I was thinking the other day about some
of the dumb shit things I’ve heard during my sobriety and thought that perhaps folks could benefit from a friendly reminder of things not to say to an alcoholic. I have literally heard each of these. I’m gonna learn ya.
1. You don’t drink anymore? What do you do for fun?
Well besides frequenting the local square dancing hoedown every 3rd Friday of the month, nothing really rocks my socks off like spending an entire Saturday evening knitting pot holders to donate to the local Rotary club.
Surprisingly, I still do the exact same things minus the consumption of alcohol. Weird, right? I actually do more cool things now that I’m not wasted all the time and my hand/eye coordination isn’t significantly impaired.
2. Do you care if I drink in front of you?
While I recognize that this could be a personal preference depending on the comfortability of the alcoholic which is influenced by a variety of factors such as how newly sober the person is, in general I think it should be assumed that yes, we care. Yes, it is difficult to watch you drink in front of me. Impossible? No. Uncomfortable? Yes. Tempting? Not always. While I may say ‘oh sure it’s fine,’ what I’m really saying inside is, ‘I would prefer to not watch you drink in front of me, but if you must…’
I think there is an inclination for some alcoholics to not want to be a ‘debbie or donnie-downer’ and to accommodate their drinking-buddies, so as to not get left out. This often leads folks to just avoiding hanging out with some friends altogether because the thought of asking their friends not to drink seems unreasonable or like an unfair request. I think the opposite rings true.
3. Can you stop by the liquor store for me?
Yep. I have literally been asked by a friend if I could stop by the liquor store to pick up some booze. I realize I was frequenting On the Rocks enough to get a BOGO offer, but I couldn’t think of a bigger waste of time, not to mention a bigger trigger. No respect, I tell ya. No respect.
4. You’re not an alcoholic; you’re just young. Everyone who’s your age drinks a bunch.
While it is true that folks my age tend to binge drink like nobody’s business, ain’t nobody got time for that. It is puzzling to me some of my friends don’t think I’m an alcoholic. It isn’t exactly favorable to identify as an alcoholic in society. Surprisingly it’s not the new hipster thing to do. (They’re still doing the whole PBR thing.) I don’t need to prove to anyone I have a problem.
5. You sure you don’t want even a taste?
As unbelievable as it may seem, I have actually had a friend ask me if I wanted to try their specialty martini. I am so flabbergasted thinking about this again I can’t even think of anything snarky to say. Mmmm how about no. #Imafuckingalcoholic
6. Can’t you just skip your AA meeting?
7. Do you think you’ll ever drink again? You’ll probably drink again, right? You see there’s this thing about being an alcoholic. Whenever we drink, our lives are…how do you say?…horrible? fucked up? sad? depressing? Never drinking again is kinda, sorta the objective. Asking me if I plan on drinking again is the equivalent of asking me if I think I’ll ever be so depressed again that I’ve given up on my own happiness. Silly, right?
8. You can’t even have just one drink?
9. Will you hold my drink?
Now I know I shouldn’t necessarily be in situations in which this could occur, but I do still like to go out dancing and watching live music. Unfortunately, both of these events usually occur in bars. Oddly enough, I don’t want to hold in my hand the very thing that I am having to completely avoid thinking about in order to be at the bar with you. I realize this might seem arbitrary, but trust me, it’s not.
10. God, I really need a drink right now.
I realize this may sound like me just complaining and nagging about how hard it is to be an alcoholic and how much some people suck sometimes or how people may not understand how triggering they can be, but….wait. That’s exactly what I’m doing.
Sorry, not sorry.
Keep it weird, y’all,