Blogs


Notices

Guilt in abstinence, in regards to others

Old 01-20-2012, 06:30 PM
  # 1 (permalink)  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Watcher's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 36
Guilt in abstinence, in regards to others

Have to ask for the opinions of the people that I have enjoyed insights from for the last few months.

I have a yearly traditional event coming up. Every year this was a weekend of partying, sparsely interrupted by the intent of the trip.

I have been abstinent since I made my big plan. My partner on this yearly tradition is my closest friend save for my wife. I've been told that there was a bit of unease about the trip, as my friend feared any "triggers" for me. I have reassured him that I will never drink, and I mean it. There is some "recoveryism" floating from him in regards to "powerlessness". There has been sentiment from him about feeling bit of disappointment because he plans to abstain while on the trip for me, even after telling him it is not necessary.

Even though I appreciate the support and love, I feel a tinge of guilt that someone would need to make concessions for "my own good". I feel secure in my abstinence and almost insulted, but I don't know how to express this without opening the door to the tired "denial" that society has drilled into the populace.

I am in no position to tell anyone that they need to consume anything if they choose not to, but there is a bit more to this than just that. I want to just talk to him about this but my fear is that he will view it as denial of a "disease" as that's what everyone seems to think of substance abuse and that will cause even more tension.

I may be making something of nothing, but in this stage of my abstinence I don't need to be babied and want to be trusted by my closest friends and family. I know that recovery in the method I choose is an intensely private thing, but this situation I believe belays that.

The only argument I can see is that I should shut up and live with it because I haven't been abstinent for a period of time that makes my loved ones comfortable. But I have to ask, if not now, when?
Watcher is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to Watcher For This Useful Post:
neferkamichael (01-20-2012)
Old 01-20-2012, 06:55 PM
  # 2 (permalink)  
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location:    USA                        Recovered with AVRT  (Rational Recovery)  ___________
Posts: 3,680
Explain to your friend that it is impossible for him to "trigger" you to drink, and that he is free to drink if he wants to. You can also tell him that even if he could "trigger" you, that it would necessarily mean that seeing a beer commercial or a liquor store would do the same thing. In other words, you would have to hide out in a bunker, and that is not a way to live. If he really is curious, though, I suppose you could explain to him how AVRT works.
Terminally Unique is offline  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Terminally Unique For This Useful Post:
neferkamichael (01-20-2012), Watcher (01-20-2012)
Old 01-20-2012, 07:04 PM
  # 3 (permalink)  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Watcher's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 36
He knows how I feel about other programs and right before I made my big plan, I kind of gushed about AVRT with him. That's really not the issue though. The issue is no matter how secure I am, most people (I believe my friend included) are conditioned to believe that I am not in control of my choice to not consume.

TU, you make it sound so simple and on the face of it, it is. I guess it's time to grow a pair and talk it out with him, even if I fear a disagreement between us.
Watcher is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to Watcher For This Useful Post:
neferkamichael (01-20-2012)
Old 01-20-2012, 07:17 PM
  # 4 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: "I'm not lost for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost ..."
Posts: 5,272
I agree that it takes a period of time for loved ones to become comfortable. It was hard to ask others to trust me on this since historically I had been untrustworthy. But the journey is theirs alone really when it comes down to it. Time for them to become accustomed to you as a non-drinker does help though.

I guess you could shut up and live with it, but that seems counterintuitive. I dealt with a similar situations with short, heartfelt statements. They have not always been well received, but I feel like it's important for me to be clear and direct. I can't do anything about how it's received. There are times I still have to remind others that I did not depend on them to drink, nor do I depend on them to abstain. But I love them for loving me

Whatever you decide to do I hope it works out well for you.
soberlicious is offline  
The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to soberlicious For This Useful Post:
ashbyee (09-27-2012), neferkamichael (01-20-2012), Terminally Unique (01-20-2012), Watcher (01-20-2012)
Old 01-20-2012, 07:23 PM
  # 5 (permalink)  
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location:    USA                        Recovered with AVRT  (Rational Recovery)  ___________
Posts: 3,680
Originally Posted by Watcher View Post
The issue is no matter how secure I am, most people (I believe my friend included) are conditioned to believe that I am not in control of my choice to not consume.
Oh, I can certainly understand your frustration, since I have faced similar predicaments. This "trigger" business is one of the legacies of the RGM/ATI that I despise with a vengeance.

