Step 4 begins!!!

Hello all of my fellow members. I am also excited to get going. I would like to start. "We made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves." As we begin, remember there is no right or wrong answers. No perfect 4ths either. So. For me, it is like cleaning out  a fridge. There are some nasty things that need to go.  And some good things we can keep. Not everything in there is bad. Let's throw out the old spoiled stuff. And keep the good things. The Freedom Express step study car is safe and comfy. We have a really nice table. For us all to gather. I have installed a waste can. Steel. With a one way lid! What goes in it, is gone for good!! To be disposed of. Like the yukk chicken with mold on it way in back of refrigerator. Once it's gone. We will sure not go and dig it back dig deep. And let's clean house!!                                         Let's start with a resentment. When I was 8 or 9 years old. My dad took me for hamburgers. I wanted ketchup on my fries. As i tried to get it out. It poured out all at once!! He laughed until he cried! To this day. I do not like to be laughed at. And feel like a fool. Even tho he is gone now. I still resent him for that. That's my first one. Who is next? Let's hear it? September 1rst is a fine day to start.
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  • Though I didn't take part in the threads for Step 1,2 and 3 I would like to share some thoughts on Step 4 since this step puts forward some really  interesting and important issues.I can totally relate to both @Dominica and @Goodtr8s .I have difficlty opening up to people ( I suppose I have trust issues and the years spent with my son's father and being cheated on didn't contribute to this ,either) . I began the relationship  in part because I believed in meeting "Prince Charming" and he ,obviously ,recognized this and went for it. I was so inexperinced back then.

    And neither  am I  very good at managing money  - I find it difficult to stick to a budget ,tend to overspend and since this puts me in really difficult situations ,recently I have been thinking about it quite a lot. I  need to do something about it if I don't want to end up in huge debts. I already have a big bank loan to pay back for years.I am not the most responsible person with money but when it comes to my job,then I feel I have to take responsibility for the end result and try to control the situation to get good end results (I am not quite sure whether this is a typical  codependent behaviour or not ) .If you ask my co-workers they will surely say that I always want to have things my way ,that I don't compromise easily and can be difficult to get along with .Some may tell you I am stubborn ,I personally feel like I have difficulty letting go -of situations ,memories ,people etc.I think I become stuck on an idea ,a fantasy ,really ,maybe something that exists only in my mind and I can't accept the change from that fantasy .Yesterday I saw the documentary about Princess Diana .The title ,especially,impressed me - "Chasing a Fairytale " I feel like it is appropriate to my thoughts and feelings( I don't want you to get the impression that I compare myself to a roalty ,it's just the way of thinking  ,of expectations )I feel like I am chasing I fairytale and,though I try to wake up and get real,there is part of me that just doesn't want to let go ...If that makes any sense to you :) 

  • Wow. Great stuff guys!! @changeyourself Good insight. We so happy you joined us on The Freedom Express. We are on our way to freedom from strong holds.Welcome welcome welcome!! You also have your own train car. Feel free to decorate as you please. And I too am terrible with money. Like @Goodtr8s and you. I was raided by a single mother. She never could manage money. From bouncing checks. To us living with no heat in the winter. Therefore she couldnt teach us. But that is no excuse. my wife has tried many times to help me. I am a hard headed stubborn tarus. aint nobody telling me!! LOL My personal problem? Lack of discleplin. Plus I cant spell for shit. But I have no self control. If I got it. I spend it. My thought is, I will just make more!! 
    I love it @Leaker I will always treat you with the respect and caring of a friend. You know. I kinda agree with your point. I am very stubborn. Sometimes i will not give up on a task, when all else have. That turns to good. Other times I wont give up on an idea, and it causes trouble!! So I guess the old saying, Everything in moderation!! And know when to draw the line. Thanks man.
  • "Everything in moderation".

    Can we get that added as the banner to the website? Fantastic point that cuts to the core of everything @tommy! Addiction is, from a certain point of view, when we realize we are no longer doing something in moderation. For most, that also means realizing that they can NEVER do a certain thing in moderation, be it drinking, gambling, relationships, whatever.

    Are emotions or personality attributes any different? Should we look for moderation from all our emotions? Is there too much of a good thing? What about the person who feels elated joy all the time? Sounds great, until they are the one laughing hysterically at their mother's funeral or when the boss says, "fix this or you're fired!". Or what about the person who is overly compassionate who never has time for themselves and goes insane trying to hold the world up on their shoulders? It'd be interesting if someone chimed in with a fault like, "I am TOO nice". That'd be a great conversation to explore next.
  • Well, there is one common thing already coming out: Financial issues or problems managing money. I can't say I am surprised at that either. Few things ratchet up the stress quite like money, whether it is the unexpected $1000 car repair bill, or realizing on Tuesday one is broke, and not getting paid until Friday. With high stress, it isn't surprising that one turns to a drug as an artificial escape.

    I am also seeing several folks talk about high empathy. That one is interesting too. Is it a case of feeling double stress, yours and other people's, that becomes unbearable? Or is that one becomes so caught up with try to help others that they don't take the time to take care of their own Self?

    Am I wrong to say that both of those seem to boil down to a feeling of powerlessness? One usually can't (legally) conjure up money, and one certainly can't wave a magic wand and fix other people's problems. Perhaps that leads to the addiction, the metaphorical desire to bury one's nugget in the sand like an ostrich and wait for the problem to pass? One of the keys to my recovery was realizing that I might not be able to do anything about my problems, but certainly drinking wasn't going to solve anything.

    I'll throw out another negative that I have freely admitted to: Arrogance. I've got more than a little of that one. I firmly believe the apathy (maybe it can be folded in the previously mentioned "coldness") and the arrogance is what ultimately led to my downfall and getting too far down the Dark Path. "I've got this", "I'm awesome", "I'm too good to let a little thing like alcohol affect me", "I'll just power through it, same as I did yesterday, and the day before, and last week". Certainly at my lowest the arrogance was out of control, and kept me from seeing what I was really doing to myself.

    But, in keeping with the theme of moderation, a little arrogance, properly recognized and controlled, can be a good thing. History is full of stories where the only way greatness was achieved was through the arrogance of someone who still believed they could accomplish something despite the odds. I'm sure we've all worked on projects where the only thing that saved the team from failure was one leader, formal or informal, who still believed the team could pull a miracle off.
  • @Tommy,Thank you for the invitation to join the Freedom Express and have my own train car ! That sounds great,especially with all of you on it - it's important to have a nice group of people travelling with you and, I think , this is just the case ! 

    All people who are brave enough to admit  their problems or addictions  and then do something (like seek help) about it deserve respect .I heard this phrase in a guided meditation video and it resonated with me :" Looking for help is not a sign of weakness but a sign of courage,strength and wisdom." Very right ! 

    You are so on point with that word "moderation" .I'd add - go with caution and find the balance between the head and the heart because  going from one extreme to the next is only a way to get into trouble .

    I have been thinking about this money issue of mine recently ( I need to find my middle ground there and the discipline to stick to it) ,I try to find the reasons behind it,why do I do the things I do with money?Maybe , one of the reasons is to cheer myself up ,to get an emotional uplift which ,as we know ,is only temporary in this case.With a new purchase ,the pleasant feeling may  last for a few hours or days .Then what ? Buying again to avoid feeling depressed  etc.It's a " never-ending story" .I guess something inside me calls for a ceratin need to be met ,but buying new stuff definitely doesn't solve the problem.It only gets you into debt.and you feel even more depressed .I think some of the celebrities do something like that (on a bigger scale ,of course ) -  trying to fill a void inside them .and ,finally, go bankrupt because this thing inside you cannot be filled with stuff.

    I think I lack good money management because I don't have an appropriate goal set or, if do, I don't have the discipline to stick to it.If you live in the moment and don't think about tomorrow  (spend like there is no tomorrow ,as the saying goes) ,when tomorrow comes it is like Surprise ,surprise ! and you feel lost .Maybe ,when you spend whenever you feel like it ,you somehow expect somebody else to be there for you even if you  have spent your money,expect somebody to come and take care of your irresponsibility...I don't know  but I 'll have to find out because I feel so frustrated when I do it again. They say with money everything starts with intentions -what are your intentions in the long run ?I'll have to keep struggling until I find a better path to follow

    I think I know what you mean by saying "If I spend it, I'll make more !"It is a nice thing to have confidence in yourself ,I also think in the same way but where that gets us is that maybe that confidence that we can make money after that makes us not pay enough attention and spend too easily...I don't mean it in an offensive way...

    Good luck in your research and reading about step 4 ( that post is really long ,I hope it wasn't too boring but, what can I say my defense ,I am a talkative Gemini so don't be too hard on me ,and speaking of Taurus and Taurus traits I know something about it -my son's father is a Taurus ,what astrology says about this star sign is" It takes A LOT of effort to move (or change) the Bull "...but maybe this stubborness in this case will be a good thing for your victory over gambling addiction ,if you are set on a goal ,it will help you achieve it :)

  • @Leaker , I would like to share a few thoughts about your interest in empathy.I've read that emphatic people can feel other people's pain quite strongly . Me , when I see a violent movie or read a book about sufferings ,or see the news or if somebody is telling me about their physical pain,I start imagining so vividly how they must be feeling, what it might be like physically ,I start feeling sorry for them and literally come on the verge of fainting But maybe this is just my vivid imagination ,not that I am an empath or something like that .I have to force myself to snap out of it ,start thinking about something else because it is almost too much.I don't like watching horror movies or reading about or listening to this kind of stuff .I have always been this way .I can't stand watching violence on the news or violent computer games .

