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An unexpected consequence to my drinking...

Old 01-04-2010, 04:59 PM
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Sober Date 12/21/09
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An unexpected consequence to my drinking...

For the last five years I have been involved in a card group. There are a lot of us in this group and we all take turns hosting and having card games in our homes. I used to host a lot and because I didn't have to drive, I also drank a lot.

I can be very competitive, controlling and don't always take bad beats well. i guess sometimes I can be a spoiled sport and in the past the alcohol just made it worse.

Well last night I had a game at my place and one of the players, who I've known for a long time, was being a real A-hole, like he usually is, but we tolerate him mostly because his wife is a doll (he doesn't drink by the way). But last night he was being suck a d!ck that two of my really valued and well-liked players were going to leave the game because of him. It was a tough spot but I had to make the difficult decision to ask the A-hole to leave. He took it okay at the time, but was very hurt and embarrassed I'm sure. I have never had to do that in five years of hosting and I've never seen any other host do it either.

After he left the entire table thanked me saying I did the right thing at the right time and did so in a firm but kind manner. It seemed like a huge black cloud was lifted and all of a sudden we were laughing, telling jokes and having a great time, like it was meant to be. I have no doubt I did the right thing.

So this morning the A-hole sent me two scathing emails calling me all kinds of names, insulting me on just about every level and accusing me of being a nasty bitch, lacking solid judgement, in denial about my true emotions and said I would be sorry some day. But then he took it a step further.

He dredged up old situations where, under the influence, I had been less than lady-like myself. I guess I should have seen that coming because usually when you really hurt someone's feelings they want to hurt you back. And it did hurt. The event he was referring to was several months ago. It was a very stressful one, that I was hosting, and I had over reacted to a couple of situations while drinking quite a bit. However, I have never been booted from someone's else's game. And no one complained to me that night or anytime after.

Anyway, it just made me think about how our actions when drinking can follow us for a really long time and tarnish our reputations. Even though I'm not drinking now, he will always see me as the raving bitch from that one night and I guess he will never respect me because of it. So he didn't take his removal well, because he didn't respect the person it came from. Now he's going to go around and tell everyone in the group what a bitch I am. But I have every ounce of faith that I made a sober and sound judgement call (for once in my life) that came from pure strength and faith in myself and I'd do it again in a heartbeat.

How do you stay strong once you start making good solid decisions, when your past mistakes keep getting thrown in your face?
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Old 01-04-2010, 05:11 PM
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Very few people have done that to me Sunset.

Some people have pointed out instances where I have been unfair or judgemental about others still drinking, and although I didn't like it at the time they were right and I appreciated the wake up.

Those who have their own agenda though? They never impacted upon decisions I knew were right, or affected my decision to stay sober. I simply didn't give them a second chance to do it again.

I think it's important to keep this in perspective - this is one guy - it would be wrong to extrapolate too much from that

D
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Old 01-04-2010, 05:11 PM
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I think we just need to accept that we did things in the past that we wouldn't have done, had we not been drinking. And, all we can do is to change. We can't make other people view us differently. That needs to be their choice. It's not easy. But it's not about him, it's about you and the changes you are making in your life.
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Old 01-04-2010, 05:18 PM
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frightened animals bite, hon.

That's just nature.

Animals... strike out.
Humans ... reach out.

You are right that our past actions CAN come up to haunt us.
I believe, however, that our life we live TODAY...
makes the past a non-weapon.

This is just a small, frightened, embarassed man.

You never know -
it could be the wake up call HE has been needing but no one had the guts to give.
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Old 01-04-2010, 05:50 PM
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I just consider the source. If it were someone I loved and respected, I would try and find my part in it and make it better if I could, and I would forgive them their moment. If it is someone I have no respect for, I try and just let it roll off my back, and keep my distance from that person in the future.
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Old 01-04-2010, 05:55 PM
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Originally Posted by sunset2000 View Post
How do you stay strong once you start making good solid decisions, when your past mistakes keep getting thrown in your face?
The events of the past cannot be changed. What can be changed is how we perceive those events. They may be perceived as a lesson from which we can learn something or we can allow them to act as a source of regret and shame. The logical approach, and in this case the most appropriate one, is to come to terms with the past and believe firmly that in our most sober moments we wouldn't do what we did while drinking. What we do while drinking, at least to me, is not a true reflection of our sober character.

