Relationships in recovery are difficult, especially when we are in a continuing partnership that has been shaped, at least in part, by our addictive behavior. Remembering our part in the resulting mess and developing good communication skills are essential to our recovery, and that of the relationship.
Some questions to ask ourselves about our relationships.
First of all:
Am I using the tools of my recovery program to maintain a healthy relationship with myself?
Do I regularly check my behavior for fairness in my relationships with others? Do I evaluate them, and apologize when needed?
Do I further my recovery program by continuing to attend meetings, help others and share what I have learned and hope to learn about myself?
Am I using a relationship/relationships to replace another form of acting out — to “fill the hole” that I was trying to fill with substances or other behavior?
If I’m doing all of the above, living an active program of recovery, do I give the same attention to my personal relationships?Continue reading →
The following is a quote from the July 29th entry in “Beyond Belief…” by Joe C.
“Narcissism and addiction are often synonymous with each other. Seeing others as individuals separate from our needs and our agendas is essential for contentment. When we are in a healthy mental state [other people] are separate individuals. A healthy understanding of their roles in our lives and our role in theirs guides our interdependent relationships. We see the boundaries. Some lines we created and we are mindful of what those lines symbolize. Other lines are boundaries drawn by others, which we respect. Either way, we don’t look at people as things to control or avoid being controlled by, to use or be used by, etc.”
In some of our fellowships we speak of boundaries, and well we might. Good boundaries are major bricks in the foundation of emotional health and recovery. It seems, however, that many people have the idea that boundaries are like a fence we build around us that others aren’t permitted to cross. That’s not the case; boundaries guide our behavior, not that of others.
Boundaries are essentially knowing when to say yes or no. Perhaps we were not allowed ever to say “no” to a parent. That crippled us. We felt as though expressing ourselves was against the rules, that it would place us in danger of punishment or, less obviously, by damaging a relationship that was necessary to our survival. We felt invaded and ruled. As a result we may never have learned that it is okay to make our own healthy choices. Continue reading →
Our society is obsessed with sexuality. It’s used to sell, to convince, to attract, to capture, to control, to compel, distract, comfort and sometimes to destroy. We live our lives saturated with sexual images and imagery: literature, TV shows, advertisements, magazines, clothing, and — last, but by no means least — the Internet. Preteen children have access to pornography and other sexualizing influences that were totally unknown to previous generations. A recent study on pornography planned by a Canadian university had to be cancelled because the researchers couldn’t find a sufficient number of students who had not viewed porn to make up a control group.
Whether this is a good thing is moot. Like it or not, the US (and Western societies in general) are saturated with sex. Barring a complete political and social upheaval, it’s not going away. Despite that, for the most part we have failed and still fail to give our kids and young adults, dealing with raging hormones and rebellion, the information they need to navigate this morass of temptation. Instead, our leaders take the “moral” route, keep them ignorant, and then point fingers and cry “Shame” when the ignorance that was forced upon them gets them into trouble. Continue reading →