    .And I also think because of their ability to feel other people's pain ,empaths want to help them in their suffering and pain.That's why sometimes (many times ) empaths end up being taken advantage of by manipulative ,toxic people. 

    As for arrogance ,which is mentioned in your post ,I think sometimes it can be a disguise to hide vulnerability or insecurity.In modern society ,especially competitive kind of society that encourages strong drive and excessive ambition as main virtues , sensitivity and vulnerability are regarded as inacceptible ,things you shoud try to hide behind a mask .So ,you put the mask of arrogance,maybe sometimes even cynicism to show you are tough , you are a winner because somehow winners are not expected to have emotions .Only losers cry.I would say  this is sometimes true for me.When I don't want to feel embarrassed in front of everybody by showing emotions ,I hide them behind a cool exterior ;it has become like a habit for me ,playing the strong  and collected person because I think everybody expects me to be this way ,to be  the support  they need (can you imagine what kind of support will I be if I start crying like a baby,not that I don't want to ,in certain situations ) .But if you combine arrogance with addictive substances (or people for that matter) I think you are bound to lose because addiction is addiction  and , since we are  all humans ,arrogant or soft ,  we are all susceptible to the same addictions .

    Good luck on the road to recovery !!! 

  • Wow , I've missed a lot here in 1 day .
    You list coldness , social apathy , and lack of empathy for your fellow man as your first defect of character . Yet, you are usually the first to sweep in on any new alcoholics thread and try to give them some encouragement , and ideas for a road to recovery . In AA we call that Step 12 . The Big Book dedicates an entire chapter to it starting on page 89 "Working With Others ". So while it may be a shortcoming , I'd argue you are working to overcome it .
    While my recovery beliefs are much closer to @Tommy , I do see your point about not throwing out all of our flaws . Because the 8th Step Promises do tell us  "We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it ".
    I don't think it matters what Program of recovery you subscribe to , or what negative action you are trying to recover from , our past failures are our greatest teacher . And "Regret" is just another form of resentment . So we learn from it and try to improve on our next attempt .
    @Dominica and all ,
    Now , for my 4th Step admission . And there are more than I will bore yall with today . I do suffer greatly from the afore mentioned self righteousness . I fell victim to it today , and had to go to my new recovery toolbox to try to let go of it . I Hate to be the quote monger of the day , but this might help others as much as it helps me when I become a self-righteous Prick ....
    "And acceptance is the answer to all my problems today . When I am disturbed , it is because I find some person , place , thing , or situation-some fact of my life -unacceptable to me , and I can find no serenity until I accept that person , place , thing , or situation as being exactly as it is supposed to be at this moment .Nothing , absolutely nothing happens in God's world by mistake . Until I could accept my alcoholism , I could not stay sober ; unless I accept life completely on life's terms , I cannot be happy . I need to concentrate not so much on what needs to be changed in the world as what needs to be changed in me and my attitudes . "
    Pg 417 The Big Book
  • Something else not related to the topic of discussion but just me being me .Since I am a single mom, I need to share this experience and you are the people I talk to about everyday issues - today I bought the first shaving kit for my 16 -year-old son ,who has been asking me to for some time.Please,don't laugh at me for sharing this but this is quite a moment for me and an emotional  one, too .I have mixed feelings about this ,both sad somehow and excited at the same time .And he was so sweet and nervous at that moment ...I see my baby is growing up ,turning into a man...I am sure there will be smiles on some of your faces or scratching your head after reading this but I am a bit isolated in my social life right now and I feel you like good friends ,so...

    And here is another character defect we can talk about and admit to having -caring about what others think of you and wanting to be accepted and liked by people.I want people to like me ,I am afraid they won't and start coming up with plans or ideas as to what I might do to make them like me and accept me and want to be with me.I think I care  a bit too much about what others think of me and try to accommodate them instead of being comfortable the way I am ,I need to stop trying to find validation from outside and be comfortable within .I think I know what I need to do but why do I try to find outside validation in the first place ,I wonder? Maybe because I think I am not good enough the way I am ,I don't feel like people will like what I am and I need to offer them more for them to like me.It seems I have self-worth issues and this can go on and on....

    Have a nice time ,everybody , and

    Keep to POSITIVE VIBES ONLY (this is a motto I saw on another site,I like it and hope you wil,too )

    If you think you have had enogh of me for today ,try not to judge me too much ,I'm in the mood of talking :) 

  • I think most people yearn for validation and love from others . But we can't conform to principles we disagree with just to seek that acceptance . As I look back on the earliest years of my alcoholism , it was a direct result of not feeling comfortable with who I was and either seeking the acceptance of others or numbing the pain . And in reality , I don't think most folks didn't accept who I was . I think I didn't accept who I was , so I turned to the Old Magic Potion . 
  • @twsj, thanks for the encouragement. I figured someone would bring that up. "Leaker, if you claim you don't care about people's problems, why are you here?" It's because, as you said, I am working on it. I recognize the fault, and want to do a little to help balance it out. Plus, I get to harass and annoy all of you by being the wet blanket on your super positive discussions.

    @changeyourself, I concur. Peer pressure is a great motivator. Man is a social being, so there is a primal, basic need for companionship. Groups offer safety, and the promise of an easier burden. So, it is understandable that we all have a strong desire to "fit in". But, we shouldn't try and fit in everywhere. I know my momma told me often to pick my friends wisely. Choosing poorly can lead us down some very terrible paths indeed, with that primal desire for companionship preventing us from seeing the toxicity for what it is.

    You also brought up some very interesting point on the empathy part. I admit I can't ever say I have felt that way, so it is interesting to hear that perspective. For the arrogance, you hit on a lot of the points of my life that got me that point. The insecurity and lack of self worth. Using cynicism and arrogance to project a "too school for cool" attitude. Getting a little success and  then just going overbaord with it. That dangerous combination of arrogance and addictive substance. We all need to be mindful and remember our shortcoming and flaws, no matter how awesome we might think we are.
  • @dominica , I am happy I found all of you here ,thank you so much for being my support !
  • @Tommy yes, thank you for starting this! perfect day to start.... thank you for sharing about your past...and i support you in letting that resentment go!!

    step 4 is about looking at ways in which our natural instincts, like the need for sex, emotional and material security, and acceptance in society... have become warped... and looking at how acting upon such has caused pain and problems...

    for example, the person who has taken the need for material security overboard, and lies, steals, manipulates others in order to get more money..greed...covetousness...etc. doing those sorts of things will eventually cause emotions like anger, resentment, entitlement, jealousy, and so on... yet the person may have no idea these emotions are swimming under the surface. maybe he's stuffed them or numbed them with drugs and alcohol. so when he puts down the drink, these emotions will surface...and step 4 is a great chance to start looking at them and coping...

    for me... i'll start with emotional numbing... started stuffing as a child, and took care of myself emotionally. as an adult, i don't want to feel, so i stay at a distance emotionally. i don't allow myself to feel much...and like to handle things alone. i can detach easily, and this doesn't go well in a relationship. 

    we didn't communicate in my family.... so tough for me to open up (except writing. i can open when i write :) 

    that's my sharing for this morning... anyone else?

    here is a link to AA Step 4 literature reading:

  • i'm going to try to read Step 4 this weekend...since we are on it :) 
  • I like the concept of stating our flaws, but I don't concur with @tommy's goal of throwing them away. It's a nice mental image, but that's about it. My flaws make me who I am. Along with my virtues, they make me a human being. The journey of life is, I think, about learning how to balance those two to get the most out the experience.

    I'll start with my flaw of coldness. Maybe social apathy? Lack of empathy? I basically don't care about most people or their problems. Sure, I care about friends and family, and with my job I am in a position where I have to care, but I always assume that whatever problem people have, those problems are theirs to deal with. Just like my problems are mine to deal with. If they ask for help, I will. If they are obviously struggling, I will try and help, but there isn't a core desire to help them out, or seek out ways make their lives easier. I am just focused on getting whatever task at hand is needed done, the human element and considerations just don't enter in very often. I see terrible things on the news like robberies or car crashed and the first reaction to most is, "What did they do that caused that?" or "Why did they think that was a good idea?" instead of, "That's so terrible, those poor people!"

