to. I'd thought I was past that, but I missed some red flags with this friend.

I do have some emotionally healthy friends, now, and that's really good for me. I often look to them as examples of how to handle life more sanely. In some ways I still have a long way to go, but it's finally seeming like there's light at the end of the tunnel.

Sorry, but I thought maybe more of an intro was in order. I tend to be long-winded, but usually edit myself quite a lot.

I hope this thread stays alive, and that we may pick up some more friends/family who'd prefer a secular approach to dealing with addicts they know, as well as anyone who's got some input that may be useful.

It's been an awfully long day. Goodnight, to whoever's reading this, and I hope for peace and health for us all.
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wiscsober (06-23-2013)
Old 06-23-2013, 08:20 AM
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You can always bump a thread by adding another post...
if you aren't getting posts.

You may want to look at forums for "Families and Friends of....."
those are very active....

Yes you revealed a lot more

With what you have experienced in your life...and what you are thinking and feeling....
just keep up with what you are doing....therapy and SR.

Keep your family, friends, involved...

If there is an "attraction" for relationships with people who are mentally ill....you might want to check your local NAMI (National Alliance for the Mentally Ill) see if they have support group for family members....

Keep the focus on yourself....

Personally, I close chapters in my life. Better than to have bridges burnt.

No matter how your ex-friend reacts positive or negative you do not have to react at all. You have positive friends who you spend quality time with.

Rather blunt, but people who don't share the same interests as me, aren't like-minded, are self-absorbed, etc...are just time-wasters...if I let them barriers to my goals.

You can post wherever you want....try another forum too...post that you want advice and suggestions in a secular manner
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Natasia (06-23-2013)
Old 06-23-2013, 08:54 AM
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I just read this and maybe it will be some help to you and others
Its from 'The Daily Love'

Are you sick and tired of being sick and tired?

You know, if you think about it, there will ALWAYS be a reason to wait for change.
Not this week, thereís too much stuff going on. And next week, well, Iím traveling next week so I canít start then.
Oh, and the week after that Ė itís my birthday, so Iíll wait.
Next thing you know, excuse after excuse, we have made up our minds to not change for a month, two months, maybe even more!

We will always find what we go looking for.
And if we want to find excuses that hold us back from transformation, we will find TONS! Yes Ė TONS!
They are everywhere.
And many of us have a group of friends who donít want to change, too Ė who will back us up with our excuses.
Who we hang out with is who we become.
The environment we live in molds us more than anything else.

We gotta be super mindful of the people we surround ourselves with and where we choose to exist and be.
There are plenty of people in the world who will positively affirm mediocrity! Not because they are bad people, no Ė but because they do not know any better.

For most people, excuses not to change are commonplace and socially acceptable.
But if you are on The Path and ready for transformation, excuses are just another form of resistance that is holding you back!
If you want to argue for your limitations, you will justify and further create them!

But that is not who you ARE! That is not where you want to LIVE!
Mediocrity is not your emotional home!
Itís a clichť, but itís true that if we seek, we will find.
So today, instead of seeking for reasons or excuses NOT to change Ė start to look for reasons why you should change and get motivated.

Itís moments like this when itís important to GET REAL with yourself.
Not so you judge yourself, but so you can see the truth of how things are Ė and when we see the truth, we begin to set ourselves free.
And when we do that, we start to make positive change.

Are you in denial about your weight? (This excludes anyone who has a hormone imbalance, but for most people thatís not the case.)
Instead of calling yourself big boned, or ignoring the problem, get real with yourself Ė YOUíRE FAT! And accept it, and then DO something about it.
How much longer do you want to live there?

Are you spending too much money Ė money that you donít have?
Itís time to knock it off, face your bills and get real with a budget. Stop hiding from your bills.
Are you addicted to being angry or sad? Do you get connection and Love from people by telling your sad story over and over again Ėbut deep down you know itís time to change?
Itís time to accept what happened and give what happened an empowering meaning. And know that you can get your needs met in healthier ways.

Are you drinking or smoking too much? How is that habit affecting your health and the health of those around you?
You say you can stop at any time. Well if thatís the case Ė why not stop now?
How much longer do you want to avoid your feelings and push them down with an addiction that isnít serving you?

