Friends

I used to think I had lots of friends; people who knew who I was. The truth was I had very few friendships and most of them were with people that today, in recovery, are considered off limits. It’s funny how delusional one can get when thinking about friends. I thought that these people really knew who I was. They only knew the lies I was telling them. Soon I couldn’t keep those straight and soon my house of cards came tumbling down around me. Where were my “friends”? Funny they were nowhere to be found. Today, however, because of recovery I have healthy relationships with both males and females. I’m not inappropriate with my female friends. I have the utmost respect for them and treat them like I would want to be treated. For the first time in my life I have healthy relationships with my male friends and do not fear them any longer. I’ve grown an inner confidence that only recovery could teach me. Now I have healthy relationships, not clouded in sexual intrigue, where I can live, love and laugh and hold my head high in self respect. Thank you Papa.

16 thoughts on “Friends

  1. Even though I am not just in the “rabbit hole” but under it I truly appreciate my friends in recovery. Even if I don’t pick up when they call I know that someone unconditionally loves me and wants me not to hurt the way I do right now.

  2. To my Monday night home group thank you, I know I ran tonight. But I felt/feel your love and I want to accept it I am just not ready yet. But if you were not there I cannot imagine how much worse this would be…..

  3. I have many appropriate friends. They don’t want to discuss war stories because they know war stories are inappropriate to talk about or do. These friends do not indulge in women or drugs, the way I did when I was in my addiction. I was in my addiction as a loner. I had a few friends I would act out with, but they were few and far between. I preferred to act out as a loner, so I could fully act out and not have anyone holding me back. Plus, my friends all know each other. Even the bad friends would report back and I did not like that. I liked to act out by myself and then tell war stories to my bad friends who would appreciate them. This was my way of acting out.
    Now it’s been 9 months of sobriety and my stories to friends are becoming more appropriate. But I still miss telling the war stories just as I miss acting out. However, I don’t miss the acting out as much as each day passes. I listened to a new member of our home group tell a war story during group and was upset. It’s dangerous to the group and to me. This helped me realize in recovery how important it is to be appropriate especially with members of our group. I will probably speak to this new member gently and remind him of our boundaries and hope he understands. Coming to meetings and developing friendships in this home group definitely helps in my recovery

  4. This is an interesting subject for me. Because of my addiction I have isolated myself from others and put up walls so that people did not get to know me too well for fear of surmising somehow that I have had more than normal fascination with pornography. In spite of this I have developed a few friendships that have lasted a long time, and that are valuable to me and I believe valuable to these friends. (In the way of explanation, these are friends with whom I do not act out.)) So are these friendships not true or honest if these people do not know of my addiction? Conversely, are the friendships I have been developing through SAA more meaningful because they are based on complete honesty about our shared disease? Right now I believe that my friendships outside SAA are valuable and based on sharing of views on life that make the friendships real even if they do not know the me that is a sex addict; just as I believe the friendships I am developing through SAA are real, even if these friends know little about my life outside of SAA. I think that it is good to keep friendships with people that I share healthy activities with, but wonder as I progress in Recovery will I become more and more uncomfortable not sharing my story with them at some point. If I do share this with them will they be accepting and supportive? If not will I be able to give up the friendship? For now, I trust that my higher power will give me an answer when I am ready.

  5. Friends – I used to think I had a ton of friends all over the place. And I used to go to any length to try to make a friend or keep a friend. You had to like me, I had to be perfect, and I had to be everything to everyone. I was so afraid of who I was and of being alone that I went overboard with everything that I did. I manipulated people by being nice all the time. I tried to get people to feel sorry for me by having them listen to my sob stories all the time. I tried to buy people off with my generosity all the time. I exhausted myself and I would continue to do it over and over despite any negative feedback.

