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Do we really have to tell other people?!

Any tips or advice to prevent a relapse, alternatively any of your stories about your own relapses.
Gobsmacked
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Re: Do we really have to tell other people?!

Post by Gobsmacked » 14 Sep 2011 23:58

Laura-ANewStart wrote:I just wondered how everyone copes with situations where you could easily relapse , especially when you invite people round for dinner and they arrive bearing a bottle or out for a meal with friends .. Is it best to have just told them before 'i'm no longer drinking and would apprreciate your support' kind of thing or just say 'No thanks' and try and deal with the inevitable peer pressure to drink.

DH doesn't drink now in order to support me but is it enough just to have 1 person supporting us or do we need more?

L xx
Initially I found these kinds of situations humiliating and difficult to deal with but when I first started tackling my addiction (I haven't been able to stop entirely yet, which is my goal but I'm down to about 13 units a week) I was taking medication and used that as an excuse, "I can't.... doctor's orders". It was a crappy excuse but allowed me to avoid drinking for a while while i thrashed around in my mind looking for some kind of grip on where I was in my life and organised getting some proper (and discrete) help.

These days I tell my friends that I don't want to drink because I don't feel healthy when I do. That's the honest truth and they accept it readily. I've even started going out with them again but I drink water and mint-tea and as long as I don't take a sip I'm fine and they're perfectly ok with my new "health kick". My closest friends also know that I have two modes... all or nothing... so I think they may be relieved that they don't have to pour me in the front door anymore.

Everyone must be different in how they deal with it but I don't tell most people that "I have to stop because I'm an alcoholic"... or something like that... The reason for that was because I would rather people see me acting from a position of strength and making a life-style choice as opposed to a position of weakness in recovering from a disease called alcoholism. So the message I chose to project was/is "I don't feel healthy when I drink..." My family and closest friends know the truth, of course, and I don't hide behind semantics with them but i still want them to see me acting on a positive life-style choice....

Some of you may feel it was weak of me to not shout to the whole world from the rooftops that I'm an alcoholic but frankly, the goal is the most important to me and that goal is to live a healthy life-style.... so that's that I shout from the rooftops....

-G-

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Re: Do we really have to tell other people?!

Post by Sofia » 15 Sep 2011 08:16

I totally agree with you Winker. I personally hate labels of any kind - alcoholic, agoraphobic etc etc - they kind of implly that you can't do anything about it. AA doesnt really help banging on about higher powers etc, like you personally have no say in it and for those less strong, it gives them permission to carry on as they assume they can't do anything about it anyway <:)>

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linda6666
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Re: Do we really have to tell other people?!

Post by linda6666 » 17 Sep 2011 19:49

As i said in my earlier post on here, i did not have the chance to tell people, it was all over face book b4 i knew, i was known has LINDA the DIRTY alcoholic, no thoughts to my feelings/my reasons or the fact i did not choose to be a "Dirty Alcoholic" it chose me! We all know when that EAF gets the claws in, its hard to get out.. But the kind people did me a BIG favour by plastering face book with my news and the intentions they had by doing so DID NOT WORK, because tho's that really matter to me stood by me (and even stood up for me) the friends i had pre my drinking days i still have now, friends i picked up along my way on my path of drink, they have gone..So although it was a big shock to read all about it on the book of peoples lives, its all in the past now and tho's who know about my drink and care about the person i am are still here (dont seem to treat me any different) and tho's who chose to dis-own me because of it was'nt worth knowing anyway. I have my friends/family and a whole lot of memories (both good and bad). But it beat having to stand on my soap box in the middle of town and tell all anyway ;)? ;)? Im not ashamed of who i was, i had my reasons at the time ;)? ;)?
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claremo

Re: Do we really have to tell other people?!

Post by claremo » 18 Sep 2011 15:10

I just joined today, i feel this question comes hand in hand with being honest with yourself, I know i have a problem and i want to do something about it but i can't tell people as by telling them means i have to admit it, its out there its true, i'm not ready for that.
I hope i can do this alone for myself and be able to enjoy my life with my family without seeing that look of disappointment on their faces if they knew.

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linda6666
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Re: Do we really have to tell other people?!