    For drinking, that mean that I didn't care what other people thought. I also didn't have a very good social safety net for when I started sprinting down the Dark Path. I didn't seek help because my problem was mine to deal with. After recovery, there is still that coldness and focus on the task at hand, but I am now more likely to ask for help with things. Still not very willing to offer to help others though. If they've got a problem, they'll ask, or it will be so obvious that I clearly see I need to do something.
  • Good start guys. Ican relate to @dominica Totally. I dont like to feel. I started drinking at 16. The next 38 years I tried to run from feelings. Not only stuff them. But cover them up. And avoid them. From booze. to pills. to gambling. Any outside source to get the gone. 
    @Leaker I anm so happy you are in our group!! We are total at different ends of spectrum. And that can be a learning curve!! I will try to keep an open mind and let you thought resonate and digest for me. I will only state my feelings. Something you said the other day has stuck in my head. You live by hatred anger, and fear. No coworker has said thats wrong. Well I am saying it. I do not believe in hatred. That is a strong nasty emotion. My mom said, "You can dislike someone very very much. But dont hate!" Not good for the soul. Thats what I meant. When a store does inventory, they throw out the old outdated milk. Its spoiled. So why keep it? For me. I can be very self rightous and selfish. Why should I not throw that out? Yes it made me who I am. But I dont want to hang on to it. Replace it with love, caring and understanding? Replace hatred.With love. Thats my take. We are total opposites. I hope we can meet somewhere in the middle!! Remember. I am really fond of you guys. I just want us all to live happier more peaceful lives.
  • I've never managed money very well. I know that some people were taught $$ management or realized as they started working when they were young, the need to manage. I used to think it was because I was a "girl", but, my mama was a whiz at it! I always seemed to be in need of assistance from her or my brothers or my sister (I'm the baby of 4).
    My father was in the Air Force and died when I was 6...Mama never remarried and finished raising us. In all my years of growing up I never heard her speak of the power bill or water bill or house payment or such! Every now and then, I knew that we couldn't get that new cereal at the grocery store, but, no mention of "budget" as to the reason why. I mowed lawns, raked leaves, collected coke bottles for the change and baby sat as I grew up...Mama took care of needs. Most of my money was spent for Christmas or birthday presents and the Saturday matinee. I'm not a stupid or selfish person. I only wish I'd had a more innate desire or had been taught the necessity of, money management. It has been a source of grief, embarrassment, depression and failures in so many aspects of my life... does this count as a resentment?
    @Tommy, if rotten eggs are a part of the inventory of my refrigerator I'm trying to make room in for fresh ingredients, I'm throwing them out!
    @Leaker, as far as your lack of core desire to understand and help, It's obvious in MY world, that not everyone shares the same empathy level and it's probably a good thing. You have a necessary strength that may actually HELP bring balance to the workplace and the lives of others! That you do not conscientiously seek out ways to aid a person in need is just you being least you don't turn them down when they ask. 
    Thanks for the link @Dominica. I'm gonna tap into it as well this weekend.
    (I played it pretty safe this go 'round!)  

  • @tommy, good points, and I am glad you are in the group too. It is the classing balance of opposites that eventually leads to progress, as long as those opposites treat each other with mutual respect and understanding (which everyone here does at a high level).

    I will say, when I refer to "hate", that doesn't automatically mean people. Most of the time, I find the hate directed towards a situation. I hate being powerless. I hate letting people down. I hate that I wasn't smart enough to see a solution. Those sorts of things. Concur, hating a person or a group will destroy the mind. But hating a situation, or my own shortcomings? I think when used properly, it can be a good thing.

    That negative emotions are like spoiled milk and thrown out? I am not sure I can concur with that. Keeping with food, I'd say they are more like candy or junk food. When one is young and has the metabolism of a hummingbird, those things are fine. But, as one gets older, one needs to be more careful about how and when they break into the Nutter Butters. Not cut them out entirely, but be more cautious. I think the same is true for the negative emotions. When one is young and figuring things out, they are fine, but as one gets older, they need to be more aware of those emotions, what their effect is, and what the consequences of them are. Not cut them out, but use a little more maturity on when to show those aspects.

    As an example, if you throw out the self-righteousness and selfishness, then you might be stuck with no one listening to you due to a lack of conviction, and always taking advantage of you. But, being aware of, and managing those two emotions can lead, I think, to a happier balance.
  • great posts everyone! @Leaker @Tommy @Goodtr8s glad to see everyone doing some searching...and listening to others... sometimes all we need is just to feel heard...

    @Goodtr8s i think many can relate to money mgt. i used to be like that..and i think it stemmed from a long lineage of poverty and victim mentality... my thoughts have changed about money and my relationship with money has changed... it took me decades to begin getting it, so keep growing... i am still growing too and always will in that area. the good thing about finances is that you can educate yourself...and there are those that will "coach" you in regards to it. behind my stuff was things like "discipline"... in various areas. that was at the root, as well as a little bit of laziness and entitlement... i had to deal with those core issues and keep watch on them today...

    but to give you hope... 4 years ago i had no money saved...and debt. today, i have what i consider to be a decent amount in savings (more than i ever imagined i could have)... no debt other than student loan that i'm diligently paying off before time...and am living with a completely different mentality...i've also surrounded myself with those that have a good bit of money (a good relationship with money...not greedy...wise) and i'm sitting here in an estate on 30 acres worth about 15 million dollars on a FREE yoga retreat this weekend...i manifested that... haha  the power of our thoughts...and beliefs matter. so, all that to say this... dig down...go inside...look for the root issues, and do the work there...and keep doing the "work".

    i find myself getting more real with myself...with this inventory.

    @Leaker at times i feel cold...but not in a bad way. for me, i would have the tendency to feel too much, so i stay at a distance. i can't watch the news...or i'd cry my eyes out. i FEEL all that pain.... so i watch a teensy bit here and there.... super sensitive? maybe.

    we do need a balance...and you are contributing to that balance!!  it's ok to feel..even the negative times. i believe we are here on this planet suited up in these earth suits to experience SO MANY things....feelings included! :) 

    happy saturday.

  • @changeyourself thanks for sharing!!! i think you are among many with financial issues....and control issues... it may be typical codependent behavior.. i think counseling for a series of sessions can be so helpful. if one can't afford counseling, reading books, and attending a support group and working the 12 Steps can help.... it's a journey..and it's an inner journey that brings freedom....and it takes time.

    glad you are here doing this step with us!
  • I'm not sure I would consider you a "Wet Blanket ". And I too can get a bit stale on the "AttaBoys" . Your approach to recovery at it's core is probably far less different than it appears on the surface from us 12 Steppers. It all still ends with a realization that we help ourselves by helping others . 
    And , Step 4 is not what I would consider a super fun experience . Most AA's consider it the hardest , and often try to skip it ( that usually doesn't work very well ) . No , Step 12 is the fun one . But we have to clean up our side of the street first .
    So , keep annoying us . Or , more appropriately , keep challenging us . It keeps me on my toes . 
  • I can certainly see how Step 4 can be a challenge. I think a lot of addicts, myself included, start their recovery thinking, "everything is fine, I just need to drink less" or use less, or whatever. Step 4 forces someone to realize that their problems are not just with the substance, but with themselves as well.

    For me, I didn't do a formal character inventory, or even any kind of dedicated one in my recovery. I did have to recognize there was a part of me that was the monster, the part that fed off the alcohol and drove the addiction. Along the way I realized the arrogance and apathy parts. Not as part of a "what's wrong with me?" thought experiment, but as a, "How could this have happened?" analysis. A side effect of recovery was getting more in tune with my Self, which led me to seeing other facets of my personality that I didn't realize. Most good, some not so much.

    I do like the concept of the inventory though. I say everyone should do it from time to time, not just the addict. The world would probably be in a lot better place. But, looking at one's flaws is tough, and even when facing total collapse like admitting one is an addict, it is still tough. It'd be great if everyone did an inventory; but then again, if grasshoppers had machine guns, birds would leave them alone.
  • "I do like the concept of the inventory though . I say everyone should do it from time to time , not just addicts . The world would probably be in a lot better place ."
    Man , I think you are trying to outsmart us . You are already talking about Step 10 ."Continued to take moral inventory , and when we were wrong promptly admitted it . " Brilliant !

  • @Leaker , I am glad I can contribute to the discussion.Maybe give some people here food for thought (all is well-intended ,no offence meant ).I'll be happy if I can help somebody have a moment of clarity.I usually want to help people,sometimes by trying too hard I can overdo it but I  will have to rely on everybody's  patience. I think a lot of people become addicted while being completely sure this could never happen to them.It's part of the problem.Many times people start their addiction with the absolute conviction they can control the situation and not vice versa.Some start substance abuse  because of peer pressure ,to try to fit in ;others to escape stress , problems etc.The unfortune thing ,however ,is ,the road to recovery is far more difficult than becoming addicted.

    In the country where I live ( it is a small country bordering on Greece and Turkey ,on the Balkan peninsula ) it is considered somehow  a sign of "manly"  behaviour to drink hard liquor .Sometimes teenagers are encouraged to do it :"What man are you if you don't drink?" is a typical question. I guess it is part of the culture and traditions.As a citizen of the country I am not proud of this and I think it's a terrible thing to do to young boys ,encourage them to drink because people won't look at them as men enough.If we add to that the fact there aren't good facilities and institutions in the country to deal with alcohol addiction as well as  not enough awareness of the problem  ,you can only imagine how the problems can escalate.I hope I don't sound too self-righteous on this topic but  if you remember I am a mother of a boy :)

    I have also heard  another statement from some parents :" I hope my child doesn't become a drug addict .I prefer them to smoke rather than use drugs ." I think we would all agree that neither addiction is healthy because smoking is also an addiction ,it's difficult to give up and causes a lot of health problems in the long run.People sometimes don't stop and think about what they say and how their words can affect people ,especially young people who are in the process of developing their personality.

    I like your idea that more people should do character inventory for the world to be a better place but as we all know a person should want to do it or be aware that they need to do it. You have to have the awareness you need and want to change .Most people don't care one way or the other until something comes up and they are forced to start changing,so there is nothing we can do about it but wait for their aha-moments to come. 

    And remember : GOOD VIBES only :)

  • @Leaker , I almost forgot to mention something -As far as I can remember the hardest I fell was just after the moment I thought I was sooo awesome......Sounds familiar? :)
  • @dominica ,I am really happy that there are people in this group who find my posts interesting to read and can relate to them .This is just what I  need most now - to put out experiences and thoughts and discuss them with people who understand.Thank you for supporting me ,I appreciate it.

    If I have to be completely honest here , I "envy" you   :), just a little bit  because you are in such a beautiful place ! But on a more serious note,I think you should enjoy your stay there and have a nice time !

    I hope you have a nice Sunday!

  • @TWSJ , I agree with you that the basic principles we shoudn't change because they are at the core of our personality and chaning them in the wrong direction can get us into trouble.

