from me: a couple of days ago, i shared an email i received from KB about ‘high bottom drinkers’ and how my blog didn’t suit her (read it here).
even more interesting? the emails i’ve received since with feedback, suggestions, ire, and empathy. here are a few of the messages in my inbox:
oaktwig: “KB is obviously the kind of person who needs to be reminded that alcohol can be lethal, so that she can stay away from it. And she’s right, it can clearly kill you if you abuse it. But I, for instance, wouldn’t want to read the words of a 100% serious blogger, writing serious stuff all the time, telling me how dangerous and extreme it is, using important words and phrases.
What I like about you is that you know what you’re talking about, and you don’t TAKE yourself seriously. There’s the difference. Lots of times in your podcasts (most recently, in the one about AA), you talk about serious stuff, you get to the core of it, and then you say something else, and you go back to it, and you laugh about something else, etc. Sometimes, it’s hard to hear because it feels real (death, disease…), but it never feels like you’re patronizing us. I like that about you.
I also love how you add logic to the mix. Overconsuming is insane troll logic, it doesn’t make any sense at all. Your approach to sobriety is refreshing because it’s clear, it explains why this and why that. You bring logic and order to this fucking mess, it’s quite an amazing thing to do!
I don’t think your words are light as air, or that you don’t really comprehend the problem of alcohol. I think you nail it, in your own way. You have a voice in your head that tells you that drinking is a good idea. Low bottoms, high bottoms, who cares. It fucks you up. Here endeth the lesson.”
L: “You handled that really well, girlfriend. This particular line hurt my heart: “More and more, I have begun to realize that your blog is for the housewife who maybe has a few too many glasses of wine at dinner. And is worried about her waistline, and so wants to cut back.” Oh, is that all I am? Is that all it was? Silly me.
This is a good lesson (for me anyway) about comparison. A competition to see who’s “got it worse” serves no purpose. You talked about this once in an email. Just because I’ve never shown up to a kid’s school function drunk, doesn’t make me better than anyone. Just because I have a higher bottom than some, doesn’t make my issues with alcohol any less. If we can put down the measuring sticks and do what we need to do to not drink today, cheering one another on wherever we may be in the journey, using the tools that help us, and laying aside the others, without feeling the need to criticise, we’ll be better off.
You handle your poo-pooers with a lot of grace. I wanna be like you when I grow up. :)”
Da (fatgit): “For what it’s worth, it was killing me. I was having blackouts, I got sacked from my job, I went to sleep or passed out drunk every night, I felt ill and depressed all the time. I had been to AA several times over the years and got increasingly unimpressed by their message and their methods. I don’t define myself as an addict, or an alcoholic, which AA doesn’t like. Your correspondent has been “saved”. Good luck to them … I have MY life back, the one I wanted.”
licensed marriage and family therapist: “I know we don’t know one another, but how not to respond to this. This is exactly why you MUST keep writing. People experience this kind of high-bottom shaming from AA. Keep up the great and inspiring work. The recovery part of this email, should this person get recovery and not just sobriety, will see that they looked for what is different and not the same. Just wanted to reach out and say to keep going. You are doing GREAT things for many people.”
What do you think? Have something to add? Send me your ideas, including if you disagree with how I replied to KB.
stay here. stay focussed. stay sober. this painting is on the original art page here > link
original art link here.