I find it annoying when a non-alcoholic tries to tell me they know how I feel. “I have done some stupid things while drunk also.” Oh really? Stupid things? Have you woke up in the hospital? Unable to remember how you got there? Woke up behind the wheel with your car in a ditch? In jail? Your few bad decisions are nothing compared to my 20 years of blackouts and depression. Of drinking myself to death because I thought that would bring me happiness. My DUIs will follow me the rest of my life while your one night stands won’t. (Unless it resulted in a child or STD.)
It is not fair for me to judge a person who is only trying to reach out with consoling words. But it fucking irritates me. It is like a person who had the flu comparing their suffering to someone with cancer. I did not only stop drinking. I am struggling with avoiding it in this alcoholphile society. I am struggling with my defects that caused it to be such a problem. I am struggling while you try to patch it with a bandaid of words.
I feel like hibernating. I want to go sleep in a cave where alcohol does not exist. And where there are no people who will toss wishy-washy words of wisdom my way.
8 thoughts on “Unwanted Sympathy”
I agree! You made me think about the many so called friends who would question me why I wasn’t having a drink. Then they’d say that I did not have a problem and me deciding to be sober was crazy. The only thing crazy was me thinking they were friends. They were just drinking buddies. Thank you for sharing:)
“It is like a person who had the flu comparing their suffering to someone with cancer” :-).
Often I eighter have to go into some element of armwrestling or showing off evidence : Do I really need to flash my scares or criminal records to convince – or like most cases I just give in in advance finding the dialog to stupid.
‘Oh I though you too was just having the flu. My wrong – sorry. Let’s start this dialog over’ – like never going to happen … 🙂
I agree it’s annoying when people say things like that. Especially when I am in the position of having no particular evidence to give them. I have never been in the kind of trouble you described, never had a DUI, never failed anything, gotten fired or so much as skipped a class. I am more high-functioning than most of the people I know who don’t have an alcohol problem. But I couldn’t stop drinking and it was making my life hell.
I know not all alcoholics have had the kind of “evidence” I have. I think it is more sad that my DUIs came after the ICU experience. And last DUI was 7 years before I finally got sober. Some alcoholics never have a “bottom” or what made one person stop is so different from another person. The important thing is we stopped.
A lot of my friends do not know all that I have been through nor most of my mistakes. Strangers that read this blog know more about me than people I have known for years. I sort of want to scream it out, but then again I should not have to go into my story with everyone.
I am just whining. I wish people were more aware and sensitive that the alcoholic’s problem is more than just drinking a lot.
Absolutely. And it sucks that anyone is expected to explain themselves if they aren’t drinking – whether alcohol is a problem for them or not. I found your blog when I was still in the stages of thinking about whether or not I needed to quit drinking and it was so important to read your no-holds-barred drunken horror stories. They made me realise first of all that I wasn’t far off doing things like that myself, and second of all that I did not want to go any further down the road than I already have. I have been able to learn from your mistakes without making the same ones myself, which is very generous of you.
Awesome comment on an awesome post!!! I’m 100% in agreement with you and even though I know people are ‘trying to be nice’….no one gets it in the same way another recovering alcoholic will. It’s like the “how’s it all going” vague reference to recovery….fucking hard I want to scream at them. But I dont. Instead I read posts like yours and take heart I’m not going though this crap on my own, at least in a virtual world!
Thanks. I have actually been thinking how even though most my friends know I have been sober for over a year, NO ONE checks in on me. I know I feel selfish, but at least one “how are you?” from a close friend would be nice. It still feels like they think this sobriety thing is a phase. I know I am really over – generalizing this (they?…as in I know what ALL MY FRIENDS are thinking) but maybe a nice card from those that first showed me support a year ago.
Heartfelt words. Touched me deeply today.