Im having this recently too, ive had to learn that sometimes my help as well meaning as it always is is just not helpful to some and then i feel hurt about it not being taken in the way it was meant
I learned early on that a closed mouth never gets fed.
Everyone has already said what I was thinking but I wanted to add that I personally believe it’s important for people to build in person support networks, and not solely rely on this forum. This site has gone down in the past for days and those navigating early sobriety were left to their own devices. The same happened to those relying solely on in person support when the pandemic hit. Not having connection whether it’s in person, wifi, or a site issue can and will lead to disaster. The more resources we tap into the more support we have.
Hey @Chevy55 I think I hear what you are saying. Navigating this place has been another step on my sober journey and I think of it as a safe little microcosm to practice sober skills.
I learned that I have to ask for help when I need it which is not a skill I possessed while drinking. When I asked for help here it was given and that is a great motivator to be honest with my feelings and do it again.
Depending on my headspace I am on here hours every day or sometimes minutes. Sometimes I am able to engage with lots of new people and sometimes I just stick to the threads I know. I am on every day.
Another aspect of my learning here has been that I can’t save anybody but myself. I can offer a hand or a tool or a word of kindness but the recipient has to do the work. I did not understand this when I drank. I was the superhero of my story then and the world would bend to my desires, except not.
Lastly, I am not mentally or emotionally equipped to deal with some of the people on here and when I find myself getting dismissive of someone’s post for my own petty reasons or ruminating on the hard aspects of someone else’s life for hours (like @Tragicfarinelli said) I hide that person for a while. This tool helps a lot and if anyone needs to know how to do it please let me know.
I can’t and shouldn’t engage in all the topics of conversation around here but this place is a huge part of my recovery process. I hope you find what you need here and if you don’t please just ask, like you did right here. Keep up the good work.
Thank you Emilie,
I hear ya. I am doing very well myself, thanks.
It was something someone else said that stuck with me and after a few days I began to understand there reasons more clearly. When I have a mental itch I tend to want to scratch it, so posting I go, lol.
I find sometimes it gets me in trouble as I do t always write the same way as I’m thinking, and I definitely do not ask for any help to any degree. I just keep on keeping on… unhealthy? Perhaps. But other than my part time heavy drinking habit it’s served me well to be self sufficient.
This place is a huge help to many many ppl, myself included. Was just thinking of a subject matter that may tweak response and get people thinking about how far a kind word really can go.
We all need more kindness in this world and a sec here and there by the majority helps in huge ways I believe.
Thanks for your thoughts. I always appreciate you and many others here’s input. I am learning a lot by reading and absorbing.
There are a few things that I think about this topic. First, I think you are correct to a certain extent.
I know myself, when I browse, I make an effort to welcome newcomers, try to help people who seem to be struggling, celebrate milestones, and then if there are posts from people I feel some affinity to for some reason (similar situation, joined at similar time, etc) then I comment on those too. With the exceptions of our Daily Check in superstars @CATMANCAM and @JazzyS who really make an effort to comment on a large amount of people, few people can comment truly equitably. I know I can’t. (There may be other superstars on other threads that I don’t frequent so much, kudos to you too!). I sometimes don’t even manage to keep up with the newcomers / milestones / people in trouble.
But still I feel this community is more equitable than a lot of irl communities. There are fewer cliques, more openness, less bullshit, more kindness. But people are still people, so group dynamics will occur.
Also as @Tragicfarinelli stated (your list of how you feel is exactly how I feel, always, thank you for sharing), and this may not apply to you @Chevy55, but feeling on the edge of things, especially if you feel on the edge everywhere, is an indication of how you are interacting with things. Or how you think about interacting with things. I’m not criticising you (or anyone else that feels this way) because I feel and do the exact thing myself. On here, in real life. Before I was a mod, I ‘left’ a couple of times (without a grand exit post) and no-one noticed. Because connection is two way, and it takes constant effort. Again, not directing this at you Chevy, but to people in general who feel this way (including myself). People have to take responsibilty for their own relationships and connections.
Thank you for creating this topic Nick. Grateful to have you here and always enjoy your posts (words and pictures)
I do know I felt so out there on my own when I first joined – I do have a loving and caring family but they do not understand addiction. With my health issues I isolated from friends and did not join any groups. This community got me through the worst of it. I spent a lot of time here reading and soaking in the information during my initial start. I was shocked that I would get responses when I posted (even hearts was way more than I ever expected). Shocked cause I could see the vastness of this forum - it still leaves me in awe. It was a good feeling to be seen and I wish that each person on this site could have this feeling.
Yes, when someone reaches out for help they do get immediate attention. It is such a healthy reminder that just cause someone isn’t asking for help does not mean that they couldn’t use acknowledgement or support.
I notice those who are able to give are giving support and love. For some it is enough that they check in and that is all that they are able to muster for the day. Even if it is a upbeat check in it may be all they have to keep the energy for themselves (if that makes sense).
