All of us in recovery have the choice to keep our substance problems and recovery to ourselves. We can ourselves remain anonymous, and it is no one's business but our own that we can't drink like the rest of you. Or that we choose to live without drinking.
Did you know, that because people freak out at the thought of us having a problem with alcohol (or drugs) some folks will go to great lengths to hide their sobriety?
Because they are afraid of the reaction of others, they might work harder on hiding their sobriety, than they did at hiding their drinking. There is more shame with saying you have a problem with drinking, than there is with just drinking. Crazy right?
I hid my using like crazy. Not my drinking, but my drug use. So when I first got sober, I said it was for alcohol, which confused people. When I disclosed the drug problem, they were shocked, but after thinking about my behavior, it made perfect sense to people.
Some of the things I've heard people do to hide their sobriety are:
- Pouring pop (soda, for all you non-Minnesotans) into an empty beer bottle or can.
- Mixing drinks that LOOK like they could possibly have booze in them.
- Pouring grape juice in wine glasses and so on.
We do this, so that you don't look at us weird, or so that you don't think we have this disease.
Some people ask us, "Can't you have just one?" Answer is NO.
"Can't you just TASTE this for me?" Answer is NO.
They might say, "Do you STILL have to go to those meetings?" For many of us the answer is YES.
And the old,"WHY AREN'T YOU DRINKING?" Usually shouted in one's face. Super comfy.
The first or twentieth time around alcohol for some of us of is scary, and causes anxiety. We are always worried about what you are all going to think. Not to mention we are desperately trying not to drink. For me, that is mostly (like I said in my last post) because of the way I make other people feel. If I want to drink, I am going to drink. I'm not here to make you feel uncomfortable. So if we could all just accept that some of us aren't going to drink, and move on with it without the attention, then maybe this could all go back to normal.
So if someone says to you, "I'm not drinking today." Or even, "I've decided to quit drinking." Try not to act shocked, or nervous, or talk them out of it. You have no idea what lead anyone to making that decision. A supportive, understanding person is what we need. Maybe someday people will be able to say "I'm in recovery from drugs and alcohol," just as easy as they can say, "I am in remission from cancer," without people looking at them like, "Oohhh, you are one of THEM."
Just a thought.
Oh, and one more thing. If you have a drinking problem, and we make you super uncomfortable because we no longer drink WITH you, that is for sure your shit, not ours. We are not here to decide that for you or even judge you. But we are here to tell you how we quit, if you need us to. Peace!
I obviously woke up a little ranty today...