I’m trying to gather myself back up but I’m falling apart so much. I’m still not clean again. I have started to lie to my friends by saying that I’m clean. I need to keep lying to them to make sure they don’t get hurt. I’m sorry that I keep coming back here. I’m sorry that here. I don’t deserve this help. I don’t deserve it. Everything just seems to get bigger and harder to get over. I am nothing. Worthless. I’m so sorry. I’m so sorry. I’m sorry about everything I’ve done. I’m sorry. So sorry.
Hey @Paladine , there’s no need to apologize to us. This is a safe space for you to talk about your troubles without fear of judgment. It’s what we’re here for
The burden of continuing lies is enormous. It would be easy for me to say you should tell them, but at this point you’re invested in the lie and it’s just not that simple. I understand how heavy it’s got to feel, not just keeping up appearances and blurring the truth, but lying to keep your friends from being hurt. Like you said, it just gets bigger and bigger as time goes on.
I wish I had simple advice to offer you. If you were just hiding the truth, it would be simple enough for me to say expose it, and remove its power in doing so. However, if your friends find out about the lies, they may get hurt. It gets messy.
I will say is that continuing to lie is not sustainable. Each lie will get heavier and harder, and each lie will hurt your friends more when they find out. In that, you need to decide whether it’s more important to protect your friends or help yourself. I know you feel like you don’t deserve help, and I understand that feeling well, but the fact that you’re here tells me you want support. We can support you here, but so can your friends if you give them the chance.
I believe help isn’t something that we “deserve” because we can’t do anything to earn it. If we could earn help, we wouldn’t need it in the first place. I believe help is an offering of grace, extended with love by people you know and people you don’t. We can argue in circles all day whether or not you “deserve” help, but that becomes a pointless argument if we reframe and say that help is given, not earned. You’ve reached out here. Now I’m trying to help you as well as I know how to, and others may do the same. It’s what we can give. If you reach out to your friends, I hope that they will help you–not because you “deserve” it, but because you asked for it and because they can.
Be brave, friend. You don’t need to fight this battle alone. You’ve already shown courage by sharing your vulnerabilities here. Be brave, and surround yourself with people who want to help you succeed.
I can’t just stop lying to them. It would hurt them so much. They think that I’m nearly a week clean. I know I should apologize but I feel like I need to. I feel like need to say sorry for every single thing that I do. I feel like such a burden to anyone and everyone. I just don’t want to hurt anyone and if to do that I have to get hurt I feel like it’s worth it because I’m worthless.
You are not worthless! If you actually were worthless, you could not hurt others by falling short of their expectations. They would simply shrugg their shoulders and say “oh well, that’s just how he is.”
As long as you believe you are worthless, there is little chance that you will muster the inner resources or confidence required to bring about lasting change in your life. I can ask a few thousand questions about the things that you can do and have done, and all that you’ve accomplished, in an attempt to help you sense your own worth. In the end, you might grudgingly admit, “yeah, I guess I am worth something.”
Rather than do that, I’ll simply ask that you recall those times when you encouraged others, cared for others, forgave others, and helped them to heal. Those actions and abilities establish your worth, which is beyond any measure of wealth.
You don’t need to tell anyone that you relapsed a week ago. Instead, you can simply say that you have relapsed, and go from there. If I were your friend, I would feel bad if you told me that you relapsed, but I would feel much worse if I thought that you were afraid to tell me, for fear of my disappointment.
Is it possible, that your friends lack the experience to provide you with the kind of support that you need? There must be something about your interaction with them that has caused you to worry about disappointing them. If that’s the case, hang on to your friends, but also seek support from a counselor or therapist.
So, you were clean for a day or two? Three or four days? At some time in the past, a week? If you can stay clean for a day, you can do it for two days. If you can do for two days, you can do it for four days, and so on, till you’ve been clean for long enough to stay that way.
People tend to believe that the longer they do without something, the greater the craving for it will be. However, what you have going on is a parallel process. After a few days, physical cravings decline, yet at the same time emotional “addiction” grows stronger. The more you fight this emotional addiction, the more it fights back. That’s why a therapist is a good idea. There are strategies and mental habits a person can adopt, that disempower addictive tendencies.
As long as you keep caring and trying, you are not failing. You deserve respect, even from yourself. Every setback is a step forward in wisdom and experience. As long as you are taking those steps, you are succeeding.
It’s not that my friends make feel like they would be disappointed in me if I told them I had relapsed. I have told them in the past. It’s just that I don’t want to hurt them. I don’t want to hurt anyone but I feel like that’s all I do. Why even am I still like this. I went to in patient then out patient and I’m still like this. I still want to die. I’m sorry.
I’m sitting next to one of my friends now. I’m literally talking with them and I still feel nothing but pain and loneness. Why? Why am I still like this.
Your fears are valid. Being afraid to hurt the people you love because they thought you were okay while you’re not, makes sense. Yet being paralyzed by those fears, allowing you to be stuck in a non-solution, is not what you deserve either.
Not so long ago, I was hurt by someone, in a disgusting way, and I was afraid to say it to people close to me. I still am, to the point of being unable to speak when it comes to reaching out out loud. The main reason behind this, is because I’m scared to hurt my partner. It feels like I’m carrying a burden that I don’t really control, yet I still have control over something: sharing it or not, making him aware of the situation or not. And it feels like once he’d be aware, there wouldn’t be no turning back. I know this burden will create hurt in the heart of someone I love, which makes me feel deeply stuck.