    Today I don’t have to do any of that crazy behavior. It has taken a lot of work. But I am happy to say that today I am comfortable enough with myself that I know who I am. I know what I am worth. I am not afraid of who I am. I know that I don’t have to force someone to be my friend today. If someone does not want to be my friend or in my life today then that is fine with me. I don’t need to have that person in my life. In some cases it does make me sad if I care about that person, but it also is a relief because I can feel the sadness, but then I can move on. I don’t have to live the insanity of the manipulations and craziness that I would have done in the past to try to get that person to like me or stay in my life. I might not have as many friends around me today as a result, but the quality of the friends is better. And I know that because I have a better relationship with myself, I am better prepared for better relationships with new friends that I am going to met down the road and I am excited for those opportunities. I look forward to what the future brings and for these future friends. I know that as a result of working this program and of having a healthy relationship with myself I am a person of value and I have a lot to offer and anyone is going to be lucky to have me as friend when the time is right.

    In the meantime, I will continue to work my program and do what I need to do on a daily basis and thank my Higher Power for everything that He has given me and allowed me to accomplish so far and look forward to what He will allow me to accomplish in the future

  6. Tonight I want to share about friends. I had dinner with two friends with whom I used to work. We had a nice time. One of them I had not seen since March. Both of them are fairly new friends for me in that they have only been friends in the past year or so. For me that is new. A lot of my friends I have had for many years. Don’t get me wrong, when I say a lot I don’t mean to imply that I have friends coming out of my ears, I just mean that of the ones that I have, I have had them a long time. My point tonight is that be it old friends or new friends, I am finding that the quality of the friends that I am putting myself with is improving. Not that the quality of the people is improving, but rather, the quality of the relationships. I no longer have to settle for relationships that don’t work, relationships that are one sided, relationships where I am doing all the work, or where I am trying to make something work when it is just not meant to be. Today, because I know who “I” am, and I know the value of “me” and what I have to offer, I know that I don’t have to do what I used to do with unhealthy relationships and friendships. Today I can focus on new and old healthy friendships. In the process I may have fewer friends for the time being and it does at times get lonely, but I know that this is part of the journey. And I know that it will get better. For now I enjoy the time that I have with the friends that I have that care about me and want to be with me. And in between those times I have my Higher Power to keep me company.

  7. Friends – Tonight was about friends. I spent the evening with my friend Jennifer. We had dinner and I went to her house. It felt very warm and welcoming and familiar. It was nice to be back in New Jersey and with a good friend. I am glad to have friends in my life today that are meaningful. I might not have as many friends as I thought I did 4 years ago, but the few that I have are more worth the having. And even though I don’t have a really great best best friend, I know that there are people that care about me today. I know that I don’t have to waste my time on friends that don’t care about me, that care more about themselves than me or the relationship. I spent a lot of time on relationships that did not work or were never going to work. Today I care too much about myself to do that. I like myself too much to waste my time on that. So, today, friends are very important and who I chose to keep as friends is very important. And because I have had a very busy day and weekend, I am falling asleep here as I type so I am going to bed.

    • Friends….I had some…real friends…and I screwed them by lying to them and by not being transparent. I know that they still care about me but they can’t get past the b.s. and the lies. I get that. Trust is the basis of any relationship – the closer the relationship the more trust is required. So I basically lost every friend I had ever had. Now…I have friends. I have friends who in spite of my sometimes reluctance…I’ll let into my life. Into the darkest corners. Why? Because they in turn let me in. Whenever I go to a live meeting and see these guys, I am reminded how much guts it takes to be transparent. To walk into a room, and say what we say, and pledge anonymity, trusting that each person in there will respect that pledge, and is not thinking – what a dirt bag – how could he – but cares. I mean really cares. I mean they really give a damn. And they get it. And that frees me up to in turn care, and be honest. I mean, if we can talk about our addiction and our darkest secrets, what can we not talk about. I live my day feeling like I’m going around in a bubble of sorts. A protective bubble – the fachad that I have to erect because no one can no about this. Yet there are guys in my life who know a lot about me and after I do my first step will know more. But its a freeing feeling to know that there is a place where I can be completely real and honest, and know that I’ll still be accepted and cared about. Where I can still feel like I have value and worth, in spite of what I’ve done. Where in spite of what I’ve done, there are guys who believe in me and are pulling for me. Now that’s friendship. And those are friends who I need in my life and who I can do the same for. And I’d hope for everyone in the world, to have friends like this! God bless you guys! Thanks for being here for me and always being only a phone call or text away. Thank you!

