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Getting sick of being 'different'

Old 08-04-2009, 03:37 PM
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Getting sick of being 'different'

Does anyone else feel like this. I would just love to be so called 'normal', to able to drink like 'normal' people.

I visited a couple of friends/aquaintances last night only briefly. I arrived at their house and another mutual friend was there. I basically went to their house to pick up something they were loaning me. So i go into the living room, they offer me a coffee to which i said ok. He came back from the kitchen and to the other guy says we've opened a bottle of wine if you fancy a glass, to which he says yes. He then offers me a glass instead of the coffee, to which i decline. These friends are not close friends, i've only known them a couple of years through scuba diving, so they don't know that i'm an alcoholic and i would rather keep it that way.

Anyway i sat there with my coffee whilst the three of them had a glass of wine each. I'm sure it wasn't an issue to them, but i guess it was to me. They were only sipping the wine, not as if they were getting drunk or anything. In all honesty i sat thinking surely a glass wouldn't hurt. Some new friends i have made, including these, do go out and drink occasionally but i tend to stay away from that.

14 months in and it really p**ses me off at the moment that i can't drink, i just wish i could be a 'normal drinker'.

Advice please...failing that a slap in the face will do.

Paul
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Old 08-04-2009, 03:58 PM
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Well after 45 years of pursuing that phantasy I made peace with that desire. I no longer wish to be a normal drinker as I no longer wish to drink. It'd be like wanting to date the girl that took me for a ride and dumped my sorry ass. As for standing out by being a non-drinker in a drinking crowd, I think its very cool. As far as being an alcoholic, why should I be ashamed? Cancer survivors wear wrist bands proclaming their victory and cause. I should get a little alkie wrist band and flant it. I'm sober and proud, I say it out loud!
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Old 08-04-2009, 04:35 PM
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In my view, you do not drink alcohol. That is quite OK. A majority of people in this country do not drink alcohol or drink very little. That is 'normal'.
There is no need to explain anything to anyone; you are not unusual at all.
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Old 08-04-2009, 04:43 PM
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Agrippa's right - there are many people, non alcoholics, who don't drink alcohol for many reasons - be it religion, personal taste, whatever.

You're a teetotaller too - you're not different in that respect. Me neither.

You are an alcoholic tho....me too - and thats why watching others drink makes you and me squirm and want to join in, and think we're 'missing out' (I dunno what we think we're missing out on - we're right there in the room, and 'one glass' would 'do nothing' for either of us...)

We can't do it - not if we want to keep the life we've fought so hard for, Paul.


I can't tap dance either - my walking stick gets in the way

c'est la vie
D
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Old 08-04-2009, 04:59 PM
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There are some "normal" people who do not drink alcohol at all.
Maybe you just need to tell your ego to shut up and enjoy the friendship and conversation!
Love and light
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Old 08-04-2009, 05:20 PM
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"Normal" people are the ones who know their limits and don't drink more than that. It's the weirdos (like me!) who drink ridiculous amounts we can't handle. So by knowing your limit is zero and sticking to it you have become NORMAL again, but with a different relationship to alcohol.
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Old 08-04-2009, 11:51 PM
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surely a glass wouldn't hurt
How many drunken years could I have spared myself if I didn't tell myself that same thing?
Every time I meddle with the Pandora's box of alcohol, it takes all the discipline that I can muster (often after years of daily drinking) to shut the thing up again.
One glass? Isn't that like kissing your sister? I would have a glass and buy a bottle on the way home.
Maybe you are different. Maybe you can go through a recovery and return to safe and normal drinking; I've never seen that though. Never even heard of it.
Compared to the chaos and nonsense of drinking all the time, simply abstaining is actually a nice life, in my opinion.
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Old 08-05-2009, 12:22 AM
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I never drank like a normal person, ever. All I am missing out on is pain and untimely death.
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Old 08-05-2009, 04:54 AM
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Why? Drinking has nothing to do with being a normal human being. In fact even among non-alcoholics drinking is about not being normal. Sober is normal. Stop whining.
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Old 08-05-2009, 09:32 AM
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Thanks for the comments, they have helped. I particularly liked totfit's point that sober is normal.

I guess the issue i have been having is that i'm uncomfortable with this feeling of being different. I have thought for a while that the AA creates a 'them and us' situation and feel that there is a dividing line between myself and other AA'ers in comparison to non-alcoholics. I don't know if i feel comfortable with this scenario the AA sets.