Post by linda6666 » 18 Sep 2011 19:15

Hi clare <:)> its all down to personal choice really if you tell or not. You might be really surprised if you did confide in your family, i hated the thought of my family knowing/finding out, but it turned out good for me cuz my sister was so there for me EVERY step of the way, taking time off work to take me all over to find help and wouldnt give up till she had done this (she was like a dog with a bone), but in so glad she did. So its a tricky one really but im sure your loved ones will be 100% behind you <:)> <:)>
I Have a Guardian Angel in heaven... I call him DADDY BEAR. I AM NOW 9 YEARS DRY AND LOVING IT,SO PROUD OF ME ;-)
We are all given a 2nd chance every day, it's just we don't usually take them . I TOOK MINE

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mr miserable
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Do we really have to tell other people?!

Post by mr miserable » 22 Dec 2011 08:23

I think a lot of the reason that I drank was due to low self esteem, lack of confidence etc...for me personally it wouldn't make me feel any better if I shared my decision with anyone else. I haven't even told my wife. It's hard enough as it is just doing it for me so I don't want anyone else involved. When I go to the pub with the lads after football I will just not drink, I won't offer a reason. They have all seen me in some ridiculous states anyway and I think some are in the same boat to be honest. Maybe some of them will read between the lines? Regardless, any mickey taking or wind ups couldn't possibly be as bad as waking up after a blackout full or regret and paranoia. I think the more people get used to the idea that you don't drink the easier it will be become. They choose to drink, we choose not to. Probably easier said than done, but my thoughts at the moment and I have plenty!! I am rambling now so I will call that a rap!! Thanks for listening.
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Re: Do we really have to tell other people?!

Post by sharoni » 23 Dec 2011 00:12

for me my parents already know, they had to pick me up at the hospital.

I think the rest are just going to see me on a health kick and thats that. In a way its quite lucky that January is coming, the traditional month for a health kick. Mine will just last longer!!

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Re: Do we really have to tell other people?!

Post by 40percentproof » 08 Jan 2012 10:56

This is very personal to you, it depends on how you feel and would it be of benefit. I see it that around me there is a circle of people that are close to me that if I drink it has an effect on. Then there is another circle of people after them that my drinking has an effect on as it has an effect on those in the first circle. So for example my wife but then her friends would be in that second circle.

For me it's been about honesty and showing that I am serious about dealing with this. Personally I don't care who knows and if I can help others then I will do so.

It takes a lot of soul searching personally to decide what to do but if you think it will help you to disclose to people who care then do so. Maybe a person at a time and see how it goes. You may be surprised how uch support you get but remember not everyone may feel the same way.
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Re: Do we really have to tell other people?!

Post by fredadeniau » 16 Apr 2012 15:57

Hi All

I have told everyone that is important to me that I am trying to stop drinking, lets face it, we all think no one knows but they do? I find its made me stronger in my desolve as I would loose face if I fail, my X husband laughed in my face! he drinks a lot more than I did as well. Lots of my friends all say well you didn't drink that much and no by some of the stories I have read here thats true but my liver is not my friend any longer.

freda

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Re: Do we really have to tell other people?!

Post by Grendelslip » 16 Apr 2012 17:27

Hello Freda. The question really is, to my mind, 'do we have to tell other people? not 'what do others think'. The thing is that we have to give up drinking because we want to, not for the sake of others or to seek their approval. Yes, it is nice to be given approval and yes it is nice to tell others and get positive support - that is what we are all about at BE. But, if we knew each other in real life and you had told me a few years ago of your resolve to give up drinking I would probably have asked 'Why?'

Why would I ask that? Well, because either I really didn't know better and genuinely thought you were OK with your drinking when you were not, or because It made me feel better knowing that good old Freda was drinking as much/ more than I was but was a really good person/laugh/company etc. so I didn't have a problem. Which? I don't know, but neither would have been to your benefit, only my peace of mind. So, my advice is to ignore the reactions of your friends - though that is not to say they are not true friends - and ignore comparisons with others here. There are many here who have suffered more than I have, physically and emotionally. Do I want to get that far by drinking? No. I am sure they wouldn't want me to either.

As for your ex - ex is ex, yes? History. Gone. Those who care for you AND understand will encourage you, but there will be some who truly care but don't understand. I would continue to value their love and friendship but not let them put me off following the path which I know is right for me.

Do we have to tell others? Only if we want to, but that is just my view. Like BE I think it works best if we ask for advice but decide for ourselves which we shall take and which we shall ignore. We are all differnt, after all.

Dave

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fredadeniau
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Re: Do we really have to tell other people?!

