How do I handle social situations where alcohol will be there and I might be judged? – What do I say to non-alcoholics?
I will go to social gatherings where people are drinking and I am at a point where the alcohol doesn’t bother me, but what bothers me is how others treat me because I am not drinking. I am not bothered to the point I want to drink over it, but it is annoying, really annoying.
I understand that this is everywhere across the board. I have a niece who is a vegetarian and my in laws would always make a huge deal about it to her and put a negative cloud around the fact she did not want to eat meat. They made a point of making ridiculous comments and asking her idiotic questions. I felt so much sorrow for her in those situations. Especially because this started when she was still a teenager.
“Oh, you’re a vegetarian?”, “That is just so weird. Oh my goodness is it okay if I eat my sandwich in front of you now?”, “Do you think we are murders now?” type of comments. It was very apparent they did not understand or approve of her choice and made it known without literally telling her they thought she was making a horrible choice. People fear what they do not understand or that which makes them uncomfortable.
When you are not doing what is expected or is the social norm at the time, the reaction is usually unpleasant. I have experienced this in my sobriety. It is good to have ways to cope with that now and go into a situation expecting some of those
reactions from people who are not alcoholics and still drink socially. I am optimistic and do not assume anyone is going to treat me differently, but I am now prepared for it if and when the situations and comments present themselves.
I now have the expectation that, yes not drinking isn’t the social norm, yes I might get some stare, yes I might be asked questions a few times. I am not ashamed of saying I do not drink because I am an alcoholic. If anything I feel quite the opposite. I feel empowered and a sense of freedom when I respond to those questions with honesty about my sobriety and recovery.
I have even had wonderful opportunities for some amazing conversations with fellow alcoholics, addicts, or those who have loved ones and friends suffering from the disease of alcoholism.
I am proud of where I have been and where I am now. During my alcoholism I struggled with shame all of the time. I was ashamed of the fact I couldn’t drink and even felt, in the beginning, that it was this weakness. Now I don’t see it like that at all. Again, I am very proud of where I am today and I can answer those questions with no hesitations.
I can look at them,the non-alcoholics, and realize they are being the asshole. I have walked out of the shame corner. I now have a different mindset thanks to sobriety and working my 12 Step program. My reaction now is somewhere along the lines of this: “Clearly you have a problem if you feel compelled to carry this conversation with me any further than what I told you.”
Prepare yourself before to receive blessings. Look further into life for richness. I cannot expect great things to happen in my life if I am not preparing to accept great things to happen in my life. For me, it starts within myself. You have probably heard “it’s an inside job” thrown out around the halls of AA a time or two or even in various addiction and alcoholism recovery programs.
It might be a cliche, but the truth is the truth and it really is an inside job. If I just expected things to happen in my life without being open and ready to accept them, then it won’t happen. Even if it does happen, I won’t be in a place where I would even recognize the blessing for what it is because I haven’t prepared myself and accepted that good things can and will occur in my life now.
“Failure is the opportunity to begin again more intelligently.” – Henry Ford
This quote is amazing and for the person I am now, very eye opening. It reminds me, in the past where I have failed to recognize or take advantage of opportunities that have presented themselves, I do not have to do that anymore. I can choose to believe nothing good will happen to me and live my life unable to see opportunity or hear it knocking at my door. Instead I choose to be open minded, believe, and accept the possibility and the reality of better situations, opportunities for success, and take action.
I believe in “progress not perfection” and continually improving my outlook and it is so worth it and my choice to believe and take action to live this way just like everyone else.