I get a sense of belonging for all here. Maybe i might be blind to it but i don’t notice cliques. I do know i have bonded with so many here over this year of being on this site. Seeing some folk daily has created some meaningful relationships for me and i am grateful for this. I do know that like in real life, i have to put in the effort to make and keep these relationships. I am constantly making new friends which feels amazing. Never knew i would connect with so many beautiful souls in such a short period of time.
i’m sorry that you did not get a shout out in the past. i do know that many times i miss someone’s story and presence but for the life of me can not figure out the avatar or name on this site. sometimes in my hunt to go find the person i’m missing i get lost in other threads and lose my search. not making excuses - just sharing what happens to me when i miss someone. I am grateful for your line about sobriety being our own responsibility. I do look forward to your posts and am grateful for your shares
Given that this is the Internet and the nature of this app such feelings do not surprise me.
I think everyone has already said it all…
I will echo that I am glad you’re here, and I’m glad you’ve raised this topic.
My activity here varies, based mostly on life busy-ness now. But sometimes?
This place irks the hell outta me! Certain threads. Some people. I get charged by something, or put off by another’s words or opinions. (Insert some mental name calling, my less-than-best self has.) At times, I have more than once indignantly declared (to myself) that the forum does not support my recovery! At least parts of the forum.
Just. like. life.
It’s taken some time and work, but when I find myself internally reacting like that now - I try to get curious about why. What it can tell me about me, in my recovery and in the world. Not to fault-find in myself or others! Just to better know myself.
Learning to do that here, to open up and engage, and also to navigate around some threads and users instead of engaging, has been amazing practice for navigating it in the real world, too, which is full of things unfriendly to my recovery.
Allowing myself and others some distance here, it’s helped me soften, at least a bit. While we might all go about it differently, I have to believe we’re all doing the best we know how to today. He says it better than I can…
I haven’t explicitly said it! But I get excited to read your posts.
Grateful for you.
Sometimes, I don’t feel confident with my posts/replies. Like I’ve told some people on here before. I have poor grammar. Got me Googling, “what’s the difference between advice and advise”. I graduated from a continuation high school. I was too busy ditching and getting drunk, smh. I spend my time reading on the forum more than posting. I was about 4 months sober when I discovered the app. I’ll be 2 years and 4 months in a few days. Haven’t relapsed since I’ve been on here. This place saved my life. I’m thankful for everyone. Everyone’s posts and stories kept me going. Love you guys.
I’m glad you’re here. Take care, man.
I can see this.
When I first joined, there was definitely a group of folks here that dominated the airwaves.
I felt like my voice was small, like being the kid at the adult table. Not necessarily ignored or discarded, but more like I didn’t have anything of value to give to anyone with more sober time than me.
I found it hard to meld into that clique because I didn’t have a lot on common (i.e. sober time).
I think this is the point where people feel discouraged
I still came and posted everyday, welcoming new members and eventually those new members became friends. Most of my sober pals here were all sober within 3 months of one another.
I found it easier to relate to those going through the same thing at the same time, despite all of our other differences.
It took about 3 months to find my herd here.
So there I was, hanging out with my little herd, supporting each other. Eventually, some of the 1+ year folks started dropping off and that herd thinned out. Then we reached a year of sobriety and herds started melding, and new herds were starting and so the circle of life continued.
Someone a lot smarter than me says that a person can maintain about 150 social relationships max, when I quit drinking I removed myself from a couple dozens of the toxic relationships, and that allowed me to focus my time on my sober pals. Even though most no longer participate on this forum, we still are in group chats. In fact, I am in 7 or 8 different group chats outside this forum. Basically, what I am getting at is, as far as social relationships go, I feel I am reaching critical mass. The more I take on, the less attention I can give. Because of that, the last year or two, my participation on the forum has been welcoming new members and making stupid polls to see how normal I really am, or not .
Thanks for bringing this up, it’s something I’ll be more cognizant of.
I can totally relate. I had exactly the same feelings. But man I had to do some serious Digging within myself. Eventually, I realize that my problem with alcohol, was associated with some huge mental “instabilities”, I will call them.
Lack of confidence. Which was solved by alcohol. A huge need for attention. Which was solved by alcohol. A substantial amount of paranoia, and always thinking about what people thought about me. Which was solved by alcohol. Major immaturity in so many ways. Which were all solved by alcohol, right up until they weren’t.
Even today, my perception, and what I believe is going on around me, is not always accurate. My mental assessments , Can be far from reality.
As long as I continue to realize that alcohol was Always the wrong solution, to a lot of mental problems and issues I had, I do OK today
Steve, I relate a lot to what you have said. I think you are close in the mark and hopefully if people have issues I had mentioned to open this chat, they can see the both sides of it all. Cause much does also lie in ourselves, our perception, our insecurities and even our inability to take ownership.
This topic has given me much insight and I’ve appreciated everyone’s feedback immensely including your mirror you helped me hold to myself.
This alcohol gig sure is a messy thing and working to break from it sure shines a light on us as to where we require work.
Thank you for your thoughtful reply
Thank you Pinke. I’m very glad to be here, and appreciated as are you
This is a great group, with many amazing souls. How long I am here on the regular is still a question I have as I have gotten so much, loved sharing, but am also trying to reduce my screen time as I focus on health, fitness and ultimately start on some longer distance hikes… but for now, I am very much “digging “ you all!
It only slows down (for me) if I let it. Helping others is where the real joy lies for me. Always through attraction not promotion. It was a little bumpy going from receiving to giving but I found the more I give the more I truly received. It’s a Catch-22 in that true selflessness results in a selfishness without guilt. In the end, it’s all about love.