Other People’s Opinions by John B

I have been a prisoner of what I like to think of as OPO, for a very long time. See, all I was trying to do, when I came to recovery, was stop the insanity.  That’s it.  I had no idea that there would be so much of it involved (and that it would be mine).

When I came to 12 step recovery, I had no knowledge of OPO, and certainly had no defense against it.  All I really knew was that I had this FEELING sometimes when people said things like, “keep comin’ back!” after I had just shared something I felt shame about, which was most everything, really.  You see, I had no boundaries, and, being a people pleaser, I was and still am very co-dependent.  Please love me!  No wait, don’t love me, like me, no love me…..oh, whatever.

Sure, you probably think you aren’t like THAT.  Not ME you say.  I have NO PROBLEM declining invitations I don’t want from people I don’t like!  I am able to refuse to accept and eat food that I don’t like/want, from people that I want/need to like me.  I mean, really, I certainly don’t want to OFFEND anyone—so I say nothing about that resentment, that invasion of my SPACE that happens over and over, my blood pressure rising all the while.  What if they don’t like me?  What if they speak badly about ME?

I do understand that there may be some people that have absolutely NO ISSUES with this….stop gloating.   For me, recovery is about learning how to be a human being in a world that is just CHOCK full of other human beings.  Yes, Rodney, we CAN all just get along!  But only if we develop “healthy” boundaries!!

Next up:  When, Oh when will They recognize me for my exceptional abilities?

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