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 →
“Resentments are like taking poison and waiting for the other person to die.”
Program wisdom contains lots of annoying clichés. The reason they sound so hackneyed and are so often repeated is that they are true. False aphorisms abound, but most of those in the recovery community have survived because of the old “test of time.” These two are among them.
There are “good” and “bad” expectations (I prefer “skillful” and “unskillful”, but for the purpose of establishing a binary distinction here, either will do). The difference is in communication and intent.Continue reading →
This morning I had an interchange with someone I’ve known most of my life. It was prompted by an email in which he (given the number of males in the world, it won’t hurt if I mention gender) criticized an article to which I’d sent him a link.
Had the remarks been about the substance of the item, I would have given them careful attention. Instead, however, he chose to criticize the editing and the ability of the writer, barely mentioning the content at all. Since belittling others is an unfortunately common thing with him, I responded with “I wish I was perfect,” to which he took exception at some length.
I don’t know why this man, who has had some impressive accomplishments, is extremely intelligent by anyone’s standards, and who has lived a long, productive life, feels the need to constantly show his superiority by indicating how inept others are. Continue reading →