  8. Years ago I was known as the mayor of Hollywood Boulevard. Everyone knew me to say hello as I passed and asked how they were. I was welcomed and invited everywhere. These were my “friends”.

    Even then I felt that if I died it would be weeks before anyone knew it. I imagined my funeral as a small gathering of family and they were confused that the “Mayor” had so few people there.

    I had no friends. I did not have the intimacy that being or having a friend requires. In a large group I felt out of place. If they really new me they would be disappointed. I bounced from person to person, usually not even remembering their names. I would talk politics or religion because they were topics you could have a legitimate debate about. I never talked about how I felt or really cared about how they felt. This was the most friendless time I have ever known. This was the most 2 faced I have ever been. Today, without saying the words, I somehow ask for the friendship and intimacy that I missed for so long. I have always said that a friend was one who shared your tough times and not only your good ones. This was done to give the impression that I was a friend. I wasn’t. Today I am sneakily becoming friends with others. While I don’t tell my feelings I am beginning to show them. That is my first step to becoming and getting friends.

  9. I truly only have one real friend. I have known him for 37 years, and he has always been there for me. I come to this conclusion after 45 years of life, because real friends can only be identified after a lifelong relationship. Real friends will always be there no matter what.

    I learned too early in life that people who will refer to themselves as my friends often are just acquaintances. Friends remain for the good times or the bad, and it is the bad times that truly test a friendship. The bad times can often serve to cement a relationship or shine the light of truth on something that is not real.

    For better or worse: the term works in marriage and friendship alike. For these are people we love and choose to be with and our feelings doing not change due to mere circumstance?

    On another note, I have isolated myself due to my addictive behavior and rage, and feel today that I did not allow people to get close to me because of my pain. So the fact that I have only one true friend is also the result of not allowing people into my inner circle.

    It is kind of a self fulfilling prophecy. Each time I felt abandoned by someone I thought was a friend, I closed the door on friendship a little bit and turned to my addiction for comfort, making it harder for someone else to walk through that door. Eventually the door was closed all the way and I was left alone and isolated with my addiction.

    However there was my true friend and of
    course my family still knocking, trying to get in and see if I was alright.

    Now that I am distancing myself from my addiction, the door is cracking open again to allow those people as well as members of the fellowship in. These people offer me peace of mind and hope for the future.

    I am walking out of my isolation and into the arms of people who are trying to help me. At least I am looking once again for love and friendship, and I guess once you begin the search; discovery is just a matter of time.

  10. Friends – who are they anyway? I used to think I had lots and lots of friends, but how could they be friends if I never shared with them who I was? If the real me was a secret that they didn’t share?

    But in spite of that major handicap, somehow I managed to make a few real friends anyway. It seemed that if they were also flawed in some way, it was easier for me to admit who I was and what I really did. I could only be real friends with someone else who was also damaged goods. Something like being in a club with “birds of a similar defective feather!

    Now that my secret is out, not to everyone of course, I find that I still have a few flawed “real” friends, who can still stick with me in spite of my addictions, and even show some support for my getting better. I feel fortunate for this.

    But as I recover, I wonder what will happen to my “old” friends, and whether or not I will make new healthy ones, or just isolate myself into some new retreat, where I will still hide from most of my “acquaintances? This friends’ topic is important to me, and yet, I know that I have no idea how my H.P. will direct me on this matter. A more authentic version of my former friendly self, or an isolated “hermit”.

    Here’s hoping H.P has a better idea about this than I do! I pray he’ll show me the way.