    I was referring more to changing my opinion in order to accommodate somebody else. It is the so-called " People-pleasing attitude" of codependent people .I sometimes don't speak up my mind for fear that the other person might get offended or to avoid a conflict or the escalating of an argument.However, in this way I let other people get their way and then I suffer or I have to deal with the consequences of my silence .Or sometimes I say to myself "Why did I say that ?I shoud have said this .Now they will think that I am.... "and the right thing to say mostly comes to me after the conversation.It's frustrating  ! I can't seem to find the right words to express myself clearly .I try to be well-behaved and don't want people to be hurt because of what I say,so I just don't say it and try to keep things nice and easy.

     This is usually at the expense of my inner peace because, in such a situation, I feel tense  to not let things get out of hand, I am nervous on the inside and I feel like I am responsible for everybody's reactions (if you know what I mean because maybe you got lost in my complicated explanation of my own actions ,I can't blame you if you did ).I sometimes don't follow the conversation in depth because I try to think what I would say next ,if what I say is not rude for the other person ,what would they think of me if I say that ,is this the appropriate  thing for me to say etc It's an emotional roller-coaster !

    The thing is I can't control other people's behaviour or thoughts . After reading some things online I have come to realize I can only control mine so I think it's up to me to relax and not be so focussed on what others expect of me and  be OK with what I say or do.Maybe people will accept me anyway ,I just worry too much because I think I don't have much to offer them and am not interesting enough for them to like me ! The funny part is I tell my son :"You can't expect everybody to like you and be friends with everybody.It's not natural.You need a few good people around you that will make you feel special and appreciated " I should start listening to my own advice but it is easier said than done :)  

    Keep up the good vibes 

  • @TWSJ and everybody ,before you decide to throw me out of the support group because I take up so much space int the posts and burden you with my problems ,I would say that I tend to be self-righteous ,too ,occasionally .I think I know best and tell others what they should change in themselves,what to do and what not to do.But I am far from perfect ,either and ,though I like telling others what's good for them ,I am not so willing to listen to crirticism regarding me.

    .A good phrase here will be :"Be humble and stay humble ! " Don't try to be a Know-All ! Look at your short-comings first and change yourself first before judging others !!! 

  • @changeyourself, last I checked we weren't charged by the character for what we post, so don't worry about the essays. I know I get a little wordy at times, as do other people here. Another "flaw"? Maybe. People can read as much or as little as they want, but personally I try not to start an argument or pick at someone's words until I have given them the courtesy of reading them all.

    I'd say it is definitely a trait of an addict to think they will always be in control. I don't think anyone wakes up and says, "I think I'll use until I lose my house and family!". But, it happens. As I recovered, I learned to recognize when I was and wasn't in control, and learned ways to deal with it. Am I perfect? No. But the continual self-improvement is the goal, not some imaginary perfect state.

    It's unfortunate that alcohol is still such a cultural force. In the US, I think that is starting to change. There are still the sub-cultures and expectations of drinking, and college, but with the harsh penalties for drinking and driving, and the "zero tolerance" policies companies have for sexual harassment and other misdeeds that alcohol can make all too easy to commit, I think it is becoming more accepted when someone says, "No thanks, I don't drink". I've certainly never had an issue with that one in the almost 6 years since I stopped drinking. It's one of those perceptions or assumptions that I think all addicts, especially alcoholics, need to face. Yes, one CAN lead a normal, socially accepted life without a bottle of something always within arm's reach.

    It's funny that there is still the perception of "drugs and alcohol". Like alcohol is really that different. It's a mind altering substance, but somehow it gets a pass and isn't lumped in with the other drugs. I guess that is just a cultural thing. I can understand the parents not wanting to see a child turn into a drug addict, and be ok with the smoking. The negative health effects of smoking usually don't manifest until later in life, you know, after the parents have died, so they never see their child suffering. On the other hand, a drug addict's life can implode in a matter of weeks or even days.

    And, I see where you are getting at, "Pride cometh before the fall", right?
  • No , I didn't get lost . In fact I often have the same feelings . Second guessing whether what I've said will be interpreted the way it was intended . I know I tend to show external confidence to mask internal doubt . And that was a large part of my drinking .
    But I won't pretend that sobriety has fully rid me of those feelings . I still contend that sobriety is just the very beginning of a long process of recovery . At least for me , anyway . 

  • @changeyourself write as much as you like! :)  i agree with  humility...embracing it. not easy for sure.... sometimes i just don't feel like acting like Jesus so-to-speak... but it's a choice i suppose.... :)

    i've also contended with codependent behavior. learning how to speak your truth and wants and needs is a big's a journey.  glad you're on it.
  • Yes @changeyourself Write all you want. Its good for the soul. Very nice job guys!! Lots of work done.@dominica @TWSJ @Leaker @Goodtr8s Very very nice. So now a little positive!! My daughter was born when I was 19. I went to work. Raised her up. Worked very hard everyday. And still do to this day. I am also a very cari ng person. I try to understand and help people when I see a need. I also took care of my mom when she needed anything.  Plus I am just plain cute. LOL lol LOL
  • @Tommy thank you for putting some positive into motion!! 

    mr. cutie huh? made me smile.

    let's always balance things out and remind us of our positives!
  • @Leaker ,Thank you for sharing your point of view about the length of the posts !You are quite right (but  I have never looked at it in this way ) - a person can skip some of the posts or part of them if they don't want to get bored or are looking for something in particular ."Wordy " when referring to me is sometimes mildly put .I think I mentioned somewhre here I am a Gemini (I am kind of interested in astrology ,we are supposed to talk or write for that matter ,though I am not so proud President Trump is my star sign (sorry if some of you voted for him and support him ;I'm not into politics that much ,I am  joking ,I just couldn't help it ; Paul Mccartney  is a Gemini I am proud of, and President Kennedy,too And need I mention Merylin Monroe and Brook Shields :)

    Because I want to read almost everything I can find  in a forum and try to relate other people's stories to my experience , I obviuosly  tend to think that's the usual thing  everybody does .But people read in different ways and extract different information from a source .Now I remember there is something called :Skim and Scan a text !If someone gets bored ,they can do this. That's a relief to think !

    @Leaker and ALL,

    Come to think of it , the reason for  my uncomfortable feeling about writing too much may be my fear people might understand this as if I want all their attention on me and my problems ,something like "This person wants to stifle us and dominate the conversation " .Not my intention at all  but  the need to communicate possibly comes from the need to release insecurities about healthy ,natural communication  after many years of experience living with someone I would define as a covert narcissist - these types of people can absolutely isolate you in your thoughts.You may be surrounded by people who are having a casual conversation and still feel so alone in the world ,unable and afraid to talk,like in a prison of your own mind (they like playing mind games)  .You want to open up to people but you don't know what to tell them because you doubt your own perceptions and you  just sit  there miserable as you can ever be ,you know you want this feeling to be over but you can't define exactly what you feel, you don't know where you are headed for,don't expect  anything at all .The exact words for this feeling in articles is "soul-rape".You are a breathing human being but you seem to have lost the ability to feel ...You feel empty .Sounds scary,isn't it?

     You never feel like these people are  there for you but expect you to be always there for them .Something like "What do you want from me ,why are you always so needy,don't you have other things to do but want to talk to me ?"Such people behave in a way that they try to tell you :"Don't expect anything from me, don't burden me with your feelings and issues ,deal with your feelings but always be here when I need you !"During the last few years I lived with him,there was hardly any communication at all .The usual scenario before that was me wanting to discuss a particular issue and him telling me there was nothing really to be discussed ,why was I always looking for problems where there weren't any etc Why would I want to start a fight or have an argument on purpose and wreck my nerves just to annoy him!Sounds ridiculous but... His answer was I did it because I wanted to torture him.Because I was enjoying it ! Obviously I am quite an insensitive person and all this is my idea of having a good time !(maybe some of you have been in a similar situation,accused of something you never intended to do and can relate to this? If you recognize some of the symptoms I felt ,then you must be certain you are being abused by a  covert narcissist !)Why would I want to do that  on purpose ,be depressed after a fight ,not be able to sleep ? After all of this ,at some point , you come to believe YOU are the problematic person and YOU need to change . While you are being told to stop being hysterical and get a grip ,the "poor victim " doesn't know what he did to deserve such an attitude .And they for sure can play  "the victim"  part ! Not until much later did I realize this is a common manipulative trait of narcissistic people - convince the other party they are the problem ,make them doubt their thoughts and behaviour Speaking of perceptions and doubts, I am going to share something very personal and if you have felt the same way,know that you are not alone in this !

    A couple of years before my son's father discarded me, I was calling him one day and a woman answered my call, almost yelling at me :"Won't you leave him alone already?" If you expect me to say that I knew right away what was happening ,you 'll be disappointed.My first reaction was confusion . I thought  :"I don't quite undersatnd ! Who is this woman  on the phone ,talking to me and who is she talking abouit" I didn't start talking to her.I thought it was a mistake , that I had dialled the wrong number .I made a second call.This time he answered and when I asked him who that was on the phone the previous time ,he was all  surprise .What did I mean,what was I talking about? I am not quite sure ,but he might have mentioned  it was just my imagination etc. I had no chioce but  to justify what he was telling me? I really thought I  had dialled a wrong number .Do you think my intuition was off because I never suspected ?Now, it seems pretty obvious to me what was going on but then I didn't suspect it even for a minute.That's what you call "Blind Trust " .

