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 Post subject: Both sides open
PostPosted: Sun May 10, 2015 9:23 am 
Recovery Mentor

Joined: Mon Feb 11, 2013 7:13 am
Posts: 687
Reposted from pinned topics at top of this forum

I would like to talk about the use of "both sides open" in the forums as ourgrowing population has given rise to a increase in cross posting, which has been met with some backlash from some community members. Back when I first joined Recovery Nation, the forums were completely separate, and while I am certain that some partners frequently read threads on the recovery forums (and likewise, some recovering members read on the partners) it was not something that was encouraged.

Some reasons why cross posting is not encouraged:

1. It distracts some members from where they should be placing their focus.
2. It can be used as a way to seek unhealthy stimulation from members of the recovery path (for partners) and vice versa.
3. Most members view Recovery Nation as a safe place to come to, to share their feelings and concerns openly, and to get down to the business of healing and recovery. Having open posts causes some members to feel violated or unsafe to share openly in both the support and/or the lesson response forums.
4. Not all members are responsible for themselves, nor do we all consider the impact of our actions on others; we simply do not have the staff to monitor all posts for these members and "both sides welcome" can occur as an open invitation to flame at members of the other side. This is rare, but has happened.

Now, here it is our philosophy that we are each responsible for our own healing and recovery processes, and we encourage members to develop self-awareness and to practice discernment, filtering their own actions through their own values, within the context of the bigger picture of their lives. We also encourage a supportive and mutually respectful atmosphere. Given these values, we do not want to create a rule that no posts can ever be opened to both sides, as sometimes there is a very valid reason for so doing. Further, micromanaging the community in this way takes the power away from its members to manage themselves.

Some things to remember when creating, posting or reading "both sides welcome".

1. Regardless of the path we are on, our perceptions are subjective to our experiences, and also subject to our own motives. Sometimes we think we will get objective information from members of the other forums (and granted, sometimes we do) but the most objective information is available from the coaches (or from the workshop lessons themselves). It is our commitment and duty to this community, as coaches, to be objective.
2. We all have our own values that we live by and these values can be reflected in our exchanges on the forums. Further, we are all in various stages of vision and values development work; some people prefer to post in support forums than do the work.
3. Wrong-making is discouraged. We are all entitled to our own opinions, and we are free to share those opinions, but in the context of the rules of the forum, and out of sheer respect for others, we do not impose our opinions or make others wrong for theirs.
4. Before you post a both sides welcome question or response, filter your decision for so doing through the above considerations and ask yourself:
What is the main reason for my post?
Does my query require responses from both sides? (see #1)
What are the potential conflicts or boundary violations that can arise?
It is a possibility that I am looking for attention or stimulation from members of the "other side"?
If I suspect so, what is the motivation for my seeking? (lonely, bored etc.) and how can I better provide myself with stimulation or attention in a healthy way?
Am I violating any boundaries by posting this? (If you are unsure of where the line is, consider that that is where your line is!)
Is there a values based purpose to seeking answers from "both sides"

I also want to discuss some healthy reasons for both sides welcome posts. In opening ourselves up to healthy communication with members from the other sides of the forum, we can foster respect, relatedness, unity, objectivity, shared goals, non-judgement, compassion, equality, humanizing of others (or de-objectification), etc. We can gain insight from the other members (remembering the subjectivity factor). We can gain comparative information (but again, people vary in where they are in the process, and not two addictions are exactly alike, just as no two individuals are exactly alike and, comparing is extrinsically driven whereas healing and recovery are intrinsic).

Before I close, I want to reiterate that our community is as it is because of its membership and our shared commitment to healthy based healing and recovery. We do not want to ban both sides welcome posting, but we are prepared to if people do not respect the collective values of this community and of the site when creating or participating in such posts. If anyone has anything constructive to contribute to this subject, please do. We ask you all to join us in supporting our mission and keep Recovery Nation the amazing an invaluable resource that it is.

Be well.

"When everything else is stripped away the essential is reveled." B.K.S. Iyengar

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