225: Navigating Relationships – Boundaries, Growth and Genuine Connection (Sort Of) Pt 2

In this episode, we dive into the intricacies of relationships, self-discovery, and personal growth. We start by exploring the significance of nurturing meaningful friendships and communities, emphasizing the need to let go of relationships that no longer serve us. We reflect on the importance of taking initiative in seeking out connections that align with our values and aspirations, rather than passively waiting for them to come to us.

As the conversation unfolds, we delve into the idea of being influenced by the company we keep, questioning whether our closest friends shape who we become. We engage in introspection regarding personal traits such as judgment and sarcasm, recognizing that genuine change requires self-awareness and deliberate effort.

Towards the end of the episode, we discuss the challenges of rapid personal transformation and the struggle to reconcile evolving self-perceptions with how others perceive us. We explore the complexities of family dynamics amidst individual growth, grappling with the balance between meeting our own emotional needs and seeking validation from others. Throughout our conversation, we underscore the importance of managing frustration as a catalyst for personal change and the necessity of redefining relationship agreements as we continue to evolve on our journey towards fulfillment and well-being.

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Email: RecoverySortOf@gmail.com

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Transcript:

welcome back it’s recovery sort of the podcast where we explore the struggles of Life the challenges of mental health and Recovery in the spaces between we express our personal views on life here and this podcast is not meant to replace medical advice or tell anyone the right way to live this podcast is best used as a place of curiosity and questioning to accompany you on your journey be aware there is strong language this week we’re picking up where we left the conversation off last week here we go

