Everyone Knows I'm an Alcoholic
Last year about this time, I had recently gotten back from rehab and was adjusting to sober living. I decided in September of last year that I would let my voice be heard to promote "Recovery Awareness Month" through my personal facebook page. The response and support was overwhelming.
People ask me all the time how and why I am so open with my alcoholism and, well..it's a simple as this...
It's part of who I am. It's actually a huge part of who I am. It doesn't define me...but it has refined me.
The thought of keeping it a secret seemed absurd to me. For me, being open and honest about it keeps me accountable. Saying I am an alcoholic flows out of my mouth like saying my name or where I am from.
I say, "hello, my name is Allison, I am an alcoholic" everyday at meetings. The thing is..the people in those rooms know I am alcoholic. The rooms are safe. Not once have I been tempted to drink in the rooms of AA. It's the world outside of those rooms that can be a scary place.
So, I tell everyone. I think I even told my mailman at some point. As if he was going to try and slip me a cold one on his daily mail delivery.
People like for you to drink. I think it actually makes some people uncomfortable if they are drinking and you aren't. So, I have some petty solid comebacks when I get approached and offered a drink. It usually goes something like this...
Guy: Can I get you a drink?
Me: No, thank you. I don't drink.
Me: Well, when I left rehab, they strongly suggested we not drink to stay sober.
I also like to tell people, "it's only weird if you make it weird." I can make light of the situation, because, really...what's the big deal?
I promise you...sober Allison is much more enjoyable to be around. She won't pass out at the bar...get sick and throw up on you...trap you in a pointless conversation for hours...forget to pay her bar tab and leave you with it...fall out of her chair...do a disappearing act...and the list goes on.
First dates can be awkward if the guy doesn't know I don't drink. But the way I look at it, is that if he isn't cool with it, then peace out. I'm not going to drink for you.
In life, we tend to over complicate things, but life can be simple if we choose to make it that way. I am an alcoholic. I don't drink. It's that simple. Am I thrilled that I am alcoholic? Of course not. But since I am...I am going to own it and rock it.
Within the past year, my voice has gotten louder and louder when it comes to my recovery and trying to shed some awareness on the issue. It's a living amends that honors my brother's memory. I made that promise to Will when I got back from rehab and buried my white chip at his grave site...that I would share my experience, strength and hope with others who are suffering so they may not feel alone in this journey. I want to leave this world in a better place by showing others that they too can change their life, their story and how they interact with the world around us.
September is Recovery Awareness Month and I am going to be blogging a lot on questions I hear from people all the time. If you have anything you want to ask or have addressed...please email me on facebook or at email@example.com and I will do by best to include in a blog and will most definitely respond privately.