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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Obviously any type is okay to chime in but I'm in particularly interested to see what comes from infjs.

I have found both experiencing a loved one struggling with alcoholism and/or narcissism (pseudo self love to mask poor self esteem) to be a commonality among many infjs. It's a pattern I've seen over the last few years. I'm not saying it's a prerequisite to being infj but it's common enough to notice - no more, no less.

I feel and think I've broken molds (in my head) at an exceedingly fast pace over the years and I also feel this is an infj commonality - whereas we grow and expand the depths of our intuitive capacities and insights.

However, it also feels that the lighter I become, the free-er I am (of stale mind paradigms and such), that I'm simultaneously heavier (?). It's hard to describe. Where I used to council people and was nearly compelled to, I now (unless I'm asked directly) just let it be. Despite knowing, and. It can hurt.


Anyone else relate?


I didn't know what to title this thread. Though I guess I was thinking a bit about a lot of things revolving around the in particular experience of loving an alcoholic, and letting go. Having a parent I even doorslammed with this situation even, and the bad patterns I've had to recognize and admonish. I just wonder if anyone else here feels that by our very nature - in conjunction with these experiences - does it deepen or maybe sharpen our intuition? Silver lining if you will that may never really be valued, cherished, let alone recognized by anyone but ourselves.


I just wonder. How many other infj's (or other intuitives in general) have experienced the witnessing of someone destroying themselves with alcoholism (or other self delusional methods of avoidance for that matter).


I know I'm not the only one. How do you feel these experiences effected your intuition, (or way of being as an infj) whether directly or indirectly?






Of course, derailing (w/in topic) is always permitted in the land of our people :tongue:
 

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Hmmm. I've known one alcoholic closely. I guess I empathize with how he uses it to cope with his inability to connect with people, his boredom, and his anxiety. He has so much emotional pain that he can't do anything productive with, that he seems to turn to alcohol as a means of lessening the burden so that he can accomplish other things. In his situation, I believe the emotional pain would put him into a downward spiral much more quickly than the damage to his body through alcohol.

To some, alcohol might seem like the easy man's way out, but in him, I see it as his will to fight back with whatever he has, and I admire him for it. He has never been violent or mean while drinking, though, and he is one of the most encouraging people I know.

Perhaps this is an example of seeing the silver lining, though.

As for whether it's an INFJ thing, I dunno. Probably not. I think most people know at least one, INFJ or otherwise.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hmmm. I've known one alcoholic closely. I guess I empathize with how he uses it to cope with his inability to connect with people, his boredom, and his anxiety. He has so much emotional pain that he can't do anything productive with, that he seems to turn to alcohol as a means of lessening the burden so that he can accomplish other things. In his situation, I believe the emotional pain would put him into a downward spiral much more quickly than the damage to his body through alcohol.

To some, alcohol might seem like the easy man's way out, but in him, I see it as his will to fight back with whatever he has, and I admire him for it. He has never been violent or mean while drinking, though, and he is one of the most encouraging people I know.

Perhaps this is an example of seeing the silver lining, though.

As for whether it's an INFJ thing, I dunno. Probably not. I think most people know at least one, INFJ or otherwise.
You admire him for being an alcoholic? This is not going anywhere. You're a type 4, I'm a 6. I see a lot of feeling that's deep in your sentiments and I'm no way going to challenge that. Either this is a miscommunication or simply, our intuition and understanding of what's healthy differs. I don't think fighting ourselves (whatever he has) as opposed to integrating being a good thing at all. I'm having one of those, omg moments. You remind me of my infp friend I had (not challenging your type!!) but she was a 4. So I'm thinking that's the difference here. So I'm gonna just respect this as one of those trains of logic I don't understand.
 
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You admire him for being an alcoholic? This is not going anywhere. You're a type 4, I'm a 6. I see a lot of feeling that's deep in your sentiments and I'm no way going to challenge that. Either this is a miscommunication or simply, our intuition and understanding of what's healthy differs. I don't think fighting ourselves (whatever he has) as opposed to integrating being a good thing at all. I'm having one of those, omg moments. You remind me of my infp friend I had (not challenging your type!!) but she was a 4. So I'm thinking that's the difference here. So I'm gonna just respect this as one of those trains of logic I don't understand.
No, no. I don't admire his alcoholism. I admire the fight in him, even if I know there are better ways out there to do it.

*edit* He's at this point because he's at the end of what he can bear. But he keeps going. He refuses to give into the emotions which he doesn't know how to deal with yet, and keeps them from drowning him in it.

