The First Life Lesson I Learned In Recovery

No enemy is worse than bad advice.

Sophocles

 

Don’t take relationship advice.

People love to give advice.  I have had so many people tell me that I should leave my partner and do this or do that.  What they don’t realize most of the time.  They don’t even know how to have a healthy relationship!!  I’m pretty sure every relationship has problems, even if they are hidden from outsiders, they are there.  So don’t let anyone convince you that they have the key to great relationships.  Unless of course they have had experiences similar to yours. 

I have had a very tumultuous relationship with my boyfriend who is also my kids Dad.  I got sober before him and my life with him has been living hell on a number of occasions.  Most people told me to get out of the situation.  Maybe their advice wasn’t too bad.  I’ll tell you a couple of things though, I have grown so much spiritually, and I have become an empowered woman, because of my experiences with this man.  When I met him I would do whatever he told me because I was afraid he would leave.  I had no sense of self-worth.  I have learned from him that I have a voice and I know how to use it now.  I don’t let anyone treat me like a doormat, including him.  The relationship forced me to look at my fatal issue of codependency.  I think my experience with him has also given me the ability to help people who struggle in recovery.  I have to remind myself  over and over again to look at myself.  If I judge him, I am forced to remember that I used to be just like him.  I am not better than an active addict just because I have found a way out.  So I think being with an addict has given me a unique ability to empathize with others, it has helped me get out of ego and it has taught me to love unconditionally(isn’t that what all religions and spiritual teachers preach?)  I wouldn’t have learned those lessons if I had taken everyone’s advice.

When people try to tell you how to live your life I can tell you for sure that they are behaving codependently, and for one reason or another they want you to do as they say so they can fell better. 

If this person is you, let’s get honest here what are you getting out of it?  Are you judging their situation?  Do you feel superior because your situation is different?  It probably gives you a sense of satisfaction if someone takes your advice.  But what if it backfires?  I am a strong believer that people should mind their own business, it will create less drama.  And what we really need when we are seeking support is understanding.  SO I don’t mean we should never share ourselves with another person, but eventually you will know who wants to support and who wants to judge and strengthen their own ego.  Someone who wants to support you may tell you their own experiences in a similar situation but they will not influence you to act in a particular way. 

I have been both, I have been the ‘wise’ person giving the advice and I have been the advised.  I had to learn that I invited people to come in and judge me and give me bad advice.  I have learned to be selective with the people that I share with.  I don’t tell people things that are none of their business anymore.  I share with people who love me and don’t criticize me. I am able to tell people what I don’t need from them and what I do need from them.  I told my mom not too long ago ‘I just need you to love me and be my Mom, I don’t need the abuse and the criticism’.  Sometimes people don’t realize that their behavior is harmful, they can’t read our minds. Everyone has their own path and I really believe I would have done myself a disservice had I listened to what everyone else thought.

I’d like to hear from you guys.  What advice are you glad you didn’t take, or what advice did you take that you wish you hadn’t?

 

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About recoveringfrompowerlessness

I am a 28 year old female who began my spiritual path at the age of 24. I was dying of alcoholism, I felt completely hopeless and powerless. After 2 months of working a 12-step program I learned that I was pregnant. I was a complete mess and I was about to be responsible for another life. I had my baby and later found that the whole time the father of my child, whom I am still with, is addicted to pain killers. Even after getting sober and working a program my life was miserable. I was back in school but my drivers license had been revoked permanently. Basically my short life has been one huge hurdle after another. And yes, I realize they are all hurdles of my own making. Throughout the years I began to feel like that the program that I was involved in was not feeding me spiritually anymore. I am still involved, and I owe my life to that program, I just felt like i was merely getting by. I was trying to conform in a Christian-Based program and I felt like I was the only person who didn't share the common belief system. It took me some time to figure out exactly what was going on, I was not being my authentic self and it was killing my spirit. By the way I am pagan, in case you were wondering. I am learning more about myself constantly and the more I learn to love myself the more I thrive in life and in recovery.
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