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Defensive about sobriety

Old 04-27-2015, 10:14 PM
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Question Defensive about sobriety

As per my previous post, I have found that I fly off the handle if someone is dumbing down sobriety. I think this id due to the fact that I have had no fanfare from friends or family. Some of you will recall that the weekend before last was my first camping trip with friends who I assumed would be drinking loads and asking me questions. Well they didn't really make any fuss at all and truth is I think I wanted them too!

I was all prepared to tell them that I have been to AA etc, but as I hadn't changed for the worst and was actually good company (better than when I was always drunk!), no one battered an eyelid!

So why do I care? Well not even my mom and dad made a fuss about me being six months, nearly seven months sober when I told them! Seems everyone's response was 'that's good' and that's it!

I am not usually an attention seeker, but I realise I have been craving acceptance of late from others!

Has anyone else experienced this? I forever say to newbies on here that you have to want to do this for you, but have I really been doing it for me? If I have been doing it for others, then is it worth staying sober?
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Old 04-27-2015, 10:37 PM
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First of all, congratulations on achieving what you have. You are right to be proud of what you have achieved.

My parents are supportive but my dad was an alcoholic so they've 'lived it'. Nobody else I know (as far as I'm aware) has any experience - either as an alcoholic or friend/relative of - so don't 'get' the struggle.

Last year I went on a holiday which included climbing a tall pole to a platform and then jumping off the top with a bungee wire attached to my waist. Everyone else took a couple of minutes. It took me forever to get up there as I was petrified. I had tears streaming down my cheeks when I got to the top (the jumping but was fine). I knew what a huge thing this was for me to have done and was quite put out when hardly anyone else acknowledged it. After a bit of (internal) sulking on my part I accepted nobody else there had the same issues as me so couldn't 'get' my feelings.

There is a big difference though between my holiday achievement and yours. Your achievement is a huge life changing achievement. And I totally understand you wanting this change for others x
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Old 04-27-2015, 11:00 PM
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Non-alcoholics will NEVER understand alcoholism. I don't even really understand it and I'm an alcoholic. That is why talking with other alcoholics is holy ground. They GET it. And then we can yap with each other and not drive ourselves crazy with trying to get understanding from non-alcoholics.
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Old 04-27-2015, 11:07 PM
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Talking with people who don't have first hand knowledge of addiction
Is much akin to showing a dog a card trick...
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Old 04-27-2015, 11:10 PM
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You are doing it for you. You must feel great and I think your awesome! X
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Old 04-27-2015, 11:35 PM
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I think most of use realise with a shock that what is a great achievement to us is often 'so what' to other people.

To someone who's never had the problem I think it can be a struggle to be empathetic.

That's why we have places like SR

D
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Old 04-27-2015, 11:55 PM
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Thanks guys! Some much needed words of wisdom for me today!
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Old 04-28-2015, 12:01 AM
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Thanks guys! Some much needed words of wisdom for me today!
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Old 04-28-2015, 12:03 AM
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What D said (((Bugirl)))
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Old 04-28-2015, 12:19 AM
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Buggirl,
You should be proud of the things you have achieved, you're doing great!
Not really related to drinking, but I have pretty bad anxiety and last year, I didn't leave the house for several months. One day, I walked to the end of my road and a day or so later, I walked to the shop and bought a bag of crisps.
It was the hugest achievement for me and I would be panicking, sweating and freaking out. But my therapist called me after I'd had that first trip out and she was so full of praise and excitement for me. I felt truly proud because she understood how huge it was for me!
Unless someone has been there, it can be hard to understand but as you know, it doesn't discount what we have achieved :-)
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Old 04-28-2015, 01:40 AM
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I don't think it is unusual to want our family or friends to be supportive of us. The problem that can happen is when we expect them or anyone really, to acknowledge us and/or our accomplishments.

That can turn into a form of control if we let it. If I focus on that to much, I can flip it and make it about them and not about me and what I am doing for myself or what I can do for other alcoholics.

I didn't have much support from my family either and I only had one friend left. None of them went over the top to support me with words of encouragement and they still don't. My mother, in the heat of an argument called me a dry drunk, she does not even know what it means, she only used it to hurt me.

I know I am not, I work a good program, I have a sponsor, I have worked the steps and I continue to give back. She did not see any of that, she only saw that I was not doing what she wanted me to do. I have to do what is right for me and I will continue to do that as long as I am not hurting others in the process.

I am not an open recovering alcoholic other than on here and in the rooms of AA because that is were I find my support because you understand.

Maybe some day I may be more open about it and I certainly would if I saw another struggling alcoholic in need but this is about my recovery. It is about me wanting to change and be a better person.

If I make new friends, repair old relationships and have a loving support system that was given to me, not the ones I select, then I am blessed.
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Old 04-28-2015, 04:52 AM
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I had some similar post around 6-7 month mark. I wanted a cookie AND a trophy from people in my life, but I didn't even get a high-five. I came here and vented about it and with people's responses I realize that I am only doing this for me and that others don't really matter. It's very true with previous posters have said, people do not understand what we are going through and in all reality people from our lives don't even think we have a problem for the most part so it's hard for them to understand.