That's partly what I meant. That for some, alcoholism is a kind of giving up. But I don't see it acting as that in his life. It is the opposite, as physically unhealthy as it is.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
No, no. I don't admire his alcoholism. I admire the fight in him, even if I know there are better ways out there to do it.
I think maybe you admire him. Alcohol is not fighting. That's the avoidance of fighting. Though I will respectfully admit this to be a subjective declaration (which I know I'm not alone in believing).
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
No, no. I don't admire his alcoholism. I admire the fight in him, even if I know there are better ways out there to do it.

*edit* He's at this point because he's at the end of what he can bear. But he keeps going. He refuses to give into the emotions which he doesn't know how to deal with yet, and keeps them from drowning him in it.

That's partly what I meant. That for some, alcoholism is a kind of giving up. But I don't see it acting as that in his life. It is the opposite, as physically unhealthy as it is.
I think really, again, you see that he has emotions that are challenging and that you admire his depth and authenticity in that struggle - you're such a 4 :)


It's okay! I'm not making fun. It's an interesting perspective though I find a bad pattern w/ type 4 is to get engrossed in other people's pain to a point of not good for the 4. Not saying this is you! Just saying an observation that you might want to know.
 

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I think maybe you admire him. Alcohol is not fighting. That's the avoidance of fighting. Though I will respectfully admit this to be a subjective declaration (which I know I'm not alone in believing).
What is the point of being physically healthy if you are not emotionally healthy as well? Yes, drinking keeps him from being able to resolve those emotions, but if for the moment those emotions are too much, it also allows him to "live to fight another day" if that makes sense. I will not say that drinking is a solution, but I do believe it can be an effort towards health. Not in all cases, but in his, at least.
 

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I think really, again, you see that he has emotions that are challenging and that you admire his depth and authenticity in that struggle - you're such a 4 :)


It's okay! I'm not making fun. It's an interesting perspective though I find a bad pattern w/ type 4 is to get engrossed in other people's pain to a point of not good for the 4. Not saying this is you! Just saying an observation that you might want to know.
lol, nah it's fine. Just sharing my thoughts as well. Perhaps its a 4 thing, perhaps not. It may also be related to the sx/so vs sx/sp difference. Physical health has never been at the top of my priorities. But it could also be my 7 and 8 relating. I myself also find it such a struggle, making something of my life when I am overwhelmed by emotions that I don't want. The less control I have, the more distressed I feel. When I drink, the emotions are less overwhelming, and I feel some sense of control return, which gives me the fuel to continue making changes and trying to find solutions.

So, our difference in opinion could be from any number of numbers ;).
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
What is the point of being physically healthy if you are not emotionally healthy as well? Yes, drinking keeps him from being able to resolve those emotions, but if for the moment those emotions are too much, it also allows him to "live to fight another day" if that makes sense. I will not say that drinking is a solution, but I do believe it can be an effort towards health. Not in all cases, but in his, at least.


That's like a morbidly obese person who can't leave the house, who eats their emotions they can't handle so they can live to fight another day, only they can't leave the house. How is that living???


He's in purgatory and the only way out is through himself. However, you are probably a good influence and if you can be secure and strong maybe in time, he'll realize he can be strong too. I just want you to know I'm not meaning to pick on you. I just don't agree. And That's OK :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
lol, nah it's fine. Just sharing my thoughts as well. Perhaps its a 4 thing, perhaps not. It may also be related to the sx/so vs sx/sp difference. Physical health has never been at the top of my priorities. But it could also be my 7 and 8 relating. I myself also find it such a struggle, making something of my life when I am overwhelmed by emotions that I don't want. The less control I have, the more distressed I feel. When I drink, the emotions are less overwhelming, and I feel some sense of control return, which gives me the fuel to continue making changes and trying to find solutions.

So, our difference in opinion could be from any number of numbers ;).
Emotions are meant to be felt (even the ones you don't want). They are a part of the human experience (along with all else around you). You feel them, they wash over you and move on. They are not you. You are what you choose to do with the human experience.


Regardless, it's OK to drink a glass of wine and chill out. That's OK. Anything in abundance that's good goes bad. Think of a guy who gives you attention. Too much and it gets stifling. Think of any spice, too much and it ruins the dish. Alcohol (the science) - the problem with using this method as opposed to trolling online or being a bitch or smoking pot even, it literally changes the chemical composition in how your body processes it. This is why am alcoholic can't just have one drink. It's not their fault. Their body (from binge and/or chronic drinking) literally changes how that chemical is recognized and dealt with. Despite all that said, anything could be psychologically addicting, but alcohol is both psychological and a physical addiction (whether managed sober or as a functional alcoholic).
 