Maybe you are in a relationship with someone who you KNOW isnít good for you Ė but you are terrified of letting go and facing the unknown alone.
Yet, you know this situation wonít get any better. So you settle for 10% Love that has turned into poison, instead of letting go and facing the fear of being alone.
Do you Love yourself enough to let go of this toxic situation, feel your feelings and trust The Uni-verse that a miracle is around the corner once you let go?
You deserve MORE than this!

Begin to surround yourself with people who lift you up. We gotta love negative people, but sometimes itís okay to love them from a distance when we are in recovery or in the beginning stages of transformation.

From today forward, letís not justify our excuses.
From today forward, letís get real with ourselves and see how we are truly acting and use the white hot pain of that truth as ammunition to change our lives. How much longer do you want to live like this?
Some gnarly stuff may have gone down in the past, but today is a new day and today YOU have the power of choice. How do you want to view what happened? Who are you choosing to surround yourself with and where? And from this moment forward what are you going to do about it, every-single-day? You will surely arrive one year from now Ė the question is where, with whom and in what state.

Are you ready for change?

As always, the action happens in the comments below, leave a comment and join the conversation! The TDL Community thrives in the comments and itís a GREAT place to get support!

Iím sending you some daily love,

Mastin


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Natasia (06-24-2013)
Old 06-24-2013, 02:21 AM
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Lightbulb

Thanks for the replies, again! Everything helps ...

Not much new to report, today, but I got some things done around the house that I'd been putting-off. And I'm starting to relax. I knew that I'd been tense and stressed-out, but I'm starting to realize how much so I had been. And how responsible I had felt for my former friend. It's a real eye-opener!
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Old 06-24-2013, 10:18 AM
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One of the things I love about support forums is coming across something that I REALLY needed to read today. I've been struggling and feel a bit adrift, even after four years. This was good for me today. Thanks for posting it.
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Old 06-24-2013, 11:44 AM
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I'm glad you took the time to say that. Keep finding what you need!

Somehow, it reminded me: I have this old habit (working on ridding myself of it) of not asking for help, thinking that I'd just be bothering someone. But my experience has been the opposite. And I know how good I feel when I can help, even a little.

I think in our culture we tend to forget the positive impact we can make in little, everyday-type interactions with people.

(Oops! Got pedantic. Jumps off soapbox, runs off before tomatoes can be thrown. )

Originally Posted by HopeFloats12 View Post
One of the things I love about support forums is coming across something that I REALLY needed to read today. I've been struggling and feel a bit adrift, even after four years. This was good for me today. Thanks for posting it.
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Old 06-25-2013, 01:37 PM
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Natasia- Isn't it interesting that so many of us have trouble asking for help? In my own case, in the past, it was also tied to admitting my feelings. A lot of my drinking (not all) was to numb feelings. Now, in this journey to mindfulness and well-being, I am working on the balance of expressing my feelings (& being heard) vs complaining/whining. I used to define any of my requests or expressions of need as 'selfish' 'whiny' etc.

Now, I try to just say what I am feeling and even go so far as say "i don't need a solution, I just need an arm 'round for a moment or for the person to acknowledge the pain/hurt/sadness.

Just listening and showing that you really hear someone is a huge gift. You are right, that's one of the amazing gifts of support forums.

Hope



Originally Posted by Natasia View Post
I'm glad you took the time to say that. Keep finding what you need!

Somehow, it reminded me: I have this old habit (working on ridding myself of it) of not asking for help, thinking that I'd just be bothering someone. But my experience has been the opposite. And I know how good I feel when I can help, even a little.

I think in our culture we tend to forget the positive impact we can make in little, everyday-type interactions with people.

(Oops! Got pedantic. Jumps off soapbox, runs off before tomatoes can be thrown. )
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Natasia (06-25-2013)
Old 06-25-2013, 04:32 PM
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Hi Hope,

Very true. And I'm feeling very emotional, these days, not surprisingly.

I'm avoiding talking about it, for the most part. There's a part of me that feels guilty about what happened with my former friend, and another that's embarrassed that I got myself that far into a bad situation. And I miss her - sort of. When she was feeling good we talked about a lot of fun & interesting things, shared videos we liked, stuff like that. I'm going to have to make a real effort to get out and change my life in positive ways. It's not all bad - nowhere near it - but I know I need to make a few changes.
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