  11. Just picking up where I left off…. Friends – always a good topic for me. My true friends know who I am and are in my life today because I want them in my life and they want to be in my life. I used to chase after people to be my friends through kindness, generosity, insecurity, anything that I could do to manipulate the situation so that someone would be my friend. In most cases I was just kidding myself but I never saw that. Now that I have been in recovery I can see what I used to do and I can chose not to do it anymore. It does not mean that I don’t get a sidetrack now and then and slip a little on this behavior. But today I can stop the behavior anytime I chose to. I know that it is up to me. And if I do slip into some old behavior or have some old feelings come up I know that they can be processed if I allow myself to process them. Today it is about choices. Yes, I can chose to sit in it for a while but when I make that choice I am usually unhappy and miserable. When I chose to process it and move on, I am always happier and of more use to other people. And that is what this program is about, being of service to others. So how I handle my friends is critical to how I treat myself and how I am in my recovery. I know that it is an area that still needs work, but I am happy that I have come as far as I have.

  12. Interesting topic.
    I’ve never had many friends, lots of acquaintances who have come and gone depending on what they needed from me (or me from them). In SAA I’ve learned what true friendship is.
    * Being able to call someone at any hour and say, “I need help, can you talk for a minute?”
    * Cry my eyes out on someone’s shoulder and have them hug me and reassure me everything’s going to be ok.
    * Take time out of their day to help me work my steps or get a bite to eat to talk about my program.
    All of these are examples of what friends have done for me. A friend that gives without expectations and accepts me unconditionally with all my faults is a true friend.
    These are the gifts of SAA. Thank you HP for putting these friends in my life.

  13. Friends, what are they? All my life I have lived a life of isolation and fantasy, and had to keep secrets, so no one would know. My addiction loved the dark secrets as that would make it go to more and more progressively destructive behaviors, and places.
    I never had any friends and even the ones who were non addictive normal friends, gave up on me as I never wanted reciprocated.

    Today, I feel alone and isolated, in a new city, country with no real friends. This is probably one of my biggest triggers.

    But in the SAA fellowship here, I have got a glimpse of what true friendships can be. A group of men and women who don’t judge you, who genuinely know what you are going through, who can relate to you, and who truly want recovery for themselves and you. I am hoping that this will be a dawn of a new era for this addict to get out of isolation, make true friendships and get into a life of true recovery, which works on the basis if rigorous honesty.

    Thank you GOD and thank you SAA

  14. Friends…I am a 28 year old that has about half a friend outside of recovery. And that bridge is quickly burning as I write. I have a tendency to sabotage existing or potential friendships. Recovery has helped. I was forced from isolation into fellowship. Since my program requires me to go to to meetings, make phone calls, and fellowship I fell into the friendships that I have today. I have people that I can call and discuss my struggles, frustrations, and anxieties. I also get to listen to what is going on with them. Something happens in these interactions, where a connection is made and a friend is gained. I am no saint, so that sabotage patterns are still present in recovery. The mos important thing for me today is that I am no longer in isolation. I have lived with these character defects for 2 decades, they aren’t going to disappear in less than a year. Progress not perfection……….

  15. Friends wow I used to think I had so many friends people who cared about me and truly liked me. But the truth was none of them were friends just people I knew. I would do anything to get friends lie manipulate act out it didn’t matter everyone had to like me in my eyes. If they didn’t I would get hateful and vindictive to them and then run them down to anyone who listened. I look back now at those who didn’t like me and realize they could see that I was acting that I wasn’t real and genuine when I was in my addictive state. And they didn’t want to be around me and my giant ego. Now I realize all those I thought were my friends are gone as soon as I had any problems they packed up and left me. But I know they were never really there in the first place. Today I have only a few true frifriends nods and all of them save one are brothers in recovery. And that’s just fine for me because I can be completely honest and open with them I don’t try to impress or manipulate I just am myself and they love me for me. As I learn and grow in recovery I learn how to deal with social situations and how to treat people and interact with them on a healthy level with no agenda. So I am sure that when the time is right God will bring friends into my life outside the fellowship and I will be able to develop healthy respectful relationships with them.

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