Thursday, July 9, 2009

The Challenges of Friendship.

My dictionary defines a friend as:

"a person attached to another by feelings of affection or personal regard."

Before Al-Anon, I was unclear about what was expected of me as a friend, what I was required to give. I was very susceptible to pressure, cajoling, and guilt-trips. I wanted to be liked, so much so, that I would twist myself into knots trying to be likeable.

I wanted to be a "good person" and I would allow others to define what that meant for me. I couldn't handle any conflict, and would cave instantly at the slightest suggestion that a friend was annoyed with me. And then, because I hadn't been true to myself, my self-loathing would be increased.

I still find any conflict between a friend and myself painful. I also know that if I allow myself to be wheedled into doing that which I do not wish to do, later on, I'll be resentful. Much better to refuse at the start, and accept the momentary annoyance which may result. (I don't, however, always manage this.)

I'm going through an incident of this sort at the moment, where the person is pulling out all the stops in an effort to get their own way. This is someone with a very strong personality, and it's kind of like being outside in a force 10 gale - I have to cling tightly to 12-Step in order not to be blown away. I'm feeling very grateful that my home group meeting is tonight, because I need that comfort. My friend who is pressuring me, is going through some emotional hard times right now, so I'm trying to be firm in my boundary, but at the same time, loving and accepting of their frailties.

I'm grateful for my program friends, who can help me to find a way to resist the high winds of pressure.

I'm grateful for my Higher Power, who loves me as I am now, right this minute, with no adjustments, or changes. For Him, I am enough, and I'm worthy. I don't have to be a certain way to be lovable.

1 comment:

  1. Friendships can be tough. I used to be the same way. I would bend whichever way the wind happened to be blowing that day. When I started my recovery there were friends that after noticing the difference in me started to get more headstrong and try harder. I refused to cave and they are dealt with it or they didn't. Their choice was their choice and not my issue. I hope things work out with your friend. Stick to your program and I know it will.