Post by fredadeniau » 16 Apr 2012 19:06

thanks Dave

but I think you misunderstood me, personally I told my loved and closest for me, to make me more determined, I am a bit of an ostrich, even big problems (not talking about drinking) I don't talk about as doing so makes them real ones which I don't want to face, so it was my way of making failing harder for me, can you understand my meaning. Even when my marriage recently broke up I told very few people, put on a brave smiley face and hid all from the world, its my way, so to actually tell especially my daughter who obviously knows I drink heavily my health situation, will now give me added incentive, or so I hope

sorry maybe have a blondes logic!

freda

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Re: Do we really have to tell other people?!

Post by Topcat » 21 Apr 2012 16:46

Hi all, "coming out" was the toughest part for me. I was bitterly ashamed of my alcoholism and had been for many, many years. Know what, the day I finally opened up and said "I don't drink thanks because I'm a recovering alcoholic" was the day I finally saw the light at the end of the long, dark, tunnel :D
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Re: Do we really have to tell other people?!

Post by 40percentproof » 19 May 2012 10:51

I just told everyone too, friends, family, work colleagues.

Part of the issue for me as i'm reading this is the word alcoholic and it's connotations, a helpless drunk, a tramp in an alley, a person who can stop but just keeps going of their own choosing when in reality this isn't true. When I told people they were like "no way" as you come to work, you don't smell of drink, you still have a house etc when in reality they never even knew half of it.

I told people because I wanted to and it also gave me an extra line of defence that by people knowing i didn't want to let them down, I knew their eyes would be on me.

There is no right or wrong in this.
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Re: Do we really have to tell other people?!

Post by Rachel » 31 May 2012 14:48

Slightly off topic, but I need a little vent:
I would never deny my alcoholism if anyone asked me, but I am careful who I tell. I would prefer only people who know me to know, so that they know not to make sweeping generalizations. And it's not exactly something you casually slip into conversation with people you don't know well.
I was furious last week when a friend told an acquaintance of mine - not someone I know well enough to discuss the issue with - that I had gone into rehab. My therapist suggested that my anger was a reflection of my failure to accept that I have a disease. I am not sure I agree. It is just inappropriate and insensitive to 'out' someone like that.
Most people are probably more understanding about what alcoholism does or at least doesn't necessarily involve. Others, perhaps just a few, are ignorant and assume it means you stagger around drunk all the time, and that's all there is to you. Maybe one shouldn't care about what such people think.
Luckily the person I was outed to is a nurse and so hopefully is better informed.
I am still seething a bit though.
mini rant over.
Rachel

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Re: Do we really have to tell other people?!

Post by silvergirl » 31 May 2012 15:07

i'm not surprised you're seething remf. <:)> i personally wouldn't like that. it's a violation of your right to choose who you tell i suppose, taking away the control over who knows about your situation from you and making it petty gossip really. hope you're okay, and that venting helped!

sgx
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Re: Do we really have to tell other people?!

Post by Rachel » 02 Jun 2012 22:19

Thanks silvergirl! The annoying thing is that the person doesn't really see that he did anything wrong. Ah well.
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Do we really have to tell other people?!

Post by j214 » 24 Jun 2012 10:29

I haven't been telling anyone of my efforts to quit recently because it just makes it awkward when they notice me falling off the wagon over and over again.

I don't want to "cry wolf" too many more times, as this activity diminishes my credibility as to the seriousness of my problem and my inability to keep the EAF in her little box

So, from now on, I will keep my goals to myself, preferring to let my actions and progress (or lack thereof) speak for themselves.


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Re: Do we really have to tell other people?!

Post by meagain » 29 Jun 2012 04:21

I just quit drinking this week and have only been able to tell my best friend. I know she will support me, but I don't think the other people in my life will - so that's why I'm here.

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Re: Do we really have to tell other people?!

Post by Rachel » 29 Jun 2012 11:42

I would concur with this.
The pressure of the secret became unbearable for me. Most of my friends know now, and few of them were surprised.
People knowing also means that I can't contemplate having a sneaky drink when I go out with colleagues and friends (not that I do much these days...)
Rachel

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Re: Do we really have to tell other people?!

Post by Frankly my dear » 02 Jul 2012 03:16

Well my brother in law really had a rough time when he told others, so when I got to the stage when I knew I had to drink less or not at all in public situations, I fibbed, sort of. Sometimes I said I was taking a medication that was incompatible with alcohol, or that I had an upset tummy or that I was tired and the booze would just make me sleepy. Sometimes I joked that it was my "be kind to my liver day". So I had a better experience with other people's reactions than my brother in law did. Maybe some people are uncomfortable with you not drinking because of their own drinking habits or whatever. bottom line: do what you have to do to meet your goals.
Frankly

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