    A lot of  articles  say,narcissists are con-artists ,they  play games and like messing up with your mind ,just to show they are superior .Confusion ,gas-lighting,crazy-making are all tools in the tool-box of a narcissist .He preferred to leave me confused and wondering and doubting my perceptions .How cruel can this be,to the mother of their child I ask you?What person would do this to another person ,to the mother of their child for the fun of it ,to feel superior and gain control ? I am the kind of person that doesn't like playing games .If you have something in mind,tell me , we can talk about it ,reach an agreement or settle differences .I am too impatient to play games .Maybe some people will find it funny because I didn't  see things for what they were but for me I never thought there was any reason for cheating (though he used to tell me :"Sex is not important ." Obviously not , maybe  he just wanted to talk :)Can you actually believe a man who says that sex is not important?It was hard for me to open up even before ,now it's even harder ,that's the end result of it.I have a really hard time trusting people .And at the time I actually justified the situation in my mind and never thought he was cheating . I thought he would never do this (why would I think he is different from other men is beyond me ;the more logical explanation will be I thought I was so special that nobody would want to cheat on me ( a kind of special fairytale princess that deserves to be adored ,which again points to my ego whispering "you are so special ") .When we were at the beginning of our dating, he had told me :"If you want to be with somebody else ,tell me first so that I know we are done." I must have relied on such affirmations  .He never told me we were done .So I had no reason to believe he was about to move on .I think trust is essential in a relationship and marriage and I don' think it necessary to spy on someone or suspect him all the time .If you trust somebody ,why spy on them? People often times try to put the blame for cheating somewhere else but from what I have read it is their personal choice to do it .Both the choice and responsibility is theirs ,nobody else's .

      I have read in articles that narcissist never give you closure -it's a way of keeping control over you.You should give yourself a closure from the marriage or the relationship . Some cynics might say "You were asking for it by being so full of trust .( my son's father is  such a person who thinks cheating is a problem of the person being cheated on ,not the cheater) Boy ,was I really an easy target for this (taking care of the kid ,believing in commitment and family and chasing the fairytale of "And they lived happily ever after...." but hey ,we live,we learn ! I have issues  regarding opening up in relationships but the biggest issue with me is ,I think that  I take people at face value and I believe all people are  and act like me, which they are not.And because they say everything happens for a reason ,I guess the reason here was for me to learn my lesson and pay attention to problematic people and behaviour and learn to set clear boundaries .Respect my needs and me as a person . I still do believe in commitment (though at the time I was determined to do to him what he did to me ;in hindsight, it's a good thing I didn't ,I doubt I would have felt vindicated, I don't believe in casual sex,so I wouldn't have been OK with something like that ).

     I suppose you all are not that familiar with narcissism ,I don't expect you to but after reading this you might just want to give it a thought . I wasn't ,either but I am glad I found that information, quite accidentally, by the way ,in a video , and then there was that big aha -moment  :"So this is what it is all about! I am not the problem "and I started digging into it.  And when you have read some stuff on these toxic people and relationships ,you start looking around and seeing  narcissistic features in people you meet in your everyday life -in the shop, in the street, at you work place ...Your boss may be one etc.This helps you to choose more carefully the people who you hang out with and avoid toxicity in your life!

    Such supprot groups are an excellent place where we can learn to communicate more openly about things we need to change ,give us the chance to try to find the reasons behind our behaviour and I am happy I can do it without being laughed at or judged !( The covert narcissist I am telling you about thought he had a great sense of humour but ,mind you, it was never directed at him ,he never laughed at himself ,usually at me or other people and when I didn't like his joke,he told me I was too sensitive (the typical phrase was "What's up with you ?Can't you  take a joke?" ) ,told me I had no sense of humour at all ,I was not able to relax and have fun and enjoy myself .But if people spend time mostly enjoying themselves  ,who takes responsibility and does the work?   

    @Leaker As I re-read your post, I'd say there are  a couple of  things I'd like to mention,if you don't mind :) It's a good thing you stopped drinking  years ago. I agree the natural ,healthy  state of a human being is without alcohol,perfectly able to enjoy life without it.  In my country alcohol is not so expensive and ,though there are laws against drinking if you are under 18 , shops and bars and discos are not so strict to observe the law because they expect to make money and people have also coined a new word -there is also the so-called "alcohol tourism " during the summer months when a lot of foreign tourists come here,to have a holiday by the sea during the day and go to bars at night to drink (especially in the summer resorts) And some of them come several  years in a row because of the cheap alcohol . They say they have a great time here.Who knows what human nature is capable of ?

     I'm so glad you talk about continual imrovement as the goal ,not chasing imaginary perfection (and I'd say at all costs because addictions sometimes happen with this in mind -I have to do this at all costs,the cost being in certain cases an addiction which is the ultimate price we pay for using it as a tool to help us achieve).I must admit I am a bit of a perfectionist myself (remember the character inventory we are doing ) which maybe explains why I find it hard to just relax and let go of control -the perfect family,the perfect kid,job,birthday party ,the list can go on and on .I find myself so obsessed with organizing and keeping up with all the details of an event ,that I forget to enjoy myself until it's over and 'I've spent my time chasing perfection instead of enjoying the moment .I like what @dominica said - progress,not perfection and I keep reminding this to myself . 

    As for the qute ,yes ,this is exactly what I have in mind and what I have experienced and I am sure many others,too. It's a nice quote ..Makes you think..Will you remind me,please, where is it from ?Is it a Shakespearen quote ...sounds like it but maybe I am wrong .Maybe "Hamlet" or "Macbeth" or not? But sums up perfectly what I was referring to - pride and the ego that is driving it and the turmoil all of it can cause in our lives  !It's not so easy,though, to get rid of the ego part ! I can sometimes have a huge ego and it can lead to a lot of trouble ,making me act before I think .In many cases our ego prevents us from seeing the big picture and our pride from admitting our shortcomings and mistakes ! But inner growth cannot be if we have an awful lot of them so we should keep trying to change in a positive way ....

    Well ,here comes the end of this post (some might say " Finally l!!!" but I'll try not to apologize again for its length,I'll be happy if some of it can help you in your healing process .Use what works for you and leave the rest...

     Have a very special day all of you and take care of yourselves !

  • @changeyourself, I think the quote is a paraphrase from the Bible, but it is one of those things that has become ingrained into Western culture, so it and various versions of it pop up everywhere.

    It must be tough to deal with the narcissists you describe. I've only dealt with egotistical assholes (myself included), and they aren't that bad. I will say that you used the phrase, "before my son's father discarded me". Is that the healthy way of looking at it? It makes it sound like you are trash, or the one that wasn't worth it. I'd look at is "before my son's father ran away like a coward", or "moved on to his next victim in a futile attempt to validate his life" or something. Might just be semantics again.

    You talk about trust a lot as well. Could that be another flaw? Now, don't get me wrong, trust is important, but in the spirit of moderation, there are limits. There is the old Russian proverb of "Trust, but verify". One can trust someone, but every now and then it is a good idea to check for one's self and make sure everything is the way it should be. How often do we get ourselves into bad situations because we trusted someone else, and they let us down? Or they were wrong?
  • @changeyourself I'm sorry that you have had to endure such a toxic relationship. I'm glad that you are out of it and you are learning some valuable lessons about yourself, others, and relationships in general.

    I really like the work of Ross Rosenberg on the topic of codependency . he's got some great videos out there . there's a lot of great free resources on the topic of codependency and narcissism, and toxic relationships in general. Now you have the opportunity to solely work on yourself. On the opposite side of a narcissist is usually a very co-dependent person, as you probably know. I was a co-dependent person in a toxic relationship at one time and it took me years to grow enough self-worth and confidence to make the final break. I still have a tough time feeling feelings sometimes and speaking them. I get how you talk about being confused in your head and by the end of the conversation feeling like you are the problem, when you were simply trying to speak your truth . soul rape. wow. never heard that.

    Good news is that the healthier you become emotionally , you attract better into your life.

    You now know what to look for when it does comes to dating today . I can't remember if you said you were in a relationship now or not. They've been so, most relationships will bring up your own triggers, which is an opportunity for each person to heal those old wounds and learn valuable skills. I still have some codependent characteristics that pop up, and I'm not with a narcissist. I am with a highly conscious person who is willing to look at their own side of the street instead of Simply projecting or pointing fingers. That was number one on my priority list when I started dating. 

    Progress, not perfection. 

    Perhaps you can start a new thread having something to do with growing and learning valuable lessons from being in a relationship with a narcissist.
  • @TSWJ  Thank you for your kindness and support !

