Apples and Oranges

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My husband quit drinking on the same day I did. He makes it look terribly easy. He is getting seriously in shape. He sleeps like a damn baby. I am envious. Yesterday, he posted ‘quit drinking’ as a life event on Facebook. I was floored. I wasn’t mad, I was just amazed. Here, I have been agonizing about how to tell my friends and co-workers and he just posts it on Facebook. No big deal, right? Fuck! When I asked him about it this morning, he said simply, “I am not ashamed. It was just getting in the way.” 

Since his post yesterday, I have been thinking about how I might answer questions or discuss my choice to quit drinking with friends. In my mind, strangely, it always starts, “It was becoming a problem.” BULLSHIT. It WAS a problem. It had been a problem for a very long time. I might not have had to deal with legal repercussions or devastated relationships, but there are only so many times you can get away with driving terribly drunk or going to work terribly hungover before shit really falls apart. So where does this, “it was becoming a problem” come from? Am I hoping to sugar coat it for people who probably don’t want to hear the sordid details or am I ashamed? Maybe a little of both. I know there are friends who won’t want to talk about it because my ‘problem’ will reflect their ‘problem.’ But I think it is the feeling of failing somehow that really bothers me. Being an alcoholic means somewhere along the line, I lost control. I have a weakness. I can’t do what others can. I can’t have one or two. I can’t drink one or two nights. I am fucked up. This is the record that plays in my head. Alcoholic=fucked up failure. I know this is bullshit. I know I am doing the best possible thing for me and my family but sometimes it really sucks. 

I am lucky to have a solid core of folks who understand and are very supportive. I am lucky I have a supportive partner who is on the same path with me. Maybe I should just thank my lucky damn stars and go the fuck to sleep?

BTW- I posted ‘quit drinking’ as a life event, too. Bandaid-ripped off. Voila! I am out as sober person. 


7 thoughts on “Apples and Oranges

    themiracleisaroundthecorner said:
    July 23, 2013 at 5:58 am

    Your husband, and now you, are my heroes. This is great stuff!

    carrythemessage said:
    July 23, 2013 at 7:21 am

    Nothing about weakness or failure…and glad you see that. As you mentioned, there is something that others can do with impunity that we can’t – and that’s drink. That’s it. Nothing else. the shame and guilt is manufactured by us and our illness. Nothing to be ashamed of. I am happy to hear you and your hubby “came out” ! Great stuff 🙂

    runningonsober said:
    July 23, 2013 at 9:33 am

    You go girl! Glad you ripped off that band-aid!

    Had to laugh at “it was becoming a problem.” I think I even said something similar on my About page–that my drinking was causing stress and drama so I quit.

    Truth is it was creating World War Z and I had to stop before it killed me and my loved ones.

    But you know what? That’s the past and most people won’t ever know or get what it was like. So I kind of gloss over it sometimes like it’s no big deal, because to most, it isn’t. But to me, to us, it was a huge a freaking deal, and I’m so glad to finally be free.

    Loved the post! Christy

    Mrs D said:
    July 24, 2013 at 12:58 am

    In some ways it’s like we were just the unlucky ones that got hit with the addiction bullet.. others drink.. but only some of us end up not being able to control it. stupid dumb alcohol. we are so much better off without it. As RoS says above – you go girl!

    Sober Life said:
    July 26, 2013 at 9:00 pm

    Awesome! Just plunge right in! Whoo hoo! It’s taken me a while to get where you are with this! Maybe the little rivalry you guys have going can be quite encouraging! But I feel ya, my husband went and quit one day and never touched another, me? Shoot I stumbled for a looooong time! But it doesn’t matter, sober is sober! – Maggie.

    mishedup said:
    July 28, 2013 at 12:11 am

    Love this! There is such stigma and shame around any kind of addiction and it it so ridiculous! The thing is tho, people have a vision of what an alcoholic looks like, and it is never “us”…normal people. I had a vision too, for years, and when i went to my first AA meeting that vision was blown to smithereens, thank god. Until we get out there, loud and proud, that stigma will stay attached. The more open we are, showing the REAL face of this disease the easier it will be for others to seek help.

    Getting Mine | A Stroke of Life said:
    August 26, 2013 at 2:01 pm

    […] Apples and Oranges ( […]

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