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I think it's more like a person with depression taking medication.

And no worries, kitty. I don't feel picked on. :p
But really, that's not really the best mode of overcoming depression either imo. And with that, medication should be coupled with counseling. This however is opening a really convoluted angle of this topic. Lol! So. I'll stop there :p
 

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Everything in moderation, including moderation. lol. Not in the case of alcohol, obviously. I agree. Alcohol is dangerous. No doubt.

Emotions ARE meant to be felt. But what is one to do when they don't simply wash over you and through you? What is one to do when they feel such emptiness that they're being sucked further and further into that emptiness? I relate to the struggle. I don't approve of alcoholism as a tactic.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Everything in moderation, including moderation. lol. Not in the case of alcohol, obviously. I agree. Alcohol is dangerous. No doubt.

Emotions ARE meant to be felt. But what is one to do when they don't simply wash over you and through you? What is one to do when they feel such emptiness that they're being sucked further and further into that emptiness? I relate to the struggle. I don't approve of alcoholism as a tactic.
In that emptiness you are. Type 4 and 6 so have an affinity for one another as we struggle with much of the same core fears (and we can move those inquiries to the enneagram forum), it is just how we cope with those fears that differ. So let us say the empty is something we don't know what to do with. A fear, or what have you. That's the place we put our efforts. This is when fully integration into what you want in this human experience matters. You need to think more and feel less in the same way that I know I need to feel more and think less. Feeling is an action (believe it or not). It's something we engage in. The reason 6's jump about often (similar to that of a 7) is because we are avoiding feeling, the very activity we need. Likewise, by getting lost in the "what to do woee" of your feelings, are avoiding thinking about - what is it are you doing? Where are you going? What do you want?


All of these facets of life are important and yet, it is imperative you know that all of this important is not at all who we are.

I am not that which is watching. I am observing what the watcher is. Make sense?

So. Observe the watcher. See who she watches. And love what she sees.




(I can go over that later if you like. I kinda have to crash. It's some drag of a family brunch tomorrow :p)
 
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Good discussion, guys :3

Hmm, and I think I get where you're both coming from...

Some people use alcohol as a coping mechanism because they don't know a better way...and then it's a whole snowball thing, etc etc. Their intentions might be pure - they just want to feel better, in some way. Doesn't make it right, but there it is. This point might be a bit redundant, but that's why people take the meds plus counseling - it gets you to a point where you can make the necessary changes and develop the proper coping mechanisms so you won't need to depend on the meds (or alcohol in this case, heh) anymore. The thing is most people don't really get to that point of weaning off. They adapt to it, use it as a perma-crutch.

My mom suffers from a form of depression or something I think. If she has a stressful day on top of that she just absolutely cannot wait to get home and start drinking early. As a result, it's nearly destroyed her ability to handle things. She didn't used to seem so...flighty/stressed/helpless. It's sad to watch.

I remember growing up, I'd watch her. Watch to see if she had been drinking. I learned to pick up on everything (or maybe it was just a part of who I am, idk), and today I still do it to everyone. Like it became my survival tactic.

So now I'm sensitive to every damn change, every little twitch of the face and I don't know how to shut it off. Makes me seem so paranoid sometimes.

I don't know if that's what contributed to the whole INFJ thing, or if it's just...exacerbated by it...or something.

I used to fight her on it. I'm generally a pretty mild-mannered person (I'm a 9 haha), but there were times I would blow up in her face like a freaking volcano. It's been a long time since that, though. I guess I sort of accepted it, letting her destroy herself because I can't make her change, even after all the anger and scare tactics, and so on. Part of me wonders if she just wants to die...

It hurts, of course, but I'm just...at the point where I don't know what else to do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
The idea wasn't so much does it contribute. Rather, had these experiences fed (deepened) our intuition(ive) capacities?
 

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Disclaimer: The following post is my own rambling thoughts on the subject of alcoholism. It's a personal stance on the subject but that's all it is. By no means am I meaning to lecture or rally against those who having a differing view in any way. I've been told I come off as a lecturer and I don't mean to. I'm mostly just thinking out loud, sort of. You are certainly free to do whatever you wish. I am a live and let live sort of fellow. As long as what you do doesn't bother me directly in some manner, it's none of my business.
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I've known more than enough alcoholics in my life to never want to ever drink the stuff at all, and so far as of the writing of this post, I haven't. Don't know many people around me at 33 who haven't. I live in a more rural area of the mid-US though, where drinking and bars, and even under-age drinking, is quite common. Perhaps my little feat wouldn't stand out so much in a bigger city or something? I'm not sure, but anyway.