    I think I know what you mean by "external confidence and internal doubts ".In face-to-face communication people usually see me as cool and collected ,reserved to speak  ,quite distant  (especially with someone I meet for the first time ) and they come to the conclusion this is some kind of an act ,that I think I am superior to others and act like this to show them they are not worthy of my attention.But the reality is  I don't know what to do (especially if it is a more formal situation ,I get totally confused and feel out of place ) ,how to relax in an unfamiliar situation ,feel quite embarrassed to talk  (I wonder what to talk about , whether I would embarrass them if I ask a particular question or they would think I am intruding etc and become even more tense than before) .Basically I feel insecure and try to hide it with my behaviour externally.Internally I doubt myself and am afraid others will seel it .I sometimes even use sarcasm to hide that I am hurt.I guess this  big issue of modern soceity( which puts everybody under plenty of stress) :" Hide your insecurities,you are supposed to be strong and achieve "makes  a lot of people  turn to substance abuse to cope with all that pressure.People try to numb their feelings or pain ,it's a way of escapism but the way back is very difficult.Mind-altering substances are not the magic key to anybody's  problems  but they are the quickest and easiest way to escape .In the Iong run ,however,they are also othe most dangerous one.The healthier way to deal with this is start living your life with a clear mind so that you can see where you are going ,accept and heal your true self ,pay attention to your wants and needs ,become a healthy person and surround yourself with healthy people .Not an easy task for sure :)

     I see your point about sobriety as the first step.And a very important one ,too!I am sure a lot of other achieved goals are ahead of you !The road to one's true self is long but,as they say "every journey ,both the short and the long one,starts with that first step we make ". When the goal is worth it ,the journey becomes easier to handle! And when you have nice people to accompany you on this journey ,who can feel your pain and and be there for you in the struggle ,you just have to succeed , no way you will fail ,right? :)

    Enjoy your day and take care

  • @TWSJ Sorry, I  misspelt your nickname,I apologize ,hope you are not angry..:)
  • @dominica, I have read in a lot of people's posts that they go to therapy or counselling to get  some help to deal with their unhealed wounds but for now I just try reading books and articles , watching videos,live streams (I enjoy this in particular  ,)listening to podcasts and guided meditation videos ,listening to music (I am a big MJ fan but I hope you won't start me on the molestation charges against him ,please), becoming a member of  a support group because in my country going to therapy and taking care of one's mental health is not considered a priority for most people ,meaning the country's standard of living is not very high (though we have already been a member of the European union for several years ) and the majority of the population try to pay their bills ,buy food ,spend money on educating their children , just everyday necessities .And I guess ,people don't generally believe in or rely on such kind of intervention .On the one hand, seeing a therapist is not so affordable for most people ;on the other hand,  if I have enough money and decide to spend it on this ,I don't want to waste it on someone who is not an experienced professional in their field and since there is not enough demand for such help because of the cost as well as for various other reasons,such as maybe prejudice ,ignorance etc, I don't really think there are very many  good therapists here that know what they are doing or dealing with,especially speaking of narcissism.Most therapists are quick to prescribe pills for dealing with anxiety or depression ,which is not the way to go .I  don't need that in my life .This is just another type of addiction .I have seen some ads offering online counselling ,too. You can pay by credit card and this is something to keep in mind .Because I would say I prefer not opening up in a face-to face session. I really prefer this type of communication ,using a nickname ,this feels safer .I heard this phrase in a video and think it is quite well-said:"A good therapist is worth their weight in gold ."And that's true but there are not very many such people in the part of the world  I live in,unfortunately.

    I was thinking the other day I might start journaling ,this sounds like a good tip for people that have been through abuse and a lot of counsellors encourage people to do this .

    I feel a bit insecure about beginning a separate thread but I would try to overcome this by thinking that I will help people with this and myself including.I don't have a lot of other experience with relationships ,except fpr this 25 + year relationship ,22 out of which in a marriage but I have been thinking quite a lot recently about why things turned out the way they did and where my responsibility is in all this.Because I now know that people can only take advantage of us if we allow them to,so if we turn over our power to another person and rely on them for approval ,whose responsibility is this? ....It's ours.The thing is you simply don't know how to be any other way  ,you need to change your whole outlook and start behaving in a different way ,become someone else completely (or maybe the more correct phrasing will be get in touch with your real self and your own feelings ,have yourself and your needs as a priority) .I still try to put my responsibilities as a parent first before my own feelings because I think this is the right thing to do ,I am afraid to start dating because I might be hurt again ,and I think it's not fair to drag my son in a relationship which might turn out problematic again.

    And this is exactly how I felt after I discovered he had been cheating on me :On the one hand , I just felt numb and empty ,even indifferent in a way .On the other, I wanted to scream and kick and hit and destroy !Which now I think about it shows just how confused and disengaged I was with my own feelings to the point of denial ,I was denying myself the right to get angry !I coudn't even cry to get it out  then ! And I wondered why ? I thought this was so strange because now ,when I watch guided meditation videos on releasing anxiety and finding the real you ,I start crying without even knowing how ,it just comes to me.And I sometimes feel embarrassedthat at the age of 48 , I can still start crying like a child over some gentle music and a soft voice and some nice words .

    My son's father thought it was a stupid thing to do .When he saw I was about to cry ,he thought it was some kind of emotional manipulation on my side,trying to get him to do what I want ,not just a feeling of injustice or rude behaviour that can make you hurt and sad.So,for him tears were a sign of emotional manipulation.So,I stopped crying and started telling myself :"You are not a little girl anymore,grown-ups don't cry.Don't be stupid!" and I stuffed all my discontent inside me until the point of not being able to cry when I wanted to release tension.Not being able to cry to show my feelings led to the  piling of resentment and repressed anger and I turned into this resentful and even cynical person in certain situations ,of the type who thinks people get what they ask for , without  regret .At one point I couldn't recognise the person I was turning into,but I thought this is how grown-up people behave ,this was part of me acting like an adult  .What a torture this whole situation was ! I don't know ,in hindsight,how I managed to put up with it for such a long time! I'm glad it's finally over!

    In an intimate relationship ,it 's almost impossible for me to speak my feelings ,in most cases I think that my actions speak of my feelings and there is no any other need for me to talk about them !If you are interested in seeing the things you are looking for,you will see them without a lot of words .I don't really like displays of affection in public,I think this is something very personal and I value privacy but otherwise (since we are talking about positive traits :) ,I'd tap myself on the shoulder alittle bit ) I do believe in commitment ,I am very loyal and protective of the people I care about..I just can't force myself to speak much about what I feel  - I even think this is not necessary.

    There is a woman,she is from Australia I think, Melanie Tonia Evans (I hope I spell her name rigjht ),and she talks about narcissism a lot ,has her own site with resources for people who have been abused and videos but your words in particular remind me of her words about the law of attraction .this is what she says :"So within ,so without".You atrract what you are.If are not a healthy individual,you attract toxic people.And for narcissists ,in particular,they are said to be attracted to good,decent people because they feel right away they can manipulate them and because they want to become like them ,to project their narcissistic traits onto the person they are with.Narcissists want to become  like these good,decent people   but not by doing the work but by all the crazy-making stuff and the lies and the manipulation .You know what they say about narcissists?Question :"When does a narcissist tell a lie?"Answer:"The minute they open their mouth to talk!:)

    I am trying to end this post on a positive note here.:) I do hope all of you take a good look at yourself and really see all the good qualities that you possess and be proud of them,

    Take care and be gentle to yourselves

  • Forgot to mention something else ,a very important thing -if you want to spite people that hurt you,the best revenge is having a good life !Don't stoop to their level to take revenge on them(although most of us reach a point when we want to get things even),it is not a very smart thing to do , just get up and get that good life that only you can make happen and that you deserve!!!

    Hope you all find your inner peace and follow it in the right direction!!!

  • @changeyourself you keep doing what you're doing because it seems to be working! :) 

    i do like melonie tania evans work.... i did spend time reading her stuff and listening to her years back... so many great resources out there!!

    thank you so much for sharing your journey with us....

    here's to continued growth and expansion!!!!!
  • @Leaker ,I don't take your opinion as an offence because surely trusting people too much has always been one of my "flaws",I know that and this has been a source of major trouble in my life.Especially with people I feel close to,I  tend to trust them unconditionally.And this is something that narcissistic people use when they try to manipulate you - that you trust them even more than you trust yourself,trust their judgement more than your own one ,which sounds immature ,I know,but ....Things now will be quite different if i start dating someone , I  can tell you that.Trust has to be earned with me these  days , I  always check the information I was given,especially about really important  matters .When my son tries to lie to me about his marks at school ,I go there and check if he has  told me the truth.Or if he skips classes and doesn't tell me ,I find out very quickly.

    Something very telling happened last year with regard to lies and trust.I get child support every month but last summer (I am not sure which month ,whether July or August ,I believe it's August because it's my son's birthday in August and narcissists   usually pick some important occasion for you to spoil it ) he skipped one payment in August and paid another one in September.I check the date and the month every time and the time he skipped the payment,he changed from writing the month in full ,like letters,and started writing it in numbers.He   obviously wanted to fool me.I noticed this ,didn't take the money,made an appointment to see a lawyer and discuss legally what Iam supposed to do in this case.Then,I went and took the child support payment.One time this year,I was  talking  to him about my son's problems  with grades at school and I decided to make a hint at last summer's skipping of child support payment.But I didn't tell him directly ,just said something on the lines of "You know,I think there is something we should discuss from last summer",just waiting to hear his reaction.And he acted just as I expected and just as narcissists do :Play the "I don't know what you are talking about" kind of behaviour.I know what the law says in this case,I wanted to be sure that he was playing mind games with me,just like the post where I wrote about the phone conversation -"I don't know what you are talking about ,what woman?"See,they never change.He still thinks I am this trustful woman who he can play games with.Well, I am not.And  I surely  am not a person  who likes   playing  games in the first place.I have had enough of it,I want my peace.But that just goes to say the kind of person he is.

    About the "discard"  term,I use it because this is how articles  and books  about  narcissists  define this process - discarding. They don't relate to  people,they get "supply" to feed their ego. When  they find a new source of   supply , they get rid of the previous one.I  used  to be his primary supply obviously because they tend to have more than one in line ,they have one primary and many others in some cases,depending on the type of narcissistic personality -depending on what they want from them :whether it is money ,social status,sex etc

    Thank you for trying to boost my confidence,that I shouldn't consider myself "trash " and I will never define myself as such but to tell you the truth he used to call me that .He said :"You are trash!" with exactly these words.Or "You are dirty trash!" But he did it while we were alone in a room ,my son in the other room ,and if I reacted in an angry outburst because he called me  that ,my son would only hear me yelling and his father would point out to him that i was again being hysterical,without the kid knowing really why I was upset!

