My sponsor once described influence as being a ball thrown in a creek or stream; wherever it goes, that is where I will go.
Sitting in meetings and sharing time with persons serious about their recovery, I've also heard expressions that, on the surface, seemed stupid or shallow but turned out to be gigantic roadsigns. "If you lay down with dogs, you're gonna get fleas." Another was, "If you hang out in a barbershop long enough, you're gonna get a haircut." And another was, "Whatever you're looking for, that's exactly what you're going to find." And another still was, "If you go shopping in the dented can aisle, the chances are good you're going to come out with dented cans. We could reflect on where we're shopping." It's all about influence.
The above said I used to talk a lot of shit, saying things like, "No one can tell me what to do. I'm my own person. I make my own decisions." The truth was my rebel badge was made out of plastic instead of steel. I did what the drugs influenced me to do. More times than not, I did what other people around me tended to do because I didn't want to get kicked out of my "friends" group. Sometimes that influencing factor in my behavior was false pride and bravado, holding up a fake sense of self instead of being real. The Basic-Text even says as a point of experience, "We can't save our ass and face at the same time." Influence is a "THING!"
It's hard to explain to people that "addiction world" is a training ground for codependency. We get clean and find out that even though we're clean, one of the side effects is that we end up with an unintended Ph.D. In codependency. I've seen the influence of codependency can turn addicts' efforts to get and stay clean upside down literally thousands of times over the last 35 years of my recovery, including myself. That's one of the reasons we're willing to accept any breadcrumb of affection and call it love when the influencing forces between two sickies don't make a welly," as the old timers used to say.
I learned that people could use people like a hit, just like drugs seeking to "get normal," trying to get a sense of inward stability that the addiction mind is telling us we don't have. Relationships as a form of drug replacement therapy are one of the oldest fixes addicts use when they get clean, so it pays to be careful in all manner of relationships.
If and when we don't learn how to deal with it as quickly as possible, it can be an influencing factor toward relapse or a really shitty recovery experience because of misprioritizing our healing.
The invitation to healing could be to say away from negative and disorienting whirlpools of influence that could lead us to drown and lose conscious contact with our recovery and throw ourselves into the stream and currents of Love that lead us to authentic freedom and happiness. Thanks for letting me share. I pass.
一Dignity and Grace