Day Forty-Three: Buddy System

For those of us lucky enough to have a supportive partner, the buddy system is a good thing to remember. For those of us without one, there’s technology and friendships to help make these things happen as well.

I’ve mentioned the stopdrinking subReddit before. I sometimes feel like a bit of a poseur checking in there. Most of the folks on the board have serious problems with alcohol, while my sobriety is more of a dimmer switch issue than a recovery from a shattered life. But it’s a great example of the Internet opening up buddy systems that didn’t exist in the same way 20 years ago.

My wife is great, and has been tremendously supportive through all of this. The trick in my head, though, is to accept her support and not push back against it. I’ve mentioned my anti-authoritarian streak, and it extends to even people that mean well. So “have you logged your food today?” doesn’t register as a friendly reminder sometimes. Sometimes it lands like a “someone is checking up on me, eh?” thing. Not her fault — it’s my head-problem — but it just kind of pops up.

Buddy system is best system when you accept that you have a buddy.

It’s a weird psychic defense mechanism that I have. It’s often miscalibrated. It’s hard for me to accept praise, and it’s hard for me to accept help.

So among the many things I have to work on, working on being open to accepting help is one of them. I’m not good about taking it, and I’m very bad about asking for it, but I’m working on both things.

And again, it’s important to have a partner who actually supports you in this stuff. I can’t imagine what it would be like trying this if she didn’t have my back. I imagine it’d be very difficult. But there are other communities, both local and on the Internet. So if you don’t have a buddy, look for one. They’re out there.