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Unintentionally Shamed


I am a sober woman. I love it.  I mean I really, really love being sober.  I don’t experience headaches, dry mouth, indigestion, wake up with my makeup on, wake up in a strange place, get in fights with the people I love, say really rude things, show up late to work with booze on my breath, crave a gigantic greasy meal that will sit in my gut like eight hockey pucks, and best of all, I don’t hate me anymore.  Did I mention I love being SOBER?

My challenge lately has been to cultivate a fellowship of women who I can foster deep meaningful relationships with.  Meanwhile, I still have my few girlfriends that I feel really close to.  They drink, and I was hoping that this wouldn’t become problematic, but inevitably, it has.

Question recently from a friend who drinks: “So…do you think you will ever drink again.”

Answer from me, the sober one: “Ya know, not today.  I really am enjoying being sober.”

Reply from friend who drinks: “Whoa…ok don’t use the word sober.  Just say….alcohol free.  No wait, that sounds worse.  Just say…not drinking.  You really enjoy not drinking.”

Ok…so in the moment, I just felt really anxious because she got really anxious and I agreed with her definition of what I am supposed to be according to her.  A person who enjoys not drinking?  But that really isn’t the truth, and I am all about speaking and living my truth lately. I am an alcoholic.  Plain and simple.  I don’t drink because when I do, I leave behind me a giant wake of hurt and generate a long list of consequences for myself.

But this friend, along with the other drinking friends, don’t want to hear about that.  They don’t want to know about me and my deepest inner workings.  They may think they do, but the only way they can attempt to meet me on that level is by “sharing” a glass of wine together.  And I just cannot do that.

I am slowly starting to realize that my friendships are changing shape.  By my choice to abstain, I am creating a distance between myself and these women that only seems to be increasing.  Each time they unintentionally shame me for being an alcoholic it breaks my heart.  The truth is, all the education in the world isn’t going to help them understand me and the reasons I do what I do. Only another alcoholic/addict can and the few normies out there who love me and respect me for what I am doing.

So here I am. My marriage is healthy, my relationships with my parents are healing, I love my job, I do have a few authentic friendships and I am truly enjoying being a sober alcoholic.  So I guess I will stick with this for today.

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