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

Post by MissCheese » 05 Jan 2014 10:30

Interesting posts. I have told a couple of friends that I have a problem and that I went through detox, one of them helped me through detox, my Sisters know and my ex knows. As far as I am aware they are the only people who know I have a problem with alcohol.

I told almost everyone else that I quit to help my mental health and others I haven't felt the need to clarify at all, it just isn't an issue. I always said I was just going for a year without and I would see how I went from there.

There have been a few occasions where friends have said something that has lead me to believe that my ex has maybe told them the real story but to be honest I haven't explored that as I don't think I could handle that betrayal, at the moment I would rather delude myself. I know for a while he justified breaking up with me because he thought he had helped me so it would not surprise me if he had told a couple of people that.

I do find, I think, that I just don't get invites down the Pub much anymore which may in reality be nothing to do with the fact that I don't drink but you can't help but wonder if it has anything to do with it. When I drank I hated being with people who drank in moderation, don't think I ever socialised with anyone who didn't drink, except for the odd occasion with my Ex when he decided to have a dry week or with pregnant friends.

Agree with CJ, I only occasionally get asked these days and I think by the people who wish I would start drinking again to make them feel better.

What I hate is the people who think you are dull and boring because you don't drink. I didn't really like that sort of person when I drank but blimey who would give up the chance of a free ride home after a bender?!
MissCheese

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

Post by Maddie » 05 Jan 2014 12:42

Thanks for sharing that misscheese. Some interesting points. I suppose it's a personal choice really whether I tell anyone. I'm just not sure I suppose. Yes I have many people refer to non-drinkers as being boring. I've had people try to get me to drink because apparently I'm funny when I've been drinking. That lead me to think, I'm I funny, or do people just like to laugh at me. I'm funny without a drink.......
“Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius and it's better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring.”

Marilyn Monroe

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

Post by CJ » 05 Jan 2014 17:02

When I was drunk people loved it. Sober I am very shy and reserved, but once drunk I became loud, funny and a little outrageous. I was never nasty or horrible to anyone, instead I would profess my love to all and sundry. But I was foolish drunk, giggly, slurry and staggery.
It took me a long time after i gave up drinking for ME to accept me as I am now. Quiet and reserved. I didn't want to be like that. Boring...
But you know what? I may be quiet but I don't make a total idiot of myself. I may be reserved, but I don't have mega hangovers like I used to. I may not be as much fun, but people still like me because I am genuine. I remember what I have told the and I don't make plans and promises I can't keep or remember.
I find I smile a lot when amongst drinkers , it's sort of defensive as if to say, yes I AM enjoying myself. But for the most part I am. And no one really seems to mind that I'm not getting blotto anymore.
"My urge is never to have just a glass even if the EAF pretends it is, my urge is to get wasted. When I am getting urges like that it is impossible for me to kid myself that I no longer have a problem." Pineapple

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

Post by MissCheese » 05 Jan 2014 17:17

Same here CJ. I remember back in 2006 or 2007 I managed five months sober and one of my best mates had a go at me because I refused to drink on her hen weekend, she said I would be dull and was too shy to enjoy myself without a drink.

It's kind of funny to look back at now and she is horrified by how selfishly she behaved, she is one of the few who know of my problem and she would never offer me a drink now and often remarks on how much I have come out of my shell.

She has hardly drank her whole life and only did through peer pressure, usually mine, so I think over the long term I have been by far the worse friend.
MissCheese

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Fleonard36
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No. Tell them this.

Post by Fleonard36 » 22 Jan 2014 07:30

Oops … I may be in the wrong W.C. I'll risk the ridicule of a male, and a Yank making a comment.
The question is a good one. There are numerous issues regarding the question and I see that they've all been addressed; curiosity, criticism of being 'too good to let your hair down', weakness and the inability to handle the stuff, and on and on.
My tool for handling these awkward situations is simply to say; “I don't use alcohol”. I smile and look them straight in the eye. I don't say another word. I don't qualify it by adding “anymore”. My intent is to project an image of strength.
Granted, most of my newly-met social acquaintances are of a nature as to never broach the subject. I just order tea, coffee, or a diet whatever. I stand up straight when I walk up the the bar and ask the bartender for a diet Coke. I rarely get a glance from others at the bar.
To have a firm grip on this problem and to wield the power to be able to say “I don't use alcohol, give me a Coke,” empowers me profoundly. The resulting self confidence, total immersion in a sense of power, and the sudden lofty self esteem is dramatic!
Keep this tool handy. When you pass by your favorite bottle-shop glance over and say out loud “I don't use alcohol'. Relish the sensation.
Floyd.
"I don't use alcohol."
"It was a whole lot easier to get older than it was to get wiser."
"I started out with nothing, and I still have most of it."