    If you ask me why I put up with all of this,I am not sure what the answer would be -low self-worth ,fear of being alone ,wanting to experience intimacy,too much time invested in the relationship to get out and start again,disrupting the fantasy of the "ideal" life with your "soul  -mate " (this is,by the way a major red flag that you are maybe dealing with a narcissist -having the feeling that you have met your soul-mate).Whatever  reason  you choose,you will not be wrong.

    I like the way you think about trust,that it shouldn't be too much.It means you have a healthy and mature  attitude in that  respect and know how to protect yourself from dangerous people and not act in an irrational  way.That shows you have grown up in your personal development.I have watched a lot of videos about narcissism and in one of them ,the man who had made the video was telling something similar to what you are saying here ,that you are not obliged in any way to reveal absolutely everything about yourself ,about your finances and if you choose not to tell your partner exactly how much money you have ,it is none of their business to ask you about it or want you to merge finances etc. These are just examples of setting boundaries that others shouldn't cross! And if they don't respect your boundaries ,then maybe you are dealing with very toxic people

    .Take care

  • @changeyourself,

    I wish I could say that I have a healthy mature attitude about trust, but I get burned by it too. Right now I am working through some stuff at work where I trusted people to do the right thing, but it looks like they fell short. I didn't keep close enough eye on it, so now MY boss is getting involved.

    For the time investment in the relationship, the callous way of looking at it is a Sunk Cost. In business, they teach that sunk costs are the devil, because they trick you into staying in bad situations. For example, I have already invested $5000 in this project, it needs another $1000 and MAYBE it will be a success. Sunk Costs are sunk costs, and there comes a time when one has to walk away. I may be preaching to choir on that one, or it is just impossible in certain relationships.

    I'll still stand by my statements about referring to yourself. Screw what the "experts" say. They can use whatever term they want in some sterile, clinical, soulless book, but when it's real people, I say the terminology can change. Sorry to hear that he treated you like that. He sounds like a Grade A Clown Show with a big red nose and floppy shoes.

    My wife has a term for those sort of people: Man-children. They are in the body of a man, but they are still just a child. Selfish, manipulative, in the US they act like they are still in high school/college by spending all their time playing video games or playing/watching sports. They are prone to cheating, and only serious about a relationship until the next piece of ass becomes available. If they have a meaningful job, it's a rarity, but as soon as the workday is done, off comes the tie and out comes the "bros". Man-children, as fun as they sound, are wholly incapable of being depended on for any kind of serious relationship, and best left alone until (if ever) they grow up.
  • @Leaker , Thank you for that post ! And once again  I will say  I             am so lucky I found all of you here! I am so glad and relieved  somebody gets what I feel and am trying to express in words !lYou ( and your wife) couldn't have described it in a better way!!! You seem to be reading my exact thoughts on these type of men,I would even  say you find more suitable words to explain it than I did!I think I want to keep this post in my laptop to re-read it when I feel down,to remind myself of what I dealt with.Sometimes the right words don't come to us to express what we feel but we are happy if we have people with us who care and really listen what we are trying to say!

    This is exactly my case with "the circus act" !I never thought of it in that way but this description fits perfectly.Immature men who want somebody to parent them.I can only be a parent to my kid,though. No more providing parenting to adult people for me,thank you! And the difficult part to explain is when other people see them as this charmer who cracks jokes ,is funny to be around ,kind and sensitive ,who never raises his voice in public and points at you as the hysterical one.How does that happen?I have never considered myself  a rude ,insensitive,superficial person but, somehow,it always turned out that way .I kept wondering :"Am I really that bad,insensitive,argumentative person?I don't think I am but if somebody is telling  me this all the time,maybe he is right and I need to change!"But ,no matter how hard I tried to change what I could ,it was never enough,I still had more work to do,while he told me :"I don't want to change!"How does that sound?We ALL have things that we need to work on.If you are not willing to change (meaning improve and work on the relationship and the marriage),it shows you are the superficial person,not your partner.

    So,I blamed myself for many years ,thought that maybe when we have a child that will change but it actually became more problematic than before because this came as an extra responsibility for him and I don't think he could handle it (such people are not good at handling responsibilities at all).A parent is not just the name on the child's birth certificate ,it's a 24-hour job ,a full-time job :) and you have to be  really involved  emotionally  in your child's life ,to be there for him/her when they need you .It's not working shifts!He still tries to triangulate me (another term from books) with the kid (tells him I woudn't have left you if your mother hadn't been so hysterical and unstable!She is to blame ,she tortured me all the time ,I never had any peace etc."And my son blames me for this.It's not easy to handle it and how can I explain the situation to him  without telling him his father is a manipulative ,immature liar who is trying to pass himself as this great dad and understanding husband  who the problematic mother and wife can't appreciate?Books say it's better to leave the child draw their own conclusions and see things for themselves ,while I should try to set an example  as a parent to let the child see how words match our actions (because narcissistic people almost never do what they say,so their actions don't match their words).It's another red flag of narcissistic behaviour.

    But it seems deep down something inside me made me allow this person to treat me like this and put up with it for such a long time.One thing is maybe I consider myself not worthy of respect.Maybe that's why I try to be perfect all the time ,to try to earn other people's respect.And he used to tell me this all the time when I wanted him to work on his issues in the marriage:"You think you are so smart and so perfect !You think you are better than everybody else!" I don't think that,I just try to be because I think we should constantly improve .I don't think this is bad - to want to improve.Trying to be perfect all the time is exhausting and it doesn't help if you are constantly ridiculed and blamed for  it. I find it hard to relax,I feel like if I relax I am doing something wrong because I am being lazy and wasting my time doing nothing.So,I put my own "high standards" and try to stick to them but ,when I am demanding towards people ,I am even more demanding towards myself.I just don't go around telling it to everybody.It  shows in my behaviour and,if anybody really knows me,they will surely have noticed that.

    He called me names many times,told me I  was greedy (what greed is there in  wanting some romance in your life  in order to avoid feeling stifled by everyday problems  ,in  expecting to exchange gifts on special  occasions  or holidays  just to spice things up a little bit  (I don't mean   something  so  expensive to make the other person  feel  uncomfortable ,it's not like he has bought me a car or something,I am not asking for the moon ),just something nice to show that you care,to want to share daily experiences, simple things like that) ,maybe go on holidays from time to time. All these things that prevent us from becoming bored within the  marriage  and take our partner for granted . 

    Speaking of travelling  ,he tried so hard to get at me  by refusing to give me his permission to have an international  passsport  for my son to be able to travel abroad. I like travellingl  and I would like to take my son with me to show him other countries and traditions,I want him   to  be open -minded and tolerant towards differences in cultures and I believe travelling as much as possible is very important for broadening your mind. I found a good lawyer,took him to court to show him he can't just refuse the child permission to travel abroad  because he has decided to control the situation  and  got  the international passport ! And he again played the "I never refused to do that " part .I was thinking then,if I were the judge in this case,I would have thought :"If this man didn't refuse his permission , why would the mother want to give money to a lawyer and  waste  so much time  dealing with court documents and wait for almost a year to resolve the case?"Simple logic! I was under so much stress during that time , I wouldn't have done this just for the fun of it ,no way! :)

  • @Leaker Sorry to hear you are going through a difficult situation at work!Hope everything turns out fine in the end,though while it lasts it can  really cause you a lot of stress !

    Your words made me think about this trust issue again.Whether it is     trust betrayal by your closest person or by your co-workers (it is not a small thing that you have also finances invested in the project) it shatters a person.For me, if my co-workers betray my trust , I get angry because it's my career,I have worked hard for it and , if my closest person does it, I am devastated .In either case I am emotionally  involved in  the situation (maybe  your reputation and finances invested are at stake ) and the damage done can last for a long time .

    This is a situation which again shows how difficult it is to let go of control and have more trust.It's a bit like "Catch 22",read that book :) - when you let go of the habit to control everything and trust others with your finances and expect them to do their job,you think they are like you and will be responsible the way you are to do it right.And when they don't,you get frustrated and think :" I should have checked this more carefully and control the final outcome,not just trust others and expect everything will turn out OK on its own."What should we do in such a situation?Maybe listen to you gut instinct to guide you which path to take.I heard  a statement in a video that if we listened to our gut instinct more,we wouldn't get into trouble so often,Sometimes we try to rationalize things too much instead of trying to FEEL what's the right way to go......

  • @changeyourself,

    In full disclosure, the situation I described with the sunk costs was just a hypothetical example. I don't have any money invested in this particular issue, just my career. Not that it makes it any better, just setting the record straight.

    I am glad my words hit the nail on the nugget for you and gave you a little booster. Like I said, based on what you are describing, you aren't the one to blame, and any language that even implies that is something to not put too much credence in. I a believer in the concept that words have power and influence. Would a rose by any other name smell less sweet? Probably. If someone named it a "fart-blossom" I doubt all the ladies would be as excited to get a dozen "fart-blossoms" on Valentines day...

    Concur, man-children can seem like a lot of fun. The life of the party. A great person to hang out with. But that's the key, they may be great to hang out with, but you really can't depend on them for anything. Eventually their true colors come out though. You just have to trust that people will see the whole situation in due time. Even your son. It might be tough now, and he might not understand, but if you raised him right, eventually he will see the truth. It will a good and yet sad day when he says, "Mom, you were right. My dad is worthless liar. Sorry you had to put up with everything".