"Hide the bottles! The powerless alcoholic is coming over!" — Please.

Originally Posted by Watcher View Post
TU, you make it sound so simple and on the face of it, it is. I guess it's time to grow a pair and talk it out with him, even if I fear a disagreement between us.
Just tell him the truth; it doesn't have to be hostile. At the very least, he won't be able to blame you for not being able to drink on his trip. It will be all on him.
Terminally Unique is offline  
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Terminally Unique For This Useful Post:
neferkamichael (01-20-2012), soberlicious (01-20-2012), Watcher (01-20-2012)
Old 01-20-2012, 07:24 PM
  # 6 (permalink)  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Watcher's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 36
Originally Posted by soberlicious View Post
There are times I still have to remind others that I did not depend on them to drink, nor do I depend on them to abstain.
That is a solid bit of smart there, that didn't occur to me until you wrote it.
Watcher is offline  
The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to Watcher For This Useful Post:
neferkamichael (01-20-2012), onlythetruth (01-21-2012), soberlicious (01-20-2012), Terminally Unique (01-20-2012)
Old 01-20-2012, 07:48 PM
  # 7 (permalink)  
Life Health Prosperity
 
neferkamichael's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Louisana
Posts: 6,611
Sounds like you have a true genuine friend if he is willing to abstain for your benefit. I know its up to me not to use, but I dont deny that triggers are real. If I were to go around my old drinking buddies I would have a hard time of it. Trust is something any of us have to earn with deeds and actions. I'm rootin for ya and I'll bet everybody here at SR is to.
neferkamichael is offline  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to neferkamichael For This Useful Post:
soberlicious (01-20-2012), Watcher (01-20-2012)
Old 01-21-2012, 01:22 PM
  # 8 (permalink)  
Member of SMART Recovery
 
onlythetruth's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 1,722
This sort of thing comes up for me from time to time. Someone who knows I used to have a drinking problem will ask if I mind if they order a drink, and for the zillionth time I will have to tell them that I couldn't care less if they drink and that it kinda bothers me that they keep asking.

This "powerless forever" nonsense has seeped into the Common Wisdom to the point where otherwise intelligent people can't appreciate what is right in front of their faces.

Little can be done about it, though. I just keep telling them the truth, and they keep asking if it bothers me.

At least they don't actually abstain on my account. If they did that, I would indeed tell them that they were insulting me.
onlythetruth is offline  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to onlythetruth For This Useful Post:
soberlicious (01-23-2012), Watcher (01-24-2012)
Old 01-22-2012, 07:28 PM
  # 9 (permalink)  
Grateful to be free
 
Threshold's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Arizona
Posts: 3,681
Blog Entries: 64
Facts, just the facts. If your friends drinking isn't an issue for you, then tell them thanks for their concern and sensitivity but you are truly fine. Then leave it.

What they decide to do, beyond that, they are doing for themselves. Maybe they are having some of their own thoughts or struggles with substance use or abuse.

You neither need to feel guilty or insulted by their choice of behavior, no more so than they should be by yours.

If you do find yourself strongly reacting to their choice as to how to behave around you, it might be enlightening for you to ask yourself why.

or you could let it go and enjoy your yearly trip without making drinking or not drinking an issue in either direction.
Threshold is offline  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Threshold For This Useful Post:
soberlicious (01-23-2012), Watcher (01-24-2012)

Currently Active Users Viewing this Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off




All times are GMT -7. The time now is 11:02 PM.