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Old 02-17-2019, 11:26 AM #1
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Default toxic people and sobriety

Just needed some input about how others have dealt with toxic people and family members impacting on long term sobriety. I am going on nine years sober and have worked very hard to stay there. However, I also suffer from major depressive disorder, treatment resistant disorder and have now completed over a month of transcranial magnetic stimulation. At this point I'm not sure of its benefits but can say that I'm not wimpy depressed, mostly all the **** I've stuffed deep down over the years has come out like gangbusters but in the form of increased agitation, anxiety and an unwillingness to accept others' toxic behaviors. Unfortunatley these behaviors belong to close family members and not easy to stay away from. And so, my sobriety is now being challenged in a big way. I have in the past told these toxic people that I'd have nothing to do with them if they kept it up, then it would calm down but it doesn't go away. I know I can't change them, but my conscience will not allow me to simply stay away from my elderly supertoxic mother who now has all the signs of dementia. I really don't want to give up all my years of sobriety and yet, the challenges are more than I can bear.
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Old 02-17-2019, 12:18 PM #2
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Default Re: toxic people and sobriety

I'm so sorry, riptide53 It seems like you're going through a lot right now. I'm so sorry. It's hard when this kind of behavior comes from the kind of people that should be the closest to you. Please don't feel guilty about staying away from them. It's not your fault. You need to take care of yourself. We dont' need more toxic people in our lives. I'd suggest to take some time for yourself. Don't abandon your family completely, perhaps, but definitely give yourself some space between you and them if you can. It's not fair that you should be suffering because of them. I hope you'll be able to get away from them. I'm so sorry, I know it's hard. Please don't give up. It must be very painful for you, but please don't feel guilty. It's just self-preservation, after all. It's not your fault if you're being treated like this. You need to surround yourself only of people that love you and support you. I hope things will get better soon for you. Remember that we're here for you if you need it. Feel free to PM me anytime. Let me know if I can do something to help you. I'm so sorry you have to deal with this
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Old 02-18-2019, 04:12 AM #3
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I have over 6 years sober and I use AA. Unfortunately I had to learn that what other people think of me is none of my business. I had to learn if its was worth the pain to continue a relationship-even close family and friends. I had to disengage and learn that conversation does not mean confrontation. I had to learn that stating my opinion and what I need matters and that I will face resistance due to the old status quo. I needed to learn that my boundaries matter and laying them out for all to see mattered. This is true of close family relationships. Sometimes I had to sound like a broken record-repeating what I would and would not tolerate and then I had to back it up by my actions. If I said "if you continue to act this way and violate my boundaries I will limit or eliminate all contact with you until you get it" and then I HAD to hold that up. Alcoholics are notorious for having little to no or bad boundaries. If you use AA and do the steps they help you work through that. Its ok to not be a slave to what your family believes and you have to be ok with showing by your actions that you are worth it enough not to tolerate it. Yes, It can mean cutting important family out. You have to weigh what is important. Your sobriety and inner peace or that family member's feelings. You have to hold your sobriety above the feelings of toxic people and "have to" relationships.

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Originally Posted by riptide53 View Post
Just needed some input about how others have dealt with toxic people and family members impacting on long term sobriety. I am going on nine years sober and have worked very hard to stay there. However, I also suffer from major depressive disorder, treatment resistant disorder and have now completed over a month of transcranial magnetic stimulation. At this point I'm not sure of its benefits but can say that I'm not wimpy depressed, mostly all the **** I've stuffed deep down over the years has come out like gangbusters but in the form of increased agitation, anxiety and an unwillingness to accept others' toxic behaviors. Unfortunatley these behaviors belong to close family members and not easy to stay away from. And so, my sobriety is now being challenged in a big way. I have in the past told these toxic people that I'd have nothing to do with them if they kept it up, then it would calm down but it doesn't go away. I know I can't change them, but my conscience will not allow me to simply stay away from my elderly supertoxic mother who now has all the signs of dementia. I really don't want to give up all my years of sobriety and yet, the challenges are more than I can bear.
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