Disclosure

Yesterday I had lunch with two of my oldest friends. We live in different parts of the country, all have busy lives, but we try to meet 2 -3 times a year for lunch. In the past these lunches has been boozy affairs, at times very boozy. Inevitably I would stagger out from the restaurant in the early evening, later than I had promised.I would struggle home, and breeze in, trying to appear sober(ish) – a charade that usually lasted about 30 minutes before I escaped upstairs to my bed. The next day – yes, hangover from hell, tired (poor quality sleep) irritable (guilt mostly) Ā – another ‘bad day’.

When I stopped drinking in 2013/14 I did tell my friends what I had done, although we did not really discuss why I felt it was necessary. Obviously I lapsed back into drinking alcohol, which was noted but not discussed further.

Yesterday I made an excuse why I didn’t want any wine. I have really not told anyone. I wonder why ?

Is it shame ? I am ashamed that I have drunk so much in the past, I am ashamed of many things I have done. I am probably ashamed that I cant ‘moderate’; but I am NOT ashamed of my decision to be abstinent… so I don’t think it is shame that kept me quiet.

Is is denial ? That if I don’t tell people it might just be a ‘phase’ that I am going through. That somehow one day I will wake up and on THIS day I will be able to be a moderate drinker, and if I tell people I’m not drinking now, Ā they wont believe me or understand when I say, in the future, that its all ok now… ? That’s bonkers thinking – and I know it.

Is it fear that I will fail again and I don’t want anyone else Ā to know? Different from the above – I fail and start drinking again despite the knowledge that this is a Ā very BAD IDEA. Then I have to face pity (and disapproval)

Actually I think the main issue is that I actually just don’t want to talk about it. I don’t want to discuss why I know I must not drink any more, and whilst I know these friend would respect that wish, I don’t want people thinking my alcohol problem is either worse than it was, or paradoxically that I’m overreacting.

I have realised Ā that drawing attention to myself and my own problems is not something I feel comfortable with. Asking for help, IRL, is really hard for me – although I will be the first in the queue to offer it. One possible interpretation of ‘just not wanting to talk about it’ might be that I no longer want my relationship with alcohol to be a defining part of my life – and whilst that is true- for the moment it sadly is – hence this blog ! One day I hope that I will not drink as naturally as I don’t take drugs – but we are not there yet!

In one way I have reached out for help from the wider community by writing this blog, and by joining various sober websites, in another I am keeping my ‘battle’ completely private.. I am not sure that’s a good thing from the wider perspective.

What do others think ? To share – or not ?

 

 


6 comments

  1. Good post! I know I’ve been there-still am. At almost 6 months,I’ve made no declaration about not drinking. Of course my SO was the first to notice that I wasn’t downing a bottle of wine every night-he also noticed that it got much less expensive when we went out! I have noticed that lately, every once in a while I will tell someone. It seems to be kind of spontaneous and just comes out. And, it’s ok. I think you should do what YOU feel comfortable with. If you’re not in a place where you want to tell people, that’s okay! If and when you do decide to tell people, you can always set the limits of the converstation=for example, if they want to start delving into it, you can simply say that you’d rather not discuss it.
    As for the people that tend to try and convince you that you really didn’t drink that much, I think it’s because they are trying to rationalize their own alcohol use. To be honest, I haven’t had any negative responses. For the most part what I get is someone telling me they quit for 4 days and it didn’t do anything for them-something along those lines.
    So again, all you need to do is to be true to yourself and don’t put yourself in an uncomfortable situation. This is YOUR healing experience and you get to write the script!

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  2. The first attempt of five months duration I told everyone who would listen. Then of course I went back to my old ways so you can imagine what everyone thought. This time I am silent. I think it is based on the previous experience. There is only one person who is going to be difficult and that is my sister. At my daughters wedding I acted drunk around her to put her off the scent. I can play the part of a drunk quite well seeing as I studied the role for many years! But she is an enabler so I have to be careful.

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    • My worry is my mother. When I last stopped, and told her – about 4 months in, she spent quite some time telling me how awful my drinking had been FOR HER. Not one word of congratulations or concern for me, or my children or partner. No, a rehash of all the awful things I had done to HER over the years. Which really were not that awful at all …

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  3. I found that I unconsciously leave the door open just a crack so that I can always sneak back in and be just a regular ole’ drinking buddy again. At the same time, I really don’t want to invite scrutiny, good or bad. That’s why I am doing exactly what you’re doing — outing myself anonymously. It has been amazingly successful so far. I am still thinking about how I want to approach the whole issue, but will probably only deal with it if I can make it one year. I know, I know, one day at a time. But a year is when I would feel more comfortable saying “I’ve stopped drinking” and not “I’m on antibiotics so can’t drink.”

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