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but I I guess that’s back to the whole like doing favors things it’s like if if I really want these quality relationships in my life am I supposed to just sit back with my arms folded and wait for people to come to me or am I supposed to be the one to initiate those efforts and to see which ones bear fruit now you’re now you’re taking us to totally not where I thought we were going territory today okay um so yes uh one of the things I run into with a lot of people that I work with is they don’t have a good friend group they don’t have a good Community they don’t have a good Core group of people that can support them in life and that’s because they got trained programmed modeled whatever when they were little that they weren’t important and so they surround themselves with [  ] people that don’t take care of them well uh or no people right that’s the two things I run into they got the no people yeah they got like five terrible friends or no friends basically right um and and what we run into frequently uh more with the the five bad friends people is that they’re so scared to let them go and that’s step one letting go of people that don’t the relationships that don’t reward us that the people that don’t meet us in the ways and constantly disappoint us when we’re hoping for something different we gotta let that go I know it’s scary as [  ] right but letting that go creates the void that we need to have space for the people we’re actually looking for because as long as we got them people were clinging to we ain’t never going to get nobody new right so that’s like the first part of that um and the second part I was reminded of this the other day I was talking to somebody in a session but old ass 12-step program advice of if you’re looking to be in a relationship and I would say this is for friendships relationships any kind of ships um instead of longing and and just like sitting around wistfully fantasizing about what you want or when you’re waiting for this person to come into your life write down the qualities and attributes and values you hope this person has right what do you want them to be like when when they meet when you meet them how do you want them to take care of you how do you want them to show love and express love to you right and then after you got this nice picture of this person that you’re looking for keep that list and look at it every day and try to be the person that not only gives that to yourself but just shows up like that in the world focus on that right and that right person will end up being there and like I love that idea I love that idea it’s so self-focused and it’s focused on like self-love and taking care of yourself and learning how to nourish and nurture yourself along the path of like instead of going out looking for this person that’s going to fit the mold and do it for me you know yeah well it throws me into a place so this is a weird uh uh I don’t know maybe I lack selfawareness but throws me into a place of like I would say probably fiveish years ago maybe a little longer but I had a group of friends and was in a home group with a lot of guys that we all were really close and did a lot of things together and hung out together but most of them were not people that I’d be like hey that’s a really good person and that who I want to be but that’s the group of people I felt the most accepted around and they weren’t necessarily people that were like taking advantage of me some of them were you know they’re not bad people but they also weren’t living a similar spiritual kind of life to where I wanted to live so it’s interesting to reflect on like and now I for different reasons sort of haven’t invested into those relationships but haven’t filled those spaces with new people weird what do you what do you make of the idea because there is a lot of sayings about the idea that like you are the average of your five closest friends and all that like what do you make of that yeah well that’s what I’m like H like well and of course what I think is well how would I describe these people well kind of sarcastic and judgmental probably not good to the people that they’re close to but not so great to the people outside of their immediate friend group very judgy you know very uh yeah do do you feel like that’s you uh I no which is why I’m like I don’t know if these are the people that I like being around I gotta I mean I’m a pretty judgy dude internally I try to keep a lot of it internal now but like I got a lot of judgments about [  ] I don’t know I don’t necessarily feel terrible about it cuz I don’t right trying to bash people or put them down or anything with it but like I definitely think a lot of judgy [  ] yeah oh yeah now it’s got me thinking maybe I just aspire to be something I am not some sort of Gish figure I’m like no that’s not me I want to be there Judy a little bit arrogant [  ] I I don’t think I don’t think Gandhi didn’t have judgment I don’t know maybe he [  ] didn’t Maybe you can get to that place but like for me that’s that that’s not anything [  ] special like dude if you can walk around and not judge people of course you’ll treat them great [  ] you you’re [  ] that’s easy like try walking around and hating everybody and still being good to them that’s [  ] difficult like I should be a saint well I I guess where I want to be in my life is this like compassionate and understanding person who is like loving and empathetic to people that are different than me especially you know people that are like suffering or down or whatever else not a person that’s like making fun of those people or judging those people you know like I got it’s okay maybe maybe maybe I’m picking up on a different kind of fun but it doesn’t necessarily feel good to like you know when you’re in a group of five people and you start making fun of another person you can all laugh and joke and it’s funny but that doesn’t always feel good like doesn’t feel good being that person okay okay yeah so I I was just thinking of like the ways I think of people who don’t do the dishes correctly and [  ] that’s the kind of judgmental I am I’m like you should totally do this the other way that I do that um yeah ridiculing people maybe and and maybe even I picked up on some making fun of other groups of people that’s not oh yeah sarcasm and yeah that’s not so much me as much as that anyway that’s kind of yucky I could see that so I mean I tend to think and especially for um I would say people who don’t feel good enough and who lack self-esteem and all that all of us right like we’re going to struggle to we’re going to be we’re going to go and be around whatever group takes us you know what I mean like especially when we don’t like seeking out new people like whatever group we find ourselves in that feels half ass comfortable and we feel accepted I don’t know necessarily that that indicative of where we ultimately want to be or who we think we are as a person I think that’s more of a product of like it’s [  ] hard to make friends in our world as adults because it it doesn’t nothing in our society says