I've seen many people destroy themselves through booze over the years, immediate family included. To this day, I still don't get what the draw is. Fundamentally I chalk it up mostly to impressionable kids getting hooked on it early on before they are more fully aware of it and their own actions within it, but whatever. Same for tobacco use, I'd wager. I can't see many reasonably informed adults picking up a bottle of booze for the first time and going "yeah, this sounds like a good idea". Well, you know, when there aren't extremely stressful circumstances driving them to it at least.

It boggles me at times how people are so willing to throw their lives away like that. And not even in the bigger picture sort of thing with liver damage and all that, I'm talking just on the day-to-day crap, like hangovers. I've known people who are literally the worst human beings to be around on the planet the day after they've been drinking, because they're hung over. But yet they'll be miserable again the next weekend or whenever they find an excuse to get wasted, like they never learn or something.

If you put your hand on a flame and then you get burned, are you quick to put your hand on the flame again??

In regards to whether this strengthened or deepened my intuition, I have no idea. All I know is that when I think of this, it makes my intuition feel really apparent or something compared to so many others. I can't NOT see all the warnings on the labels, so to speak. It's so obvious how terrible it all is to me. Maybe others can ignore their intuition or 'turn it off' and I can't, I dunno.
 

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Both of my parents were alcoholics.

I'm defining 'alcoholic' as a person who experiences problems in their relationships, health, or ability to work which are directly attributable to the use of alcohol.

I think my intuition became tightly intertwined with survival fear from an early age because of it. My intuition when I was a kid was all the time focused on the problem of detecting when the volcano was going to erupt again.

I remember being 13 and seeing an older boy drinking Peach schnapps at the back of the school bus and I was picking up on all kinds of facial cues and vocal tonalities that my intuition had 'learned' from my alcoholic father, so my intuition has definitely been shaped by my alcoholic parents.

If you live in Tornado Alley you learn to recognize the signs when a storm is coming. You feel it in the air.

I don't remember being concerned with being "valued" or "cherished" or "recognized" by my father. The dynamic was more one of me being angry at him for treating me and my mother the way he did and wanting to protect mom or get her out of that situation. He was the 'enemy' and I was too busy being the defender of my mother to be concerned with gaining his approval or appreciation.

Everything he did I met with hatred and suspicion. He would come to me as Mr. Nice Guy the night after threatening to kill me in my sleep (I was ~8) and I would never accept his efforts to conciliate.

Looking back I think there was some genuine desire in him to do the right thing or be a good person which I stomped on or disregarded because I couldn't see anything at the time except that I hated him and I feared what he would do when he was drunk.

Now I see him as a man who didn't know what to do. Didn't know how to be. Didn't have the tools to maintain healthy relationships. Didn't have the tools to understand himself or handle the suffering he inherited from his parents. He wasn't able to maintain relationships with his siblings. He wasn't able to maintain relationships with his sons.

It has to be incredibly difficult to live like that. Hard life. Pain, pain, pain. Very sad.

I still sometimes feel residual guilt that 8-year old me wasn't aware enough and I didn't have the granularity of perception to handle the situations better. I was just another person in his life who didn't want anything to do with him. I directly contributed to his suffering due to my own lack of consciousness.

It took more than 20 years of distance from the events before I was able to find it in me to forgive him.

The day I forgave him was kind of a fortuitous circumstance. We were not in communication with each other at all at the time and he didn't arrange it and I didn't arrange it. I'm extremely grateful to the universe for allowing that meeting to happen.

I didn't really know what forgiveness was until the day I forgave my alcoholic father. Something was reclaimed that day. I could not tell you what it was because I don't know what it was but when I came home from that meeting I wept and wept and some piece of my soul was reclaimed or reborn or became re-activated.

The day I forgave him was the day I became a father to my father.

When I search myself today I can find no ill will toward him. What developed out those horrific childhood experiences is a feeling of deep compassion and a seeing into the nature of life that is difficult to convey in words.

When there arose in me a spontaneous feeling of compassion for him there simultaneously arose in me compassion for vast swaths of humanity that my intuition now 'recognizes' as being of the same 'pattern' as him.

I've never been a Christian and I don't go to church but I cannot thank Jesus enough for indicating to me that there was something of great value in the act of forgiving someone.

If Jesus stood before me today I would not be able to bow my head low enough.

 
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