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Interesting AV scenario - big deal or no?

Old 06-05-2017, 08:30 AM
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Interesting AV scenario - big deal or no?

My current job requires a high security clearance. While admitting past alcohol problems is not an automatic disqualifier, it would definitely throw a wrench in the works. Consequently, I have never admitted / always denied the existence of alcohol problems around work/to my employer.

My AV loves this, and if I have learned anything it is that if my AV loves something it has a very high probability of being bad for me. If I'm at some work-related social function and someone offers me a drink I decline it, of course, but I never give the real reason why. My AV is always right there at those moments saying, "that's right - you want to leave the door open to drinking with them in the future".

While deflecting seems reasonable in the context of my job, I have probably been taking it too far. This past weekend, for instance, we were at a social function where my wife works. I was offered drinks and made up excuses instead of just telling the truth. While it's possible discussing my alcoholic past with that crowd could make it back to my current employer - it's not very likely. I felt disappointed with myself for doing this - as if I was handing my AV a small victory.

Well, I am quitting this job in a few months. I have started my own business and it is looking like it is going to be successful. My next boss is familiar with my drinking history and is not concerned. He knows I am a swell guy.

I am looking forward to not having to deal with this dichotomy any longer, but how big of a deal do you think it has been? I haven't drank, but I suppose you could make the argument that it was more likely as a result of not being more forthright. Especially because one of my co-workers gave me a handle of Jack for doing him a favor a couple of months ago!
(That got re-gifted to someone my wife works with.)
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Old 06-05-2017, 09:37 AM
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I appreciate the dilemma but why admit to past problems and really there is no current issue because you're now a non-drinker . I think your AV would be happier if you were thinking that there is still a residual problem that you need to confess.
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Old 06-05-2017, 10:14 AM
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I think the fact that you were discreet is no problem at all. The idea that this "leaves the door open" is AV itself --- suggesting there are things we have to do to improve our odds of staying sober. I.e., I have to "out" myself to people, so that peer pressure will help me not drink. When in fact, all I have to do is not drink.

I don't out myself at work, but I do say " I don't drink". I used to make excuses, but eventually it became easier to just say I'm a nondrinker.
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Old 06-05-2017, 10:28 AM
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Recovery is an inside job. As long as you're crystal clear with yourself, full disclosure isn't necessary, IMO.

Besides, you can end up in a stupid debate with an inebriated "friend" who's hellbent on rationalizing their own drinking by making sure they have company.

Who needs it?
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Old 06-05-2017, 10:46 AM
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Hi, Nonsensical. Thanks for the post. This question of "to disclose or not" comes up here from time to time.
My own feeling? It's no one's business but yours.
I would never disclose past alcohol struggles with employers because, to me, that's just handing them the bat to hit me with.
There are a lot of misperceptions about alcohol use disorder.
People don't understand the chemistry of alcohol dependency or addiction, unless, of course, they have experienced it.
They tend to see it as a moral issue, that if you were just a little stronger, or if you lived a better life, that this would not be an issue for you.
And I think it colors peoples' perceptions of you.
This is strictly my opinion. Take what you like and leave the rest.
Congrats on the new business. Hope it goes well.
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Old 06-05-2017, 11:44 AM
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turisops I think you hit the nail on the head with it being AV itself.

I also don't out myself at work. People still think I drink and invite me out for drinks after work or assume I drink on the weekends. I politely decline invites or stay silent about what they assume and I don't feel like I'm not being true to my BP. I'm protecting my reputation, saying I've quit denotes that I had a reason to.
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Old 06-05-2017, 01:10 PM
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Not to be too glib ( ) , but who cares what your AV 'thinks'
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Old 06-09-2017, 07:10 AM
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I feel there's still huge stigma at work surrounding mental health issues and so many people are confused still by their fears bred from the general disinformation given to the public at large. Unless it's something that will enhance my prospects at work e.g. Working with people suffering addiction issues, my best advice is stick to the BP, it's nobody else's business!
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Old 06-22-2017, 02:26 PM
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Originally Posted by tursiops999 View Post
I think the fact that you were discreet is no problem at all. The idea that this "leaves the door open" is AV itself --- suggesting there are things we have to do to improve our odds of staying sober. I.e., I have to "out" myself to people, so that peer pressure will help me not drink. When in fact, all I have to do is not drink.

I don't out myself at work, but I do say " I don't drink". I used to make excuses, but eventually it became easier to just say I'm a nondrinker.
Exactly, the vast majority of people simply do not care whether you drink. Those who do may have their own issues. I actually found that pre-occupation with what others thought about my not drinking, was something I mostly dealt with early on when I quit, but now is something I simply do not care about. At this point, I associate those thoughts with my former addiction.

Also, rationally speaking, why should we need an excuse not to poison ourselves?
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