cowboy

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

Post by cowboy » 09 Mar 2014 17:51

I'm not going to tell anybody what I intend to do. That includes friends and family. I have quit so many times it will be the whole "the boy who cried wolf" all over. Yes my family and friends are a huge part of my life but this really and truly isn't about them. It's about me. Besides they won't and will never "get it" when it comes to really and truly understanding what a hold that alcohol can have on me. I need to work on other issues - particularly my family - but these issues are not at all related to my drinking. But .... I can't even broach these issues if I am in a drunken or hungover state. I need to be well clear of my drinking and that means a week minimum.

Besides my family doesn't need me to tell them that I am on the wagon. They will know in a day or two when all the bottles and evidence of my drinking are gone.

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

Post by Sandy » 10 Mar 2014 06:43

In my own experience cowboy I told no-one the very real reasons for my non drinking. No-one knew my inner fears and worries about my level of drinking or even about my struggle to give it up.
I found BE, and I poured my heart and soul out here....still the same almost 5 years on, I rarely discuss my non drinking with anyone outside these four walls!!!!!!

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lima2
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Re: Do we really have to tell other people?!

Post by lima2 » 10 Mar 2014 16:30

Diito with sandy.
Ive never told anyone about my mental problems and alcohol problems outside of this forum. It was such a shock when I discovered other people like me. I dont think people who dont have my problems could ever understand them.

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

Post by DannyD » 10 Mar 2014 16:35

Now that I've stopped, alcohol often comes up in conversation with friends and relatives. I always thought it was a secret, but I suspect 'close' people knew far more than I realised.
be selfish in your sobriety.

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

Post by 4ANewMe » 19 Mar 2014 03:54

I am a private person and I am not ready to discuss my alcoholism with anyone. I have only admitted it to myself recently. I know my family has noticed that I am not drinking but thankfully they have not mentioned it. They are probably scared I will start back. I know I am going to have to discuss this with them but it has to be in my time. I have felt guilty for not talking to my husband about this, we have been married 20 years and he is my best friend. I want my children to learn from my mistakes but I need to "walk the walk" a little longer before I "talk the talk". I am thankful for BE and everyone on here. I don't feel so guilty now.

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

Post by Ed » 19 Mar 2014 12:32

Despite a very large body of people who like to say that addiction and mental illness are not social crimes...fundamentally they are. As someone who suffers from both for the foreseeable future you will most definitely be judged. I tend to try and keep schtum wherever. You can't care too much what other people think but no point making life harder for yourself.
Enough time wasted on this.

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

Post by Fleonard36 » 14 Mar 2015 02:53

4ANewMe Greetings. Rare! I too did it alone. I don't see that often. I didn't tell anyone I was quitting. I just quit. I had been a hard drinker for decades. I studied the process. I decided there would be absolutely NO relapse. Not the 'first one' None. Ever. I read Jack Trimpey's book "rational RECOVERY" and found that putting a face, a name, a pulse, a respiration on this addiction helped a lot. I had a physical opponent to deal with. He sat on my shoulder and whispered incessantly - all kinds of very good reason's to have a shot and a beer. But I had to do it alone. I live alone. I would recommend help if you can get it, but doing it alone shows great strength and intestinal fortitude. It's certainly worth it! I've been totally dry for about 5 years. I go into bars with friends, walk up to the bar and order a diet Coke. I stand up straight, look the bartender in the eye and smile. I 'feel' admiration enveloping me. I admire you 4A. It's a worthwhile effort. Congratulations.
Floyd.
"I don't use alcohol."
"It was a whole lot easier to get older than it was to get wiser."
"I started out with nothing, and I still have most of it."