After I reached out about this here on this forum, I had a conversation with a dear friend in this community who just wanted to be there for me, even if the only way for me to talk was by typing words, and not talking on a call. I shared my fears, and they understood how I was feeling, how much it was like the two options that I had in mind, disappearing or reaching out, would create pain one way or another, and I didn’t want any of those. I literally said to that person that I didn’t want to cause them any anxiety, or to anyone else, just because I’d share how much this world and people can be dark and ugly. I didn’t want them, as a parent, to be anxious for their children more than necessary. And that fear has been reoccurring through my life constantly. So many times I thought that I couldn’t talk about my traumas because I was holding some kind of dark legacy that this world just doesn’t need to know. It feels like contributing to something messy, ugly, dark beyond words, because even though traumas don’t define me, just like addiction don’t define you, it’s still part of me and my story. But this perspective leads nowhere, except our own destruction, friend.
Somehow, not making any decision, standing still in my silence and shame, was a way to not decide or take action. The fears you describe honestly really resonate with my own heart today. But I believe that, by being here, you are showing how much you don’t want to stay stuck alone with your burdens either. But on the other hand, the perspective of hurting the people we love is frightening. You’re right. And that actually shows how much you care about the people you love. Yet they’re not naive either. They know what pain is. They know how hurt we are because of our own battles. And they don’t just love the parts of us that would make them comfortable. When people truly love us, they love both our strengths and cracks, both our brightest and darkest sides. They don’t run away once an obstacle arise. And if they do, then they were not made to do life with us, and there would be grace to find in that realization too.
Friend, you asked why you are still like this, and I want to respond to you: because it is hard. Addiction is a tough battle to lead. It is a painful and difficult battle made of relapses and times of deep vulnerability. There is a part of responsibility to hold in the way we react to the events that occur in our life, even just as a very delayed reaction. Yet life is messy too, and burdens are made to be shared. They are made to be shared, Paladin. There are battles we can’t lead alone, and you know that because you are here today.
Friendship and love don’t stop once we are drowning. Love endures. And your friends, by being a support to you in the past, by being a support to you right now, can still be a support to you in the future, if you allow that to happen. Yes they would probably hurt, I’m not gonna lie. But it’s not because of you as a person, it’s because some situations and struggles are, by definition, painful. And as human beings we have a gift of empathy. So when we love someone and we know they’re hurting, we feel their pain to some extent. Love includes pain. Love includes to shoulder burdens together.
If a friend of yours was in the exact same situation, you would like them to be honest, you would want them to trust you with your pain, because that’s also what love is made of. On your end, when you allow someone to be there for you, you show how much their love is meaningful to you. You give them the capacity to choose how to manage their own emotions, and THAT is also a deep, deep mark of love. You don’t decide for them, you allow them to be themselves, and to be there for you in ways that are uniquely their own. That’s also why you love them, and also why they love you.
By talking, by opening your heart, by breaking down this guilt and shame with them, you’d allow that love to grow stronger. You’d say a big f*ck to this shame and guilt that are eating you alive. Your friends were supportive before, I bet they wouldn’t want you to feel isolated and alone while spending time with them. There is a needed connection to create, friend. And you are so, so allowed to create it.
You don’t deserve to stay alone in the dark, to lead that battle alone. The love available for you didn’t change because your battles took a new turn recently. It’s only yet another page in your story, and you have the power to allow people who want to be there for you, to be part of it too. You are not back at square one. You are not stuck. You have the power to reach out and make sure that from this difficult season in your life, beautiful opportunities could arise and love could, once again, be a pillar of strength to you.
You deserve to be supported as you need. Your voice is a strength.
I did it. I told them. I told them that I had relapsed. I didn’t tell them I has been lying to them but I told them. Thank guys for helping me.
I’m very glad that you did tell them. Also, there is no need to tell them exactly when you relapsed. A mature friend will not pry for more than you’re willing to share.
Pain will tell us that something’s wrong, for example as a child you might have learned that it’s “wrong” to reach for a candle’s flame. Similarly, guilt is in mechanism that tells us that we have made a mistake, and would rather not repeat it. Once we acknowledge the message presented to us by guilt or regret, it has served its purpose, so there is no need to continue feeling it.
Feelings of guilt after acknowledging a mistake, can be very disempowering, robbing a person of confidence and awareness of inner strength. In other words, as long as you are beating yourself up, it’ll be more difficult for you to sustain positive change. It’s unfortunate that so many people have convinced themselves that a long session of guilt and self recrimination, can strengthen their resolve to make positive change. The mind can say “okay, I spanked myself enough now, and it has motivated me to change.” However, there is a very good chance that the subconscious will generate a dissonant message, affirming to the individual, all of the negative self talk, thereby undermining efforts toward making positive change.
The main thing you need to get out of the above paragraph is that sustained guilt should be avoided.
When someone comes to me with a problem, which has happened a lot over the years, I have felt honored by their trust in me to be supportive and nonjudgmental. I think there’s a good chance that your friends will be similarly honored by your trust in them.
When empathetic people share pain, it’s not the same as other kinds of pain. That’s because it’s more akin to sharing love. Ultimately, both individuals are strengthened by the sharing.
You will heal, and then help with the healing of others. It might take a while, but you are on your way to freedom.
So very proud of you, @Paladine. I imagine that the situation brings a whole lot of emotions, but you will be okay, and what you did today is a beautiful way to stand up for yourself, for your right to heal.
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