Paul
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Old 08-05-2009, 09:47 AM
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So, if you are able to enjoy the company of others without Alcohol rather than depending on Alcohol to be comfortable, would you say that makes you a stronger/better person or not?

It's normal to have the "Oh poor me, I can't ba a normal drinker like everyone else" fantasy. Unfortunately that's your Alcoholic brain lying it's azz off to con you into drinking again.

I'm not a normal drinker and never will be again. Unlike them if I have one drink it will be followed by 50 more in a row. Oh poor me. I guess I'll just have to live a long and healthy life in complete control of my mind.
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Old 08-05-2009, 10:25 AM
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Originally Posted by digderidoo View Post
I particularly liked totfit's point that sober is normal.

I guess the issue i have been having is that i'm uncomfortable with this feeling of being different. I have thought for a while that the AA creates a 'them and us' situation and feel that there is a dividing line between myself and other AA'ers in comparison to non-alcoholics. I don't know if i feel comfortable with this scenario the AA sets.
Hey Paul. I underlined a few things from your post that I noticed and would like to post my interpretations. I hope they help. Take what you like and leave the rest.

We are ALL normal, both sober and non-sober people. We are ALL part of the human race and normal is to be different from one another but at the same time, the same. NORMAL is not sober. Normal is not non-sober. The two concepts have nothing to do with one another. Alcohol is just the screen through which you see the world. It is only how you think. It shows how obsessed you are with drinking and how you define yourself. And, you are comparing yourself to others. Rule No. 1: NEVER compare yourself to others.

A.A. does not create the dividing line between alcoholics and the rest of the population. I used to feel the same way about EVERYONE else who was different from me in any way. Guess what? YOU create the dividing line. Taking your personal inventory every day of your life, becoming aware of what you are doing and how you think, will help you to realize that we are ALL just trying to do our best to survive. You separate yourself from others NOW in the same way you used to by drinking. You put up a wall a long time ago and it's just still there. You're just not drunk anymore. Rule No. 2: Just because we get sober, doesn't mean we change. Examine and become aware of your thinking as much as your behavior.

Once you change your thinking and realize that you ARE normal, that there is NOTHING wrong with you, and that we ALL have our own struggles (both "us" and "them"), you will stop being ashamed of your need to take care of yourself. Once you accept yourself as you are, you will no longer be afraid that OTHERS won't accept you. Once you take responsibility for yourself, you acknowledge that you don't need anyone else to prove you are cared about. When these things happen, you will be able to ask everyone and anyone not to drink around you. The day will come soon, I just know it.

Take care.
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Old 08-05-2009, 05:42 PM
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Old 08-05-2009, 06:15 PM
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Hey, digde.

I'm curious...what was it specifically about those three drinking wine and you being the one drinking coffee that was unsettling? (I'm going somewhere with this, bear with me...)

Did you feel left out?
Did you miss the buzz?
Did you miss the taste?


What does alcohol represent for you?

For me, it was a way to bond with others, feel good and have fun.


Being sober doesn't mean that I've given up bonding with others, feeling good or having fun. I know this is going to sound like one of those cheesy public service announcements, but I honestly don't need alcohol for any of those things.

Maybe I'm lucky...I can get people to laugh and feel at ease. I'm a goof ball...anything I can do to have fun and laugh. I've become so much better communicating effectively with people now that I have a clear head.

Of course I miss drinking. Sometimes I wish I could...but I can't.

I stayed in my home and drank. That was all I did. I wasn’t living. I was slowly killing myself.



Drinking doesn't define who I am anymore. It is not my life. It doesn't have to define you. You call the shots.

Maybe the next time that happens instead of focusing on being the one who is isn’t drinking, focus your attention on the conversation at hand. Get really engaged in what everyone is talking about. If the conversation is steered towards drinking, veer it off onto some other topic. Jump in with a funny story. Anything. Relax and enjoy your sober self. Sobriety doesn’t have to be lived as though it’s torture. Think of all the wonderful things you can do now sober that you couldn’t before.

14 months is fantastic. I hope to get there soon.
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Old 08-05-2009, 06:24 PM
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I often felt awkward at times like these. It does goes away and it doesn't bother me any more. Simply, I don't drink.
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Old 08-05-2009, 10:04 PM
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Originally Posted by digderidoo View Post
I guess the issue i have been having is that i'm uncomfortable with this feeling of being different.
I don't think we are that different from everyone else. Lots of people have issues like anxiety and depression, over-eating, grasping for material things to fill the void in them etc.