    I'd say I concur somewhat on following one's gut instinct. The professionals always say that when taking a test, go with your first answer unless you know FOR SURE there is a better answer, otherwise you are just talking yourself off the right answer. However, that "lead from the gut" approach only works with a baseline level of knowledge and understanding of the situation. I might be able to follow my gut and successfully navigate an unfamiliar neighborhood, but following my gut to direct air traffic? Nope, not gonna end well. BUT, for a someone experienced at that, they can follow their instincts and make the air traffic flow perfectly.

  • @Leaker ,  LOL No "fart-blossoms" for me,thank you!!!This lady would LOVE roses!

    I'll have to give another point of view on your example with the air  traffic flow,though.I think what you have in mind here is more like having enough experience and skill to do it,I think it's not so much "gut instinct."Your example reminds me of a situation when you have done something so many times or have years of practice and you,as if, "feel " what is right to do,you don't have to think so much about it,in extreme situations you can do things fast and take the right decision based on your previous knowledge.What I meant about "gut instinct" is when you don't have a lot of experience with something ,yet can "feel" what is right to do in this situation without being able to explain how you know it. Like the statement :"I just know it ,don't ask me how!"This summarises pretty well what I mean.I suppose you have heard this statement from someone.Or another one would be :"I have a bad feeling about this situation !"You might have never been in a similar one,you just have  "the feeling" that something is wrong.But not many times do we listen to our ":gut instinct" and then say :"Well, I shoud have listened to my "gut instinct"!

    Sorry about the misunderstanding, I re-read the post . I saw verbs used in the present perfect tense (used to express present results from a past action.) I guess,I took it you are referring to now :) I can see now you were speaking hypothetically. (You know English is not my native language ,so you'll have to excuse some mistakes in understanding occasionally .Though ,to be honest,I take pride in my knowledge of English,in most cases.This sounds like bragging a lot but can't help it ,I consider it the thing  I am most skilled at . If you want to get at me,start critisising my English skills,I'll be mortified :( It's my favourite language .This time I obviously made a mistake, sorry. ).Apart from that ,I see what you mean about "You have to cut your losses at one point in time !" (I hope I quote the phrase right here).Consider if the bad is more than the good and ,if so, then it's time to go.No point to sink further.

    In my case,however,with the marriage I was in ,I somehow refused to give up on it.Knew things were not the way they should be,and yet carried on.But this happened  maybe because I am someone who thinks it's a failure if you give up on what you have started doing.Marriage including .So,I kind of thought :"I can't give up.I can make this work,I'll change myself the way I should and things will be fine."The cost of that was I felt miserable a lot of the time,waited for "the breadcrumbs instead of the whole loaf  of bread ".Tried to convince myself that everybody compromised in a marriage.I even thought :"This must be what married life looks like -compromise and mysery,unhappiness .Yet other married people didn't look so unhappy and miserable when i compared.I somehow noticed ,too,that the other party didn't want to do his share of work .I was expected to make all the work.If not ,that was it.He told me so -a kind of ultimatum . I tried for years,with the end result being ,at one point I was so lost , I just diddn't know who I was anymore,after so many efforts to change my wants and needs.But you can't do that,you just stifle them,repress them until you are on the verge of exploding and everything surfaces,anyway.And with my inclination to want to have "the perfect marital life " ,and the perfect everything  ,things got further complicated ,I think.I have this  inclination - once you commit to something, you HAVE to make it work,you simply HAVE TO.There is no other way.No matter what! Never give up!(that's something like a motto for me ) It's my "duty" , I am responsible to make it work. Not so,from my present point" of view .You only have to invest efforts in things that you feel comfortable with and don't require a lot of compromise,with your personal beliefs ,wants ,needs.If the situation you are in  requires a lot of compromise with these things , then you 'd better get out and save your efforts for something that's worth them.And this goes for other things ,too.Not just marriage or relationships.

    And there is this other thing with me where I don't want to insult people by pushing them away.I think  I need to be polite and accommodate other's expectations and needs (so-called "people-pleasing" attitude of co-dependent people ).I am more (or should I say used to be) inclined to start dating just because a man invited me to go out ,I thought it is impolite to refuse.I never actually asked myself WHY do I want to do it,just was happy someone was interested in me.I let men choose me instead of vice versa.Now I think I have to consider carefully what makes me accept an invitation,why would I want to go on a date,not just being polite.I have to put me first :)

  • A positive for me...Thanks @Tommy! I'm really good at not judging people and their situations. I don't start giving advice right away as to "what I'D do if..." I'm a good listener and keep my mouth shut. 
    Another positive for me is I don't hold a grudge. Like water on a duck's back, I can effortlessly forgive and move on. I'm more of a "screw me once shame on you, screw me twice, shame on me" kind of person.

    @changeyourself, I've enjoyed your insight and experiences! NEVER apologize for your lengthy posts and please continue your journey on our Freedom Train! Sounds like you are trying to put yourself first for a change. I, too, thought everybody compromised in a marriage, but, found out very soon it doesn't always work that way. Now that I'm clean and sober...I'm having a hard time. I resent I am the only one compromising on things that have nothing to do with my giving up pills and alcohol. I'm not even sure sometimes it is worth it. Were it not for this group and books and pod-casts telling me different, I'm only one pill or drink falling back into old behaviors.

  • @Goodtr8s,
    Thank you for your post,I'd say it again—  it feels good to know there are people who don't find you a nuisance,boring,uninteresting or shallow— some things I have been told describe me.It is a really nice feeling—  free to share and knowing there is somebody out there who is actually interested ,wants to hear what you have to say and is ready to listen,who doesn't tell you to "shut your mouth already and leave me alone".Words have a great power over us.You can build a person with them and you can also destroy them.But I am not sure many people care to think what they say to others and how their words affect them.
    I mentioned "compromise "in a previous post and something else comes to mind  related to this issue.I used to believe to make a relationship work, you need to compromise.In most cultures women are expected to be "the compromisers".To the point of losing your own identity and turning to mind-altering substances to numb the pain that you don't feel like an individual anymore,just an extension of somebody else.That your wants and needs are not respected and you need to be ok with it.There is this common belief that you should show the world that "happy" facade of the "perfect family" and not talk about "all the elephants in the room".Just keep going.What is the end result of this?In most cases unhealthy relationships within the family in which children cannot learn to relate to other individuals in a healthy way and have problematic relationships when they become adults.If you turn to substances as an escape, you are not one hundred per cent present in your life,you are not consciously there in your children's life so, in a way, you abandon them.(I am not trying to point fingers here,just my random thoughts on the topic,trying to reach some clarity ,for myself included and maybe make changes in a positive way.)
    You say in your post you 'd be close to turning to old behaviours if it weren't for the support group and books.Have you asked yourself what kinds of thoughts, behaviour or feelings trigger such wants about pills or alcohol?Maybe,you have.I am not a therapist,I am more of the type of person who tries to empathise with people by "putting myself in their shoes "and is willing to see what they see in their life.I think there is a certain dose of "self-hate" in each person using substances,in a way they are slowly trying to kill themselves.It is scary stuff and nobody should have to be in such a situation but a lot of people end up in it.Maybe trying to find the reasons behind the substance abuse can help. Maybe find another way to cope with the issue instead of turning to old behaviours.My way of doing is through music, listening to guided meditations online.It is agreat way to relax,so soothing.And in most cases people are stronger than they think they are and can overcome their issues because maybe this challenge is supposed to be a learning curve for them and this is part of the learning process,part of their inner growth,to beat the addiction.And although I write "people",myself included should find all my strength and stay on the path of that learning process.I may not like the obstacles on that path,but we don't get to choose them,I just need to find out how to overcome them and learn from them and grow as a person.The obstacles are there for me to learn,I just need to come to the point not to get angry about why is this so difficult but concentrate more on: "What does this mean?Why am I going through this?"I honestly do my best not to preach to anybody,so,please,if at times I sound like it,that is not my intention.Just some thoughts ...
    Have you thought about what makes you feel good,what you really enjoy doing and how do you take care of yourself?Do you feel good after going for a swim,or a nice walk, or going to the gym,or watching a movie, or something else?If there is such a thing,maybe you should do it more often and re—direct your thoughts from feeling like you want to turn to old behaviours...Just an idea I heard on a site,how to take care of you first.:)
    I support you in your choice to beat the addiction, don't give up on yourself, you are strong enough to do this,substances ruin your health
  • Very nice @Goodtr8s I can tell you are from Ga. The ducks back is a southern thing my mom said!! I try not to hold a grudge either. Doesnt do anyone any good. I am watching the storm. However I was born and raised in Decatur Georgia. Lived in the NG mountains. I moved to California 10 years ago. I miss home and my family something fierce. But I have made a good life for myself here. I love the weather out here. And I have started 2 recovery groups, and tried to help many addicts and alcoholics while here. They say things happen for a reason. I hope I have helped at least one or 2 people while here. 
  • @goodtr8s It is worth it. I noticed that as well. Seems like I am the one who has to change. Just because I used to do pills?? Why? But you know what. Thats the addiction coming out. It is a sneaky bastard. If I slam the door closed on it. Next thing it is slipping around to the side and sneaking in through a window cracked open. Like water. It will find a way in. And it is tricky. Just remember, pills wont fix it. Just compound the problem. I practice some times. Jesus said if we tell the devil to flee, he has to!! And will. Lots of times I would say Get behind me pills!! And Take a hike!! With the overdose and chasing the perfect high, is not something I have the strength to do again. Stand at the back of our train. Watch the pills we placed on the tracks fade from view!! Because the suck big ole fat rotten smelly ostrich eggs!! Eff em.
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