Home » Uncategorized » It’s not you, it’s me – part 2

It’s not you, it’s me – part 2

Had an awkward situation with a friend last weekend and I have been thinking about it, as you do.

The evening last weekend went well until she was leaving with her half drunk bottle of wine, when she started lamenting over my not drinking again! I tried to brush it off with the usual, “oh, you know, I don’t really fancy it anymore and I am totally cool with you having yours etc. I even asked if I was a bit boring when I didn’t drink and she laughed and said “No, of course not, it’s just that when you drink, it makes me feel better. ” I mean she actually said that! I replied saying not to be silly and she could drink all she likes, sure wasn’t it the weekend etc. I don’t want my choice to make anyone feel bad.

Then as we said our goodbyes, me relieved the awkward conversation was over, when she started up again. “I really don’t understand why you don’t just have a few drinks. It’s no harm. ” I again, said something about it being really nice now that I didn’t have to think about it anymore and I was feeling healthier, getting tons done, work’s crazy, etc. I said that, for me, it was a bit too consuming and I feel more in control of my own shit without it. I reiterated, again, that she was she, and I am me and my drinking was always a bit different to hers. She left, I am sure, not really getting it or anymore understanding of where I am.

While I am trying to appreciate that I can’t expect her to fully get it, without a lot more honesty on my part, that is all I am prepared to share with her right now. It took absolutely forever and then some, before my husband could get his head round the inner side of this disease that I have. From the outside I suppose, I really didn’t seem to have a problem that needed addressing. Or, is it that society just doesn’t see that if you are showing signs of alcohol abuse, if you don’t always appear to have a handle on your drinking, then this is something to be taken seriously and really does need addressing. It always comes back to the both the stigma surrounding the alcoholic and fear of seeing something of yourself in the person with the drinking “issues”. By wishing I could just cut down rather than out, they are hoping the problem isn’t as big as it could be and therefore their drinking is not an issue either? *Sighs*

These kind of situations used to get me down a bit and make me want to retreat back into my sober bubble where I don’t get hassled. But, I have nearly 7 months sober now and I have worked through it, decided that absolutely none of that conversation was about me! I am happy with where I am, proud of how far I’ve come and my thoughts about the situation only need to be for me. That confrontation doesn’t change how I feel, how happy I am about my decision. Nothing has changed.

I have decided that if we embark on a conversation like that again, here is what I will say…

I used to drink way more than was good for my health. You drink too, sure, but you aren’t worried that it is damaging your health/life etc. I decided to address that the only way I could. Cutting down, is not and has never been an option for me.I’m just not programmed that way. Now, if I was to explain this scenario and we were talking about smoking, would you encourage me, wish even, that I would start smoking again? That’s how it is for me. It’s not you, it’s me.”

16 thoughts on “It’s not you, it’s me – part 2

  1. I think you’re absolutely right that the conversation with your friend wasn’t about you it was about her. I guess she only ever saw the well behaved side of your drinking and not all the crap that went with it.

    Have you seen the Stoptober campaign – trying to get people to quit smoking for October? I was reading about it yesterday and it struck me how much easier things would be for us boozers if public attitude to drinking was the same as for smoking. Everyone knows smoking is bad for you, it’s addictive and if you kick the habit you’re widely praised. But when you stop drinking? It’s like you’ve got two heads..

    • Yes, she is not someone I ever got really drunk with. I suppose as the kids were always around. She is a steady, usually controlled user of wine, who quite clearly has issues with her own consumption.
      I suppose I am getting used to my two heads. Having clear skin, more money, a happier disposition, and a spring in my step helps compensate!

  2. One thing I’ve learned from getting sober is that friendships change. And that you can’t always make it better for other people at the expense of yourself. I feel like the people who want the best for you and are your true friends act that way. I’m still getting used to acting that way myself- towards myself and towards others. But the people who love you for real don’t try to cajole you into doing something you’ve said is bad for you to make themselves feel better. I’m so glad you see all that and that you feel proud of yourself. 🙂

    I am proud of you, too.


    • Thanks Amy, I have accepted that There may be friendship casualties, nothing is more important than my family and my sobriety! Finally, I get that! Jesus, I used to put everything else and everyone else first. It’s no wonder my friends are confused. A lot has changed here…

  3. I was just thinking I really had to email you to ask what that situation was and if you were ok – I’m sorry, this week has gotten CRAZY.

    I am a bit too brain dead to be as coherent on this topic as I’d like – because I have a lot of thoughts on it, so may need to come back to it. But I definitely second what Amy said about friendships changing and how TRUE friends will support you even if it’s a bit weird or uncomfortable for them. I have all but lost a couple of drinking buddies this way and it’s a bit hurtful but it makes me see the friendship differently if they can’t deal with it – and still want to be in my company as much – when I’ve said it was becoming destructive for me and that quitting has been really good for me. Good friends will support positive changes, period. Even if it takes them awhile to come around to it and even if they never totally ‘get it’.