In Buddhist terms, the human condition is painful, grasping, delusion, attachment, non-acceptance that everything is changing.....we just have an extreme form of it.
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Old 08-06-2009, 06:36 AM
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Originally Posted by learntolive
We are ALL normal, both sober and non-sober people. We are ALL part of the human race and normal is to be different from one another but at the same time, the same. NORMAL is not sober. Normal is not non-sober....
.......Guess what? YOU create the dividing line.

Thank you learntolive, i'll take that on board.


Originally Posted by Bamboozle
Hey, digde.

I'm curious...what was it specifically about those three drinking wine and you being the one drinking coffee that was unsettling? (I'm going somewhere with this, bear with me...)

Did you feel left out?
Did you miss the buzz?
Did you miss the taste?
I guess it just made me feel different, maybe partly left out. The thing is with these new people i've met some go out occasionally to a pub nearby to which i'm welcome, but i do not go. I seem to have got to a point where i have changed my life, feel much better and started to look back and think that maybe i can now control my drinking.

I'm going away this weekend on a dive trip, i realise that a few will have a drink on Saturday night, they will not get drunk as we dive early Sunday morning, but i am now concerned after this situation on Monday that i will want a drink with them. I have decided not to stay Sunday night as i know one or two lads are staying an extra day so that they can have a few drinks as there's no diving Monday morning.

Since i have stopped drinking i have met many new people and made a determined effort to get a new social circle. I have one now and i hope that it doesn't take me back to drinking. I look back at my social nights of drinking, of going out, and there used to be good nights, that commadre that comes with lads out drinking is a unique one i feel....i have accepted that i now do new things, have new experiences that has replaced that drinking commadre, but i guess that feeling of wanting to fit into that scene is creeping back in. I realise i should dwell on the positive direction my life has now taken but if i'm honest with myself i do miss the laugh i had when i drank with friends.

Paul

Drinking doesn't define who I am anymore. It is not my life. It doesn't have to define you. You call the shots.

Maybe the next time that happens instead of focusing on being the one who is isn’t drinking, focus your attention on the conversation at hand. Get really engaged in what everyone is talking about. If the conversation is steered towards drinking, veer it off onto some other topic. Jump in with a funny story. Anything. Relax and enjoy your sober self. Sobriety doesn’t have to be lived as though it’s torture. Think of all the wonderful things you can do now sober that you couldn’t before.
Good points made there.
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Old 08-06-2009, 06:54 AM
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Hmm, helps me to think about the fact that I don't want to be a normal drinker...when I am drinking, I want to get more or less insanely drunk. It was that way from Day 1, and while I was able to go against those urges for a little while (15 years), eventually I was drawn in by the tractor beam of my natural instincts.

I didn't "screw up" by becoming an alcoholic. I was an alcoholic who masqueraded as a normal drinker for close to two decades, and who hurt a lot of people and myself in the process.

This is a better way for someone like me to live, I think.
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Old 08-06-2009, 10:41 AM
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I guess I just wanted to be normal, period. LOL. I don't even know what that means but somewhere inside my head is a "normal" template that other people fit and I never have - drinking or sober. That's okay though. I think normal may equate with "boring."

I think maybe it's harder for younger people who are trying to create a social circle than us "older alcoholics" who've settled in to a homey-type life though. So much of social interaction seems to take place in the vicinity of alcohol.

Anyway, I'm envious of your SCUBA hobby. We tried it once. My husband was as happy as clam at the bottom of the ocean and there are so many neat things to see. But no matter what I did, I was pretty sure an eardrum was about to burst. I'll have to settle for snorkeling.
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Old 08-06-2009, 01:13 PM
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I love food cooked with onions lots of onions! I can't eat onions even in tiny quantities they make me very very sick. I sometimes envy people that can eat whatever they want and it doesn't bother them but I know I'm not like that. I can have dinner with people eating spicy food and me eating my bland food, and for a second I might wish I could eat that food too but then I remind myself how sick it will make me and I no longer want that food. I may be 'different' but I do not see that difference as a bad thing I see it as I have a relationship with MYself, an understanding of myself that many many people never bother with being that intuned to their own body.

Alcohol is like onions to me, no thank you.
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