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#262857 - 11/20/08 10:37 AM do we change?
dark empathy Offline

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 2398
Loc: durham, north england
People may or may not remember, that a few months ago I found the E-mail address of a good friend of mine who was around in my first year of Uni, but then went back to the states.

It was odd, sinse I've felt so worried that I've completely changed, and the person i was at age 19-21 is just gone forever, and I'd never be that happy again.

Last week, i talked to my friend on skype, ---- for anyone not familiar, that's an internet chatting program that lets you talk in real time with a microphone, like a phone call but significantly cheaper! the moment we started, we just picked up almost instantly where we left off. A short time in, I said to her that she'd not changed, despite being six years older, having a Phd in physics and being married.

She instantly replied that I hadn't changed either!

this completely floored me. a couple of weeks earlier I told her via E-mail about the hole recovery thing, and she sent a wonderful message back, ---- saying that to her I would always be the person she drank mulled wine with at the first year christmas party, and whatever had happened to me in the past didn't change things, and wasn't anything i couldn't cope with.

the E-mail of course made me burst into tears, ---- and it does whenever i read it, but I convinced myself that sinse while we'd ben exchanging E-mails for several months, she was only getting part of the picture, sinse she'd not actually spoken to me.

yet, when we spoke on Skype, she was absolutely certain and positive that despite everything, despite my crash and alol the recovery, i stil was very much the same person she remembered.

So, is the idea of me changing just one of those scued perceptions? I'd like to think so. At the same time though, i want to say my recovery is moving forward and things are changing!

ouch, confusion!

Of course tere's the old saying "The more we change, the more we stay the same" but then the philosopher in me points out that that is also reversable, ie, "the more we stay the same, the more we change?"

Perhaps it's not that! we change, but that we think we change? and whether we think those changes are for the better or for the worse?

any thoughts anybody?

#262861 - 11/20/08 11:27 AM Re: do we change? [Re: dark empathy]
Gerald2007 Offline

Registered: 08/03/07
Posts: 157
Loc: Southeastern US

I think that just as we must take charge of our own recovery, each of us is the best judge of the change that is occuring inside of us.

It would be nice, if others could see it. Maybe that will come later. But,for me the essential question is: Can I feel it? I can, and it seems that you can too.

Take care,

Alumnus: Weekend of Recovery - Dahlonega, May 2008 and May 2009
We are bound together by the pain of the past and our hopes for the future.

#262904 - 11/20/08 03:35 PM Re: do we change? [Re: Gerald2007]
G5 Offline

Registered: 01/12/04
Posts: 204
Loc: New Jersey
I first would like to commend your old friend and the wonderful thoughts she relayed to you....especially after you told her of your recovery. A confirmation like that is just tremendous. I was crying a little while reading your de>

Edited by G5 (11/20/08 03:39 PM)
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#262908 - 11/20/08 04:42 PM Re: do we change? [Re: G5]
michael banks Offline

Registered: 06/12/08
Posts: 1755
Loc: Mojave Desert, Ca

I agree with Chris.
You allowed your old friend to see who you really are when you became friends. So when you two interact you feel safe to be yourself and this is what she sees.
And that part of you will never change.

There are other parts of yourself that maybe she is not as aware of,so she does not see the changes in these areas.


To own one's shadow is the highest moral act of a human.
-Robert Johnson-

"IT ought never be forgotten that the past is the parent of the future" John C. Calhoun

WOR Alumni Sequoia 2009

#263039 - 11/21/08 07:14 PM Re: do we change? [Re: michael banks]
dark empathy Offline

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 2398
Loc: durham, north england
Well, I suppose the hole subject of change for me has been a litle complicated. For a long while I've felt that the first year of Uni was a high point, and everything virtually slid down hill from then. People in their 40's and 50's will probably laugh, but I started feeling as if I was too old for anything good to happen to me again, ----- at the age of 25, whenever I thought back on the passage of time it was painful, sinse it seemed there had been this good point, ---- when I actually knew my American friend, when everything worked.

yes, I'd experienced what I had, yes, it caused me problems, but I was so sure that I'd just run into the right person and the problems would just be fixed.

in fact now, thinking back, I'm actually amazed I thought that being worried in crowds, flinching at the S word, and having a miner phobia about even wearing a vest in public was okay. Stil, I was starting my degree, at an incredibly prestigious uni, and it seemed I made a new friend everytime I turned round, ----- a couple of whome (including my American friend), I became incredibly close to.

I don't think even now I can easily accept what my friend wrote about me, or that it might be true (though I'm working on it, see the delusions topic), but perhaps it wasn't me that changed, but merely my perception of myself in relation to everything else.

As I've said before, while at the time my crash a year ago seemed entirely brought on by (though of course not caused by), me falling in love with ****, thinking back, I actually think it was more a case of me recognizing what was already going immensely wrong.

I don't know if any of this makes sense at all, ----- it's rather late over here and i'm getting a bit rambly, but two more thoughts occur to me.

Firstly, last thursday I had an evening as good as any I remember from my first year, and I've possibly made a couple of new friends, who i felt I connected with much more than I have with anyone new for a long time, ---- which must be some sort of progress.

Secondly, one thing I've always noticed with singing, exercising or any other activity, is that you can try to reach a goal for ages, then suddenly you get there. So I can spend a week trying to sing a perfect top A after an absense. Though I'm actually getting better every practice, it doesn't feel like that to me. Then suddenly, one day everything will just click, ----- which is one of the most fantastic feelings with singing i've experienced.

i'm not suggesting there's a "click" moment with recovery, ----- but maybe there are points when we recognize that we've made some progress, in a very immediate way? And maybe having my American friend point out to me that I'm stil in a lot of ways the person who had such a great first year at uni has made me think about this.

Well enough rambling for now, ---- good night!


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