that’s what’s important right it’s like get a job make a lot of money start your career get a house all that good stuff kids like nobody’s like yes you should go out and make time for connection intimately with your friends and fellow humans cuz it’s important so like I don’t know I just think we kind of fall into places at times and then maybe upon further self-reflection like what it sounds like you’re saying you’re like ah well so I guess I think of it more like this especially being sort of where I’m at in my step Journey right now it’s like I recognize that there are things you know in recovery we use as defects of character things like I am arrogant I am judgmental I am self-righteous I am a lot of those things and when I surround myself with other people that are like that it feels very comfortable and it feels like that’s a safe group but we also feed like then I feed into that behavior as well because it’s accepted and it’s okay you know what I mean so of course it feels comfortable and easy and good cuz that’s the at my core of my defects like that is all my defects you know being exemplified in a group but that’s not who I want to be I think the way I would Express that or at least what came to up in me when you were saying that was this idea that we’re all all of this man humans are all of it we’re good we’re bad we’re we’re pretty we’re ugly we’re everything in one right we have the capacity to show somebody so much grace and compassion in one moment and then scream at somebody and have no room for error and intolerance the next like we’re all all of those things and where do we spend our time and which ones are we practicing and getting better at right you know and that’s what came up when you were saying that I’m like yeah spend a lot of time getting better at sarcasm and anger and bitterness and passive aggressiveness and like now I’m trying to practice a whole lot of other [  ] and but I don’t think for me I don’t think of that as like all that other ugly [  ] just isn’t there and all of a sudden I just shine through as this Gandy like human that’s it’s like oh yeah all that comes up and I got to dig my way to listen for the [  ] positive thoughts around the situation and like I don’t know that feels like the the [  ] victory in it when we’re able to do it cuz it wasn’t easy and it didn’t just come naturally it’s like [  ] yeah I worked for that [  ] yeah but then it’s trying to have like keep relationships with people that are on that similar path to find those people that are doing those same things so that becomes tricky I hate to guide us back to that old uh people come into your life for a reason a season or a lifetime or whatever that Hallmark [  ] on Facebook uh used to be an email chains before Facebook but yeah like I don’t know man I I I try to put energy into people that feel like they give a similar energy back you know things that um I’m noticing recently like I I usually especially during my busier parts of the work week like I tend to just kind of batting down the hatches and hunker down and don’t [  ] talk to nobody and I get real like self I just got to get through this day there six more people five more people right like yeah and like this past week I um just trying something new doing a lot more you know frivilous texting and interacting throughout my day on a couple of those days and like what it felt like for me was the ability to stay more present with me and more light-hearted and more like oh yeah okay well what do I need right now but for ises not next person comes let me go get something to drink or go to the bathroom or I’ll light another incense or like it it stopped me from my perpetual motion machine that is my brain that tells me what I’m going to get done next cuz it’s always what I’m going to get done next and I spend so much time thinking about the next thing I’m going to get to after this one that I ain’t never here doing the [  ] one I’m doing it’s crazy not even eating I don’t even enjoy my food I’m thinking about how I can get done this meal and get to the next project I’m trying to get done and like I need more reminders to slow that monster down right cuz that’s the thing that is I think wasting my life right so as you go through your processes of change like do you discuss that stuff with your family and your kids like is your like does it ever come up I mean so in one sense I attempt to discuss this [  ] all the time because I can’t stand I I love talking about it right I love I’m fascinated by all these things that I’m learning about me and the way I see the world now and how I look at it differently than I used to and I’m like I want to give this [  ] to everybody cuz I’m like if you just knew the information I knew you would [  ] do something different not the case and and honestly like I guess my delivery is not the delivery that teenagers have any interest in [  ] hearing um but no it’s it’s an interesting idea like a lot of changes happened in me quick and that is some of the feedback I get from my system my wife especially is like dude you changed very quickly and I’m not saying it’s bad in any way but like you’re expecting us to just be there with you right this minute and like slow down and I and I get it like I see it I’m trying to live and understand it’s like the person who stops using and then all of a sudden they stop using and think oh now you’re supposed to trust me and I’m supposed to right give me money right right let’s just get it all [  ] straightened out now I got it right um been clean 30 days I mean what do you [  ] yeah so yeah trying to you know and you helped me some with that you know trying to give my my wife and my family more space and like I get it we’ll get there right just slow down stop yelling at me because like say I I just it it I don’t know I maybe this happens you for me a lot of it happens um I think that everyone sees the changes in me like it’s obvious you know and it’s probably so much more subtle than well dude here’s the scary part Billy at least it’s scary to me like exactly what you’re saying because I am like holy [  ] I’m such a different person I mean extremely [  ] 180 different kind of person over here and like coming from this mostly good intention place don’t get me wrong I got my nervous system [  ] that I don’t see I’m a grumpy [  ] sometimes whatever but like I’m noticing and through these calm conversations with people reacting to me poorly when I’m coming at them just generally cheery like 90% of what I say gets interpreted as if I’m saying it from a place of being a grumpy [  ] right holy [  ] I’m like this is crazy even all this like Joy I’m spreading in my house half of it at least is still getting interpreted as the old stuff and I’m like wow that scares the [  ] out of me people can’t see this at all no well and so it always cracks me up like with my son and and him helping me with projects at the house and stuff and you know my wife and him being like Oh that’s cuz you’re always angry and you’re yelling I’m like what like the last two things we did together I was fine you know judge me on these last two not the other 