    I am accepting more that it’s about other people’s shit – not me. And I am accepting more that a lot of people won’t get it – and that’s ok.

    I love that you are seeing all that and still feeling strong and good. I think I am in the midst of a similar transition. This shit used to bug me a lot more and really make me question my sobriety. More and more I am thinking along the lines you discuss.

    So actually, it’s not you, it’s HER. It’s HER shit. You are doing exactly what you need to do and you should be proud. Hopefully she’ll come around. If not that friendship will fade away as a couple seem to be for me and, frankly, ultimately that’s no great loss even if good times were had previously with the booze as a connector. We can make real connections now with people without that – ones that are ultimately more deeper, more honest, more real.

    Ok, now I’m rambling. I hope some of that made sense. I am very proud of you too.

    L xo

    • Yes it IS her! I see that. The old me would never have seen that. I was always running around trying to keep everyone happy and be the social butterfly everybody’s best mate. Who did I think I was, that I had the power to make people feel happy about themselves. Only they can do that. I see that if she wants to feel happy or otherwise to drink, then it’s her issue.
      It didn’t make me feel bad for too long, really, I worked out pretty quickly and had a great big sober smirk again before long. I am in a good place and that helps, luckily.
      Nothing is worth compromising my new found values for!
      Sober soap box signing off….!
      Crazy busy sounds good for house budget savings – hope it’s going well!
      Lots of love
      C x

  4. I think us non-drinkers make some people feel pretty uncomfortable sometimes. I have noticed a few friends changing their normal drinking behaviors around me or making comments about how they need to cut down or quit, too. Mainly because of drinking too many calories, but still. These friends know my drinking history and it still makes them uncomfortable that I am not joining in. It sounds like you handled it great and stuck to your boundaries with sharing. You might find that you don’t enjoy this friend’s company if she continues to make comments over time…it’s not just up to her to decide. Hopefully she will get it and you can have a nice time together. 🙂

    • Oh that is just the best, when someone takes something positive from your example. I just love it when that happens. It’s not all bad, some people are fab.
      Yes, I was hoping we’d turned a corner, but next time, she gets the new explanation and after that, I give up.
      Thanks x

    • Oh I love it when others take something/anything positive from your example, there is hope!
      Some friends have been fab…but not many. Surrounded myself with too many boozers over time!
      Thanks C

  5. Yeah, this all just gets easier, the longer we’re sober, doesn’t it? The longer you go, too, the more you see those friends–those people–for what (as in, how far along their are, with their mental and emotional issues) they are! I’ve really seen myself come a long way when I witness others still “stuck” or still doing the same things. I think it’s simply due to the fact that getting sober requires you to start working on your issues, and improving everything about how you be and do in the world.

    And, yeah, you are not responsible for what anyone thinks about you! xxx

    • It’s true I think people in recovery have to work so hard on everything , taking that look at yourself really makes you think about how you treat others too. Being there for people and recognising other peoples needs is more important too. Sober chicks make better friends, I just wish I had a few more!

  6. It’s comforting for me to hear that someone else has a spouse who didn’t get it. Like you, I don’t think anyone who knows me feels I had a problem. It’s pretty frustrating when people try to convince you why you don’t have a problem. My spouse does. Not. Get. It.

  7. Me too hon, me too. The sober chick friends that is…

    Tonight is the Friday night of a long weekend here and I was asked out of drinks by one of those aforementioned friends who’ve been negative about my not drinking. (she’s been away, probably hoped I had gotten over it by now. Still pretty insensitive to ask me out for drinks given she knows the history and that I’d quit but anyway…) Was feeling kind of down and out of step with the world about it all walking home and seeing everyone in the bars starting the weekend off with a big party. But… all those things you mentioned, like clear skin, more money, more happiness, more productivity etc are GREAT trade offs. So, I will watch some silly TV and eat ice cream and tomorrow I have morning plans with one of those treasured friends who don’t really ‘get it’ but have found ways to be fabulously supportive and encouraging nonetheless. And these are the people we should give our time and energy to, in my opinion.

    Why don’t we live in the same country? I wish I could come to London for tea and cake. Ah well. You make a great text/email sober chick friend.

    Oh and yes, crazy busy definitely good for house budget! The money for one extra job this week is already earmarked for a lovely hallway rug. Pics to come 🙂

  8. Hey hope you are well. I read this post on my phone when you first wrote it and then realised I’d never commented. All fantastic progress and great to hear. Love your work xxx

    • Great news! I am so happy that my ramblings can be of help to anyone. Have a great dinner party. Try to be proud of your choice not to drink and make others envy your lifestyle choice!
      Have fun x

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