Tuesday, October 22, 2013

10 Things Not to Say When I'm Not Drinking

As I mentioned in yesterday's post, I'm not drinking right now.

It's too hard to type and hold a bottle at the same time.
(And yeah, I know I used this .gif yesterday.
In my defense...monkey on a typewriter.)
What I mean is, I'm taking a break from drinking for a while. It's been seven days so far. I may go another seven days, or seven weeks, or seven months. I don't know. There's no timetable. I'm enjoying sobriety. If I stop enjoying it, I'll go back to drinking. If I end up losing some of the vodka weight I've gained, I may stay on the wagon indefinitely.

Unlikely, but not impossible.
Yeah, I'll let you know when I'm a size 4 again.

In the meantime, I'll let you know something else. There is no "we" in "I'm not drinking." For some reason, I've found, the same people who never share when I'm wanting and who abandon me when I need support all want to come sniffing around when I decide to dry out. I don't know what it is about drinking, and not drinking, that brings the meddlers out of the woodwork. I guess it's the lack of financial or emotional investment combined with the possibility of witnessing a sloppy, messy failure if I backslide.

Come to think of it, that does sound pretty great.

Schadenfreude is something we can all enjoy.
Still, to the people who "only want to help," here's how you can help: Shut up. Don't say anything. Don't especially say any of these things while I'm not drinking.

1.  "Are you going to meetings?"
No, I'm not going to fucking meetings. Nothing will make me want to drink more than having to sit in a room full of strangers and share my goddamn feelings. I drink alone, I'll not drink alone.

2.  "It must be hard to quit drinking."
Holy shit, it must be. That's why I'm not quitting. I'm just taking a break. Because never is a long damn time and a recipe for failure. When I was about 12 I went on a diet and promised I would never eat chocolate again. That was an idiotic thing to say about chocolate then, and it's an idiotic thing to say about alcohol now.

3.  "The first step is admitting you have a problem."
I have a ton of problems. Drinking is not one of them, if that's what you're implying.

4.  "I have a wonderful book that may help you."
Is it a cookbook? I could use some new recipes. Otherwise, bugger off with your inspirational pabulum.

5.  "Are you going to follow the 12 steps?"
Only if the 12 steps are "Stop drinking when I feel like it" and "Start drinking when I feel like it," repeated six times.

6.  "I know what it's like."
You know what it's like to have somebody patronize you until you want to scream? Yeah, I know what that's like, too.

7.  "If you ever want to talk, I'm here."
If you promise not to say one goddamn word about the alleged drinking problem about which you desperately want to hear every juicy albeit nonexistent detail, then we can talk. I have a feeling you're not really interested in that case.

8.  "I'm so sorry you're struggling."
I struggle with a lot of things. This is a freaking piece of cake. It's just sobriety, not an impending divorce. Why are you so fascinated by the thought of me struggling?

9.  "I'm praying for you."
OK. I have no idea what to do with that statement. Nanu-nanu.

10.  "Did something finally happen?"
Yes, something finally happened. I realized that my shallowest, most judgmental acquaintances weren't hovering over me and offering me treacly platitudes, and I decided to stop drinking so that they could descend upon me with woefully off-the-mark insights into my soul. Thank you so much for being there when that happened.

I'm very grateful that I'm not an alcoholic. Being in recovery would drive me to drink.

1 comment:

  1. So...can I get you a drink?

    That's probably the eleventh thing not to say to you when you're not drinking, but in kindergarten I was taught that it's nice to share. It wasn't until I was in my twenties that I learned that it's not nice to be an enabler. That's example no.48,934,894 of how the educational system is screwed up.


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