Sooooo, your friend is being a jerk. Plain and simple. What you did in those days can't be changed. It just is. When drinking you made decisions that were less than your best. But to use that against you now is immature and disrespectful.

Keep making those solid decisions. It was the right decision to ask this person to leave. You had other friends who backed you up. What you did was the adult thing to do. The person you asked to leave is acting like a petulant child.

Just my take. Sorry for sounding so much like Spock. LOL
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Old 01-04-2010, 06:01 PM
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Distance is going to be hard as we're in the same social group and it turns out I'll actually be seeing him at a game tonight.

He's taken it even one step further and just emailed me to tell me his wife doesn't like me either, which I didn't know and really does hurt my feelings because we all really like her.

Anyway, I'm going tonight to be strong and be the better person and deal with it head on. Hiding in my own emotions, avoiding them or not going to games they are at only makes my weaker and them stronger. Wish me luck!
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Old 01-04-2010, 06:05 PM
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Originally Posted by sunset2000 View Post
How do you stay strong once you start making good solid decisions, when your past mistakes keep getting thrown in your face?
I have several family members who dredge up my past acts, even though I've done my best to make amends for them. I can't do anything about it other than limit my contact with them. I've forgiven me, and if they don't want to forgive me, I can't make them. I've paid my penance. I can't change the past, and I surely won't serve a life sentence because they think I should.

The former friends/acquaintances who hold grudges are "former" for a reason. I don't expect that they'll forget my past acts, but I do know that to hold on to them is indicative of a miserable existence -- and unless miserable people are asking for my help to change, I don't stick around and give them a target.

So...to answer your question, I acknowledge my past ("made a searching and fearless moral inventory"), try to make good on my bad decisions and harmful/hurtful actions ("made direct amends to such people except when to do so would injure them or others") and move on, living the best I can, owning up when I'm wrong (as I so often am!) and don't drink, no matter what. Anyone who continues to have a problem with me after that -- has a problem. Not me.

Peace & Love,
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Old 01-04-2010, 06:21 PM
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I'd tell the guy that I might be hurt if all this came from someone who's opinion I gave a sh!t about. But since thats not the case...kindly find a far, quiet corner to cry in because you are just a waste of breathe to me.
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Old 01-04-2010, 09:10 PM
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We've all had our drunken moments we'd just as soon never happened. I use those moments to keep me sober. I never have to be like that again.

You never have to be like that again. Living well is the best revenge....isn't that the old adage? I'd think it fits, here.
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Old 01-04-2010, 11:45 PM
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I get it..

Originally Posted by sunset2000 View Post
Distance is going to be hard as we're in the same social group and it turns out I'll actually be seeing him at a game tonight.

He's taken it even one step further and just emailed me to tell me his wife doesn't like me either, which I didn't know and really does hurt my feelings because we all really like her.

Anyway, I'm going tonight to be strong and be the better person and deal with it head on. Hiding in my own emotions, avoiding them or not going to games they are at only makes my weaker and them stronger. Wish me luck!
Hey girl
I hear what everyone else is saying but absolutely understand that being so early in sobriety doesnt always give us the inner strength to do all those things. I have noticed I am much more suseptible to crying and emotional outbursts.

You really need to be proud - you stood up and did the right thing. Focus on that for now. That should make you feel great!

I once met someone who I talked to quite often and who found a massive attraction to me but I didnt feel the same so rejection came quite hard on that person. To the point that I was stalked, told I would die, told that the police couldnt stop them and that they would find a way to make me pay so I understand the threat you feel, its not nice.

I am sure his wife has nothing to do with his email, he is hitting you where it hurts, like others have said, he is trying to get to you and is acting like a child, who does that? Who acts like he has as an adult? Its quite bizare to me.

