Friday, March 8, 2013

A note to the normies

I've been having this same conversation with a lot of folks lately, and so I thought I'd try and explain something to the folks out there without an alcohol or drug problem. A little public service announcement, if you will.

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...


7 comments:

  1. Well said!!! I didnt drink for a long time and it was crazy how uncomfortable that made my dates. I was single then dating alot and every guy would want to know the why, what, where, skinny on my not drinking. I had a few guys NOT call me back because they couldnt "party" with me. Whatever!

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    1. I know, people are super weird about it!

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  2. I quit drinking before I turned 21. Aside from the occasional celebratory, social drink, I didn't have more than a sip of beer for years. Made all my friends crazy. Some even told me theat they stopped hanging out with me, because my NOT drinking, made them uncomfortable. What the fuck is THAT about?? Really showed me who my friends were. It wasn't even like I gave them any reason to feel uncomfortable. I just didn't feel like drinking anymore- it wasn't fun anymore- I didn't ejoy it anymore. It became clear to me, that no matter who you are, or why you chose to be sober that night- drunk people get paranoid around sober people. They always felt that because I wasn't drunk WITH them, that I must've been judging THEM. When in all reality- THEY were judging ME.

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    1. BTW, I just noticed my name up there has changed. My half-assed attempt at starting my own little blog. Although, I've not gotten any further than creating a clever name and title. "Mombie Dearest" hehe

      So, if you hadn't recognized the woman posting as "Amanda Dearest", its just me. Amanda B. And one day I may actually get that blog off the ground. Or not lol

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    2. Do it Amanda!! And I did recognize you.

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  3. I drank (relatively heavily) with my ex. As in, pretty much getting wasted most of the weekends before and shortly after I turned 21. My current boyfriend also drinks, but he'll have a beer or two a night - he never gets drunk. I pretty much stopped drinking (couldn't afford it and hated being hungover). Instead, when he has his beer for the evening, I have a cup of coffee. No problems whatsoever! Being there taught me to never question another's choices or judgement. You know you best, and no one else should question that!

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