Other People and What They Think of You

Back in 2008, the first time I decided to go-sober (or mostly sober, I was a quarterly drinker, really) my blog would have been called Sober & Smug. In fact, I did write a blog and it wasn’t called that, but it was “I Quit Drinking But I’m Not In A 12-Step Program” which was my attempt to explain that I really just DIDN’T WANT TO DO IT ANYMORE.

I wrote it on my OpenSalon Blog (remember that??). I was frustrated with trying to get people to understand that I did not really care whether they still consumed alcohol, but I wasn’t into it anymore. Back then, I had quite a few friends with whom I enjoyed adult beverages socially, and my withdrawl from that scene begat several reactions:

  • Really?? Why?? Are you in AA??
  • I’m not quitting! I don’t have a problem.
  • Can I still drink in front of you?
Answers:
  • No
  • Fine
  • Yes
Fortunately for me, my husband (we weren’t married yet) had also had enough hangover/heartburn and happily (mostly) joined me then, and is joining me now. And that’s very big. 
We tried to continue to socialize with the drinkers at the time but it became very uncomfortable for all involved. Those who drank perceived our not-drinking as a judgement on them. In most cases this was true of those who had already become concerned about their alcoholic tendencies but weren’t ready to face that. Understandable. They were worried about not HAVING FUN and I was making their fun look seamy and dirty. 
But it was fun! We had a great time going to clubs and ordering Cokes (the first time we did this my husband said “How much does a Coke cost? I’ve never ordered one before.”) We were used to going out on weekends when I didn’t have my kids and we were challenged to find night spots that either weren’t alcohol-centric or at least served decent NA beverages. We went to see music and ordered decaf coffee and tater tots (tots are big here, don’t ask me why- it’s a “thing”) and noticed that if you weren’t running up a huge bar tab your service tended to be rather crappy. 
Back to the support issue. I am reading that not all of you have it at home and it breaks my heart. Some of you have spouses who are supportive but don’t really want to change their habits. Some of you are frequently sabotaged by those close to you who are either afraid they, too, have to change, or that YOU will change and maybe your relationship will change. They want you to be “normal”, ei not struggling and maybe spotlighting their own issues. 
I hope that you all hang in there anyway and find the strength to put yourselves first (many of you for the first time in a long time.) It’s all about you now. SPOTLIGHT ON YOU! You are ready for your closeup!! 
I know this can be done because I’ve done it before, a lot of you have. I was Clean and Serene, I shall be again, so shall you, so sayith I. We’re going to be SUPER AWESOME sober. Think about it- even on our most HORRIBLY WRETCHED hungover days, we still held it all together. We went to work, dropped off/picked up kids, cleaned, cooked, shopped, ran our businesses, performed our DIY and managed to get IT ALL DONE. Think of what a scary force we shall be when we return to these duties without headaches and dehydration. We can probably plan vacations with the money we save on IBUPROFIN ALONE. 
Now, as I type this, I have to admit that I am doing it to avoid cleaning my kitchen. Baby steps. 
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