Your feelings are normal. I send you a cookie, a trophy and anything else you want. We are rocking this!!!
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Old 04-28-2015, 05:09 AM
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Sobriety is my own personal decision. For others, I feel that drinking/being sober is their own personal choice as well, so I respect that. Respect for choices is a two way street.

I would be asking yourself why you feel you need to be accepted with your sobriety? Not everyone is going to accept or praise your decision with sobriety. The only person that matters in being happy or accepting your sobriety, is you.
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Old 04-28-2015, 05:33 AM
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Congratulations!!!

As for others... well, we can't really expect them to understand. Or even really to notice.

My fiancee is proud of me and has expressed that a couple of times... but apart from those she just sort of acts like "he decided not to drink anymore, so no big deal".

She has very seldom been drunk in her life and those times were mistakes or accidents. Mostly, she'll have one drink. ONE. More often than not, she just doesnt' drink. Though she is supportive of me and has expressed being proud - it's also pretty clear that she really just cannot fathom what it is like to actually have to struggle to NOT DRINK.

Between the people in our lives like my fiancee, the people in our lives who perhaps resent our not drinking, the people in our lives who maybe somewhere inside wish they too could quit but haven't come to that place yet - we are socially surrounded by people who are very unlikely to give us any 'kudos' for our accomplishment.

This never really bothered me, though I did think about it from time to time. Nowadays, I really don't even care. I'm happy with sobriety and its rewards to me personally are the most credit I could possibly be given. Sure, it feels good to get a congratulations or an understanding hug from a fellow in sobriety. Yes, when my fiancee says she's proud of me, it feels really good. But, I don't need the affirmation to find the reward.

I think that will happen for you as well. I think it's very normal to feel the way you do and if you just stay patient and stick to embracing sobriety - what others say, do, think or convey will matter less and less.

Way to go!
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Old 04-28-2015, 05:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Buggirl View Post
As per my previous post, I have found that I fly off the handle if someone is dumbing down sobriety. I think this id due to the fact that I have had no fanfare from friends or family. Some of you will recall that the weekend before last was my first camping trip with friends who I assumed would be drinking loads and asking me questions. Well they didn't really make any fuss at all and truth is I think I wanted them too!

I was all prepared to tell them that I have been to AA etc, but as I hadn't changed for the worst and was actually good company (better than when I was always drunk!), no one battered an eyelid!

So why do I care? Well not even my mom and dad made a fuss about me being six months, nearly seven months sober when I told them! Seems everyone's response was 'that's good' and that's it!

I am not usually an attention seeker, but I realise I have been craving acceptance of late from others!

Has anyone else experienced this? I forever say to newbies on here that you have to want to do this for you, but have I really been doing it for me? If I have been doing it for others, then is it worth staying sober?
I believe you're getting and staying sober for you.
IMO the problem isn't attention seeking. I don't think it's acceptance either. I think it's pride and ego- both getting hit because others aren't patting you on the back.
After all the lies I told- all of the insane actions and hallow words- there was absolutley no reason for anyone to believe I was getting and staying sober.
Also, they really had no reason to be making a big deal of it. I'm really not that important in their world, which would lead to my pride and ego being hit when I realized I wasn't the center of everyones universe.
Which lead to steps six and seven.
But started with step one.

Also reads, since you had been prepared to tell everyone about being to AA, there were some expectations.
Them expectations always screw me over, so I try not to have any.
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Old 04-28-2015, 06:08 AM
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First off I would like to say congratulation. It is a huge accomplishment, and you should be very proud.
I myself am with a man who has never struggled with any kind of addiction. I find myself craving his support quite frequently, but I am realizing that it will never happen. He thinks because not drinking/smoking/doing drugs is just normal for him that I should be able to quit to. He doesn't understand that I have struggled with addiction since very young. I remember at 15 getting shaky if I did not drink. So for me to even go the past 9 days without it is a major accomplishment, but I can not give up just because he is not patting me on the back each day. I need this for me first and for most. My daughter to of course, but if I start thinking that I am doing it for other people that is when I fail. I truly do not know who I am without alcohol or drugs, but I can not wait to find out.
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Old 04-28-2015, 08:37 AM
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I have been sober just under 4 months and have had similar lack of interest other than at SR

Congratulations Buggirl .


☺😊😀😁😃😄😆😉
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Old 04-28-2015, 10:33 AM
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Congrats on your achievement Buggirl! We know how hard it is to do what you have accomplished.

I think Dee nailed it... Others who don't have a problem find it hard to be empathetic. They just can't relate to the struggle that we go through on a daily basis.

Way to go.
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Old 04-28-2015, 11:31 AM
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Thanks for the kind words! You have all helped me on the road to getting over myself ! Love and hugs to you all! I am doing it for me!
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Old 04-28-2015, 12:22 PM
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I have been blessed with a lot of support from family and friends. I've never been bashful about my recovery, but like "it is what it is..." Folks that know you know what it means for you to now be sober and are proud of your accomplishment. Maybe you're perceiving the other person not knowing what to say or how to comment, etc.
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