Sunday, April 25, 2010

I know it's petty but...

We've been friends for a long time with someone with a substance abuse problem. In the past we had opened our home to this person and did all that we could to try and help. At some point, we became the enemy and the last I heard from them, I got a nasty e-mail and was "unfriended" by them on Facebook.

Well, now they are clean and sober after almost a year in rehab. I am thrilled that they are on the mend and getting their life back together. They had too much going for them to be in such bad shape. So here's where my pettiness comes in: this person has gone on to reconnect with a lot of people - people they were never close with before - and offer apologies and friendship. Have we heard anything from them?


I am feeling a little slighted here. I mean, I don't need all kinds of pretty words or hearts and flowers, but you know, just an acknowledgment of what a jackass they were for writing us a nasty letter would be nice. We did nothing but show concern for this person's well-being, offer them a place to stay and for whatever reason, we seem to be the only ones NOT worthy of an apology.

Like I said, I know it's petty. The main thing is that this person has their life back together, right?


jenn said...

I would feel the same way...because that's just the way I am. I wish it was easy to just say "oh well", but sometimes it's not. Maybe you could reach out to them?

aldon @ orient lodge said...

I have various friends who are going through twelve step programs. It isn't until they are fairly far along that they start making amends for their past behavior.

Step 8: Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.

Step 9: Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

It is often much much harder to make amends for what one has done, than to make new friends, and I'm going to guess, from a distance that your friend with a substance abuse problem is either not ready for make amends, or is simply making the easiest amends first.

If anything, their lack of amends to you may be an indication of how important your friendship was to them, how grievous there actions towards you have been, and how difficult it will be for them to make amends.

So instead of focusing on a petty feeling of being slighted, perhaps you can feel some contentment in knowing the valuable gifts you have given them, and a belief that in the end things will work out.

Now, I need to get back to making my own amends....

Lola said...

I think I would feel slighted too, however, you could make the first move and make contact. That's always an option. Addictions are tough and perhaps this person is slowly getting back into things, or they may be avoiding certain people or events or whatnot if they seem to be triggers. Not that you would fall into that category, but sometimes I think some may just completely start over.

Janiss said...

What Aldon said. My fiance is a recovering addict - 12 years sober! (I know, it's supposed to be an anonymous program, but he tells absolutely everyone) - and I've known a lot of people with drug issues. You're not being petty at all, it's just that the worse the wrong, the harder it is for an addict to come to terms with it. There's a lot of guilt there, often covered up with excuses, defensiveness, blame and denial. It takes a long time to peel all that away and reach out. We "normies" have no clue all the stuff that goes on in an addict's mind, and a lot of it wouldn't even make sense to us if we could know. Give this person time. If they remain sober, eventually they will come around to you, and when they do, keep an open mind - and don't be afraid to ask what took them so long! The answer may surprise you.

May said...

I know sometimes it is easier said than done, but if you find a way to branch out to them, go ahead and forgive them so that you can free yourself from the hurt.