Good luck for tonight, please post again and let us know how it goes!
Take care of you and dont buy into any crap he wants to try and bring! You never know, someone else might feel confident now to stand up and tell him where to go!

*insert hug here* cant find the smile one...
Rach
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Old 01-05-2010, 01:15 AM
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Thank you all so much for your support and thank you also to "ClayTheWriter" who joined me in the Crisis Lounge when I was crying over this initially and was tempted to drink. Thank you all so much, I can't tell you how much it helped me and how much it helped going to this event with "an army" behind me. :-)

I got there late but the host told me that she mentioned the situation to a few other regulars before anyone else got there and they absolutely agreed with me. When A-hole and his wife showed up she told me not a word was said.

I sat down next to the wife initially. I said "hi" put on my headphones and just played my game. At the final table guess who I was assigned to sit next to? You got it, A-hole to my left and wifey to my right. Again, I just listened to my music, tuned out his obnoxiousness and played my game. He made a bone head call against another player and went out just out of the money. Then I took wifey out and that put ME in the money! Weeee. Good times. It was very satisfying.

Anyway, I'm really glad I had the strength to go and show them I don't back down to threats or really even give a damn. And I was never tempted to drink either, and I'm still not.

In a weird way it encourages me to stay sober even more, because if I was still drinking and acting a fool it would just give them more ammunition. As it stands now, I believe I handled myself with class and dignity and I AM very proud of myself. :-)

Thanks, Lion. You rock, too! Kisses to all.....
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Old 01-05-2010, 02:52 AM
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Good job on staying sober through this difficult time! The other people in the card group supported your decision to ask this person to leave, so you know you made the right choice.

Sometimes when people make the right choices, they catch a lot of flak. Keep in mind that this guy is behaving poorly: sending you scathing e-mails and saying his wife never liked you is completely inappropriate behavior.

In a weird way it encourages me to stay sober even more, because if I was still drinking and acting a fool it would just give them more ammunition. As it stands now, I believe I handled myself with class and dignity and I AM very proud of myself. :-)
Way to go!
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Old 01-05-2010, 04:31 AM
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Thumbs up

Originally Posted by sunset2000 View Post
I sat down next to the wife initially. I said "hi" put on my headphones and just played my game. At the final table guess who I was assigned to sit next to? You got it, A-hole to my left and wifey to my right.

Anyway, I'm really glad I had the strength to go and show them I don't back down to threats or really even give a damn. And I was never tempted to drink either, and I'm still not.

In a weird way it encourages me to stay sober even more, because if I was still drinking and acting a fool it would just give them more ammunition. As it stands now, I believe I handled myself with class and dignity and I AM very proud of myself. :-)

Thanks, Lion. You rock, too! Kisses to all.....
All I can say is - congrats mate! What a wonderful post to read - I was worried for you, not that you would drink but having to be in that horrid position at all! I am VERY glad to hear you are proud you, you should be!

Keep up the great work!
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Old 01-05-2010, 05:14 AM
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sunset2000 here is a bit of my experience.

1. When someone is an A-hole to me I first determine if I played a part in making them act this way, if when ONLY looking at my part in it I determine I did something to them that may have led to this, I clean my side of the street as quickly as I can WITHOUT putting ANY blame on them, I apologize to them and if needed make amends to them. Normally this diffuses the entire situation and results in them apologizing for thier reaction.

2. If I have done NOTHING that warranted what they did to me then I simply ACCEPT them for who they are and pray for them that they are able to overcome what ever is in their control and I ACCEPT them for who they are.

The Serenity prayer is an awesome tool for life, if I have no control over a person, place or thing, I simply accept that person, place or thing for what it is. Now if there is some ACTION I can take to CHANGE me or the situation without bring harm to others, I do that.

Just what works for me, things I have learned from other recovering alcoholics as well as others in my life.

If I keep my side of the street clean and don't worry about the mess on the side of the street out of my control, life goes better, not perfect, but better.

I am not God, the only person I have FULL control over is me. There is nothing I can do to control how others feel about me except to be the best me I can be, which usually with time does influence the way others think about me.
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