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The Need and Want Dilemma

Tigger2001Tigger2001 Posts: 15 Settling in
Addiction is linked to a lot of mental health diagnosis. It has been said the opposite of addiction is connection; to the community, to loved ones and to your evorinment. By rebuilding lost connections we can often feel the need for drink and drugs do not become so prominent in our lives.

With that said, here is nothing wrong with having a drink, it's a social thing, it's a special event thing and it's a raising a toast kind of thing.

We can feel like we want a drink. We can want to have a nice night out with friends, a fancy bit of wine over dinner.

Its normalised.

But when it turns into I need to drink to get through the day, I need a drink to leave the house, I need a drink so I can do this thing or feel this feeling.

It is no longer relaxed and an extra to your day. It becomes your day, your reason. Your life line.

So you may be at this place and you may be feeling that you no longer want to be reliant on this liquid in order to go about your day. But you may think by giving up, you give up those events, the nights out, the dinner parties. The social life.

Here I would say, have you spoken to your social group? Have you reached out and said I want your company but I cannot indulge in this when drink is involved as I am struggling with it. Can we sort a night out where we don't?

It is hard when your circles are so tightly wound to one thing. But friends should be more than that, they should want to spend time with you regardless. And if they don't, they were not worth having around as they were not there for your company but for the drink. And why would you want to be "friends" with them, if that was the case?

But most of the time, if they are your friends, for a reason - them. Just like they are friends with you for who you are.

So if you are struggling with drinking, do not think you will loose your social life. It simply means your social life needs to adapt so that you are kept safe and limiting the risks.

Friends should want your company, it doesn't matter if drink is involved or not. They are there for you. You matter. Do not be afraid to be honest, do not be embrassed because you are human.

Reach out to the people around you and more importantly keep yourself safe.

You matter.

Feel free to reach out if you want to talk about the ups and downs of life. More than happy to have a conversation about what's on your mind. I am not here to judge, we are only human afterall.


  • BrookeeBrookee Posts: 1,327 Wise Owl
    @Tigger2001 This is such a lovely thread, thanks so much for posting this.

    Sometimes, it can be hard to see these things when we're consumed by negative thoughts or behaviours, but you're so right. If they're your friends, they will understand that you can't be around certain substances, in case you relapse, and make time to do other things with you that don't involve these.

    It's also really important to be gentle with yourself when weeing yourself off these substances. It can be so difficult and if relapse occurs, it's easy to just give up on your recovery all together. However, the fact you're trying is something to be commended! Recovery isn't linear, and relapsing is more common than we're led to believe! It doesn't have to be the end of your recovery journey, that's why it's important to be kind with yourself, and understand you're doing the best you can.

    Sending love and strength to anyone who needs it right now <3
  • coc0maccoc0mac Posts: 1,054 Wise Owl
    This is an amazing thread. Thank you so much for sharing it!

    I totally agree and would love to echo everything @Brookee has added too.

    Sending so much love to anybody who needed to read this :heart:
  • AislingDMAislingDM Moderator Posts: 1,666 Extreme Poster
    I cannot even begin to express how truly insightful this post is! Thank you so very much for sharing it with us, you're so right and I think it's especially painful to come to terms with the idea that certain friends will always be triggering to you. Those people who cannot spare an evening or afternoon without drinking in order to support and protect you are not people anyone deserves to be around. But cutting ties is awfully difficult when, as you say, connection is deemed the opposite of addiction. Hopefully we can all begin to foster a more understanding and compassionate attitude towards our friends who are in pain and need us <3
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  • Tigger2001Tigger2001 Posts: 15 Settling in
    edited November 2021
    This came about through a recent conversation with lovely partner who has BPD.

    I had noticed the signs that his habits were becoming something more than just simply a recreational event with his friends. He grew anxious and agitated when he could not get hold of certain things. Not only was I worried about his wellbeing as he was becoming violent towards himself when drinking. Our bank account was also getting into trouble because of it. As addiction is a risk for those with BPD, I knew this needed to be addressed to keep him safe and wanted to minimise the risks.

    Therefore, I needed to come up with a way to explain addiction so that he could see that I support him and that I am concerned about him. By showing him carefully the patterns in his behaviour and reinforcing that the support I have for him. When he would get agitated about not having the money for certain things, I would simply ask him do you feel like you need it or do you want it? And after a few weeks of simply asking this, he came forward and told me that he has realised how often he has felt he needed it and that he didn't want to admit that he did at first. But just by me simply asking him the need vs want question (even though half the time he didn't respond) it made him start thinking about it differently and noticing how often this would happen throughout a week. We then talked about how those with BPD are more at risk and that our main goal is to keep us safe. I would sometimes add my 2 favorite phrases of all time that I made "it is not your fault that we are in this situation, but it is our responsibility what we do with the information" and "because i love and care about you, I want to keep us safe".

    I did not want to punish him or make him feel bad. He had to figure it out on his own when the wants turn into the needs and if he wanted extra support to get the outcome he wanted. And we had a honest conversation about his worries with his friends not wanting to hang out with him which inspired me to write this thread as it is hard to start thinking about who your friends are and who maybe isn't the best fit for you at this point in your life. That doesn't take away the meaning of the relationship you have with them or the good times you spent together though. It just means right now, it's not a good fit at the moment. And maybe in future, you can stay in touch a bit more when things are more secure and sturdy within yourself. But for now, we need to focus on you and what your needs and wants are to keep you safe. On the other hand, it also shows you how many people have your back and genuinely care about you - which often includes more people than you think. And keeping a positive support system is so important, especially when you are not feeling great.

    I hope this provdes some insight into the want vs need dilemma and that it may help you when supporting yourself or others around you.

    Much love ❤
  • AislingDMAislingDM Moderator Posts: 1,666 Extreme Poster
    Gosh, I cannot begin to express how thankful I am that you have shared your story and situation with us, I cannot imagine that this was easy. You sound like such a sincerely compassionate person who deserves so much love, especially given that you're clearly putting so much love out into the world.

    The fact that you were so willing to give him time, and that within that you could so clearly see how none of this changes the beautiful moments. You are beyond right about how relationships are about more than merely the 'stereotypical good times' and that it's made up of all the parts.

    Once again, thank you and I wish you the utmost happiness, honestly <3<3<3
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