how and what to tell. and whom. and when.
in the beginning i didn’t want any one to know. i had any number of stories. “i’ve quit drinking until I lose 20 pounds.” then i graduated to saying “I’m doing a self-discipline challenge, no alcohol for three months.” and people would be like “oh I could never do that. and I’d raise my eyebrows and say something like “well, I ran a marathon once, this will be easier I figure.” then people end up changing the subject to talk about THEMSELVES and they’ll talk about how they wish they could quit smoking, or run a marathon, or whatever…
i was honestly disappointed to realize how most people don’t really give a shit …
if cornered by an evil sister, a weird in-law, a boozing friend who just won’t fucking stop, then I would have just flat-out-lied and created something. Antibiotics is always good. Just say ‘yeast infection’ and that should shut everyone up 🙂 Or you can say “i’ve quit booze for a year, and i’m on month 7 now, i know you won’t give me a hard time about it. right?”
I’ve recently started saying “i’m taking a one year leave of absence from alcohol.” And when the end of the year comes up, if anyone remembers, which they won’t, then I’ll say “yeah, i liked it more than i thought I would so i’m doing more.”
And look, if you want to say something more, if you want to say you’re in AA or you’ve been to rehab, or you’re recovering or that you’re trying to recover… then say it. But me, i’m really supportive of you telling what you want, when you want, and how you want. and NOT telling if you don’t want to. I didn’t even tell my husband for weeks.
if you want to be a big version of some authentic you, then please … have at it. and if you want to be sober, improve your relationships, and not really tell your roommate from college why you look so good when you run into her at Starbucks, then I think you have every right to your privacy. there’s that big group with the word “anonymous” right there in the title 🙂 if you find security and comfort in anonymity, then I say great. if you want to take out a full page ad, that’s OK too 🙂
Actual email i got Sunday from a sober penpal: “Thanks for giving me a yeast infection!!!!!!!! Love that.” [and later] “Well, this yeast infection is a bloody godsend. I’m sooooo glad I contracted it! Easy peasy evening, felt so simple not to drink. I would normally have been blotto by 7 pm, talking shit. Now I just talk shit, sober.”
Thanks for the antibiotic!! I will try to “start with water” or “detox” or “training for the next race” or I’ll just take the car to get to the event. For “special events” like the festival I would like to go next year, I keep the antibiotic as a special super secret weapon 🙂
I don’t want to drink and I don’t want other people to make me drink. If there will be anyone who tries to push me to drink and won’t stop, then I will leave the event. If I don’t have this attitude that day, I won’t go to the event. My sobriety is more important to me than some idiots who apparently don’t care about me and don’t respect my statement.
I have been telling anyone who will listen that I am doing the 100 day challenge, that way I will feel worse if I fail – so I won’t fail.
Hi – 30 days for me today! Woop! Went out tonight with a friend to play some cards and have some drinks (yup… drinks – I had tea, she had a PBR) Felt great to be out and not isolated, but when she ordered that crisp, cold glass of white wine, I got sad…. Not sad enough to have some, but sad, for a minute. however; it’s best if I don’t! Love your blog… I’m in.
glad to have you here! I just checked out your blog – I also quit ‘for now’ … and that was 10 months ago today. it really is one day at a time, and then magically the days add up!
I have often just said “yea, in a minute, I’m SOOO thirsty, I just want water right now” and people usually forget. Or – I have to work later tonight (used that on Saturday night) or really….just NO THANKS, NOT RIGHT NOW. That’s all they need to know! The rest – as it has been said – is up to you!
ps: I’ve used the medication one before, too, when I was no antibiotics. It makes me laugh when people agree, knowingly. My ex-drinky self LAUGHS at this premise – why on earth would you stop drinking just b/c you’re on antibiotics? HA!
i never did stop. ha
Yeast infection! Ha . That will shut anyone up.
Thanks for sharing another great post.
Btw, wolfie was calling my fucking name today. *sigh* . Sleep will help dealing with that fucker!