80 that happened before that I made a big change and see these last two just prove my change well I mean In fairness to you Billy you can’t do any better than that right now like what the [  ] do they want from you it’s like you’re doing the best possible thing you can do in this moment and still criticism it’s like what the [  ] it is funny it is it is I don’t know I just try to be who the [  ] I want to be and like say when I try to do things I try to do a lot of them without expectation and obligation and that’s happens like it it started with the premise of love like when a lot of the relationship stuff I got into and marriage stuff we got into was like instead of looking at love relationships as like what are you getting or what are they doing for you or you know from that perspective you know loving someone is really about doing for them and giving to them and trying to be for them and so then taking that in my marriage and incorporating that out into broader areas of my life you know back to that concept of where we talk about like when we say oh I love everyone well I don’t love everyone in the same way but I can love everyone in the way of like being to people being polite in my interactions with others in general you know what I mean like treating you know people with respect and dignity and and you know not poo pooing on people or being an [  ] you know and that and doing it for the sake of just being good not necessarily because I think it’s going to get me something in the end so here’s the fascinating piece of that for me is that I feel like that’s doing it backwards and I wonder I guess I wonder if there’s like a a piece that gets missed for you or so from that standpoint it feels like I’m deciding that these are the the right ways to be to live for a good life which is good right uh we all need to decide that and then I’m going to go do it and but then we’re going to on the back end there’s a part of us that’s going to measure ourselves by how well we do that that and I don’t know that that part on the back end leaves any room for taking care of you you know what I mean so like in my understanding the process we want to do is all that [  ] you said but to ourself and then once we feel like our needs are being met by oursel and we feel better in our body we got a lot more space so then we can just give it to these people around us and I feel like if we’re just judging oursel by how well we give it to the people around us then we’re not going to leave room to like well I couldn’t give it to that day because none of my [  ] needs were met because nobody’s concentrating on that still you know what I mean yeah but if and I guess the tricky part for me there is are my needs dependent on what everyone else is doing for me like that’s where it gets tricky you know like are my needs dependent on how well my wife is loving me that day or how well my kids are loving me that day and is that you know know I guess distinguishing what my needs are and how they’re being met Yeah It’s Tricky I I that’s a hard so it’s a kind of a circular argument I go through with people a lot when I’m like they say uh there’s nobody to meet this need in my life you know I need companionship I need connection there’s nobody to meet this need and and I’m like but you got to find a way to give it to yourself that’s your job in life and they’re like but it needs to come from somebody else and I’m like you got got to put in the work to find the people that can give you that though right you know and like what do you how do you take care of yourself along the way until we get to those people you know because it’s like at some level that what’s left well and I think I’m and and as a agnostic person for the most part I think this is currently my struggle at the moment of like the concept where recovery talks about you know like God this higher power being that thing that gives us all this love that we can’t get from other places um because even like my wife who I know loves and cares about me she doesn’t do it perfectly you know what I mean and she does it in in at times does it in ways that are kind of hurtful like like she can also hurt me the most you know as much as she loves me the most absolutely and uh you know that’s tough when I’m just depending on another human to fill that role to make me feel good about me when I’m not feeling good about me you know all right so here maybe I’ll blow your mind with this one so people that do believe in God right and they do believe that this higher power gives them that love are able to feel it receive it and have enough to keep going on in life yeah even though it’s a madeup thing right it’s placebo effect cool so just get yourself a good loving parent in your head and it’s the same [  ] thing and you don’t need a God Like We Know It works if you believe it so it’s fine just make a loving parent part in your head and have it treat you wonderfully it’s my analytical brain though it’s like I know this is PBO [  ] I talk myself out of placebos this is this is where I think a therapist is such a crucial part to help people and it’s just one of those things like for an hour a week somebody can fit that role in your life for the most part not that we don’t [  ] it up here and there and get a little wrong but hopefully there’s a relationship there that we can work on the repair because that’s how you what you do with relationships that get damaged right like and I think that modeling is what we all really need that version of something that we can’t seem to get out in the world because friends are going to let you down and this person is going to let you down and hopefully that that mental health professional isn’t although according to Reddit that they do quite frequently unfortunately um yeah I don’t know I I think it’s interesting that it’s interesting to be at a point in my life where I realized that frustration means I need to do something frustration means I’m not saying no where I need to or that there’s some change in the way I relate to a a situation that’s not working or a pattern that I’m in that feels dysfunctional for me like that’s been such a freedom to just okay I’m frustrated what do I need to look you know not who do I need to go bash over the head or put down or below or shame right right right it’s like okay there’s a frustration here what do I feel like I have to be doing and why do I not want to and am I allowed to not want to and all that like great place to start from and like of course if I have changed as a person my relationship agreements with the people I love need to change and like I don’t know nobody ever told me to [  ] think about that as I went along my life Journey so go out there and think about your Rel reltionship agreements and if you like them see you next

week have you found that listening to the recovery sort of podcast has helped you in your day-to-day Journey please share the message of compassion and wellbeing with the loved ones in your life connect with us more at recovery sort of.com Facebook Instagram threads YouTube and other social media spaces and have a great week [Music]