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

Post by Bramble » 07 Jun 2015 22:15

Said to a so called friend on Saturday night that I was not drinking and going dry for a while and got the reply "why are you drawing attention to yourself" has totally put me off saying anything to anyone else

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

Post by DannyD » 07 Jun 2015 23:02

No reason to tell anyone unless you want to Bramble. I do now, because I don't care, but in the early days I worried I'd have an audience watching and waiting for me to slip up. What a big head! Other people have far more interesting things to focus on. You could just say you've been challenged to dry June (I'll challenge you, if you like), and leave it at that. If you have any further nonsense, throw the challenge at them too. Stay dry for June.
be selfish in your sobriety.

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

Post by Rachel » 08 Jun 2015 01:16

I have just spent a week of not telling anyone (on a residential course with people whom I didn't know), but dropping enough hints. It was a bit of an elephant in the room. Sometimes it's easier to tell people, insofar that it's easier if they know and you know they know, but not easy to know how to do it!

I have old friends whom I haven't told, because I didn't know how to. One such friend came to stay the other week, and, out of the blue, pretty much, asked me if I had taken any medication to help me stop drinking (clearly she knew I no longer drank, but not the circumstances.) It was ok, but I felt very uncomfortable about it. It's a weird thing. Simply mentioning that I had a drinking problem and leaving it like that seems a bit like saying 'There was a world war between 1915 and 1918' and saying nothing more. But one doesn't necessarily want to go into detail.

I am glad that those who know, know, but I am now wary of telling new friends/acquaintances especially when I am three years into recovery and it should be not such a big part of my life... they probably draw their own conclusions though. Not drinking is still not the norm really, is it?
Rachel

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

Post by DannyD » 08 Jun 2015 07:59

I'm out there these days. I say things like "oh. Do you still drink? It's so unfashionable". Or "another drink. Do you have a problem?" Or even the more blatant "I just don't need alcohol in my life. I'm surprised you do. (Pause) Still."

Have fun with it - turn it on the people posing the query.

No one asks me why I don't drink any more, though I have had conversations with close friends about how much I used to drink (and they never knew the half of it), and how amazed they are that I've managed to stop. And how proud I should feel for having stopped. They're good friends, make me feel ten foot tall - briefly.
be selfish in your sobriety.

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

Post by Bramble » 08 Jun 2015 12:28

Absolutely DannyD and will take up your earlier challenge. I don't know why I care so much about what other people think but I do, need to get selfish about this especially as am at so early a stage in this journey. "They" won't be the ones lying in that hospital bed or worse so the one who will be needs to take control.

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

Post by Tommie » 08 Jun 2015 17:31

I haven't told anyone, simply because I don't think anybody knows that side of me (I'm good at hiding the bad things), and I'd rather not tell, just quit and that's it. I've only told people on another forum because I haven't met them and I'm unlikely to do so, they've actually been great and very supportive.

Bramble, the answer from your so-called friend is just terrible. I sense jealousy in her/his answer maybe? You're right, do it for yourself and one day you'll be the one they will all admire. ;)?
I WILL beat this. I will. For my pets, for myself, and because I still want something out of life.

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

Post by Rachel » 22 Nov 2015 21:28

Well done AgnesGray. I don't know how much courage it took, but it's a brave thing to do in terms of taking things a step further in tackling the problem, irregardless of how hard it may or may not have been to tell your father.

Being open about it does force one's hand in not drinking... and can drive you to secrecy (but then if one is not open one is enmired in secrecy anyway) but I think ultimately it's generally the way forward, at least with the people who are important to you.

I am astounded by how my mother has coped with my problem in view of her life long tee totalness. It just shows that the other person does not need to understand. All you need is for them to be on your side and hopefully not judgmental.
Rachel

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

Post by pickles » 23 Nov 2015 06:39

Hello AgnesGrey. That was an admirable thing to do ,by telling your father . It's good that you have him as hopefully support and understanding . I haven't told many people,it's not an easy thing to do. But those who do know only knew from my OH.

I hope aswell that it will be a bit better for you to talk things through with your father/ family .

I saw you posted that you felt lonely being online ,but if it's any help to post on BE ,then please do. You don't have to feel lonely here .
' Normal ' is just a setting on the washing machine .

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