It’s amazing how much people really don’t care about others. It’s ubiquitous, endemic and totally widespread thruout our society. And it sux that we don’t give a hoot about others and what they have been thru and how we may be able to help them or learn from them for our own futures. I don’t understand it or subscribe to it. When I ask “How are you?” I truly want to know and will take the time necessary to understand what you want to tell me; it blows people away and causes a reaction that is seldom seen.
Beautifully said! I think it is some important to be comfortable in our journey, however that may look to others. I remember now wanting to tell others that I quit drinking because I was afraid I would let them down when I inevitably failed and picked up the bottle again.
This time around, I am not so worried about letting others down as much as letting myself down. It doesn’t really matter what I tell others, it matters what I tell myself. I might say to someone that I am on a diet, taking medication, watching the children, whatever. What I tell myself is that I don’t WANT to drink. I can’t drink and live my life the way I want to. I can’t be the person and the mother that I know I can be. I don’t want alcohol in my life. Period.
simpsonsister, you say it so clearly and cleanly in your last few sentences. Perfect !~!~ Thanks. Don’t Want it, can’t be who I know I am, and most importantly you don’t want it and that matters most of all. Congrats, you rock.
great post!!! seeing how i’m pretty open anyway, i don’t mind who knows. who cares? (as for AA, come ON, i feel like saying in the rooms: *every*one knows already. ;)) i quit drinking cuz i quit drinking. i don’t eat asparagus, i don’t drink wine. PLENTY of awesome reasons to not drink wine, like, it makes me feel like shit now, and/or three days from now. i don’t want to be hung over for an interview? GREAT reason! why not? YES YES YES, i don’t drink wine. i don’t want to gain those 5 or 10 pounds back? GREAT reason! why not? YES YES YES, i don’t drink wine.
what i feel (felt?) apprehensive about, i came to see, was how *i* felt about it (self-conscious), and how *i* remembered the “old” drunk me. cringe-worthy. belle is right: no one (except my mother) gives a shit. not cuz they’re oblivious to others, per se, but cuz it really is meaningless to them. they can’t relate.
forgive yourself and shout it from the rooftop! and then, forget about it all and move on. life and sparkling water is waiting.
I wouldn’t share my deeper thoughts with just anyone, and I think quitting drinking goes along with that. If I were struggling with a decision about a job, or having trouble in my marriage, or thinking of moving- any bigger life event I wouldn’t blab to every tom dick and harriet. My sobriety falls under that umbrella. That being said, I’m not afraid for people to find out either. Sober is who I am now. I don’t need to hide it. I should have been hiding that drunk woman I was for so long! Who let that chick out for fucks sake? But as a reply to “How about a glass of wine?” I think “No, thank you.” works. And as a reply to “What? Why not? Come on!” I reply, “No. Thank you.” With a clear stare. It always works. And the people who need to know know better than to offer.
Being sober is nothing to be ashamed of. It’s kind of like cutting off long hair. At first people are shocked, then they get used to it. Then no one notices. 🙂
Amy that is perfect! “I should have been hiding that drunk woman I was for so long!” You got that right! I sometimes wish I didn’t remember as much as I do. But it is just enough to remind me why I am sober! 🙂
I have said the same things….”I quit cause I have gained too much weight” to a relative who was pounding down the bottles of wine on Thanksgiving. Her response was “you look great, have some wine”. “No thanks”!
At the Super Bowl party I said I didn’t want to drink cause I had an interview the next day…which was true! But the old me would have drank any old day!
I have said to waitresses “oh we don’t drink, but thanks…just water with lemon”!
I just went to a retirement house party on Saturday night knowing that there would be lots of booze and there was. It was displayed on the huge kitchen table with recipes for mixed drinks. I was about to get a glass of water and my friend pulled out this St. Julian’s sparkling juice bottle for me and she said she bought it special for me! Now that was super cool of her! I was totally okay with not drinking at the party…could I have finally turned the corner like you said Belle? Nearly 9 months and I think I feel that “I got this licked” feeling you were talking about! At this party I actually had a conversation with someone about how addictive alcohol is. It is more common than we think to become addicted. I think I’m comfortable in my own skin now! Not that I’ll be blabbing it to everyone I know. It’s my personal business! Like you said ‘they probably won’t give a shit anyways’!
I think that’s one awesome friend for having a drink just for you. Super cool is right!