You Don’t Say!

Now that my sobriety is growing up a little, (yup she’s three weeks old today and received a lollipop), I’m feeling a bit braver about letting others know I don’t drink anymore. But I’ve got to tell you, while most confidantes have been wonderfully supportive, in addition to the usual questions about whether or not I’m pregnant or on medication, I have received some odd responses:


*The blank stare*

*The blank stare with solitary blink*

*The deer caught in the headlights stare* (I feel sorry for people at this point and usually say something funny to cut them some slack.)

“Ever? You’re not drinking ever again?” (complete with raised eyebrows)

“Yeah, it’s about time you did that. You were always making an ass of yourself!” (Ok, I’ll take that, even though I didn’t ALWAYS do it.)

One guy introduced me to a stranger by saying: “Hey Adam, I’d like you to meet Phoenix. She used to drink but now she doesn’t.” (WTF was that about?)

But I’m taking it all in stride. I try to keep my over-sensitive side in check because I know most of the time folks just don’t really know how to respond and what comes out isn’t necessarily what they mean.

One of my fellow bloggers, Unpickled, has some brilliant interpretations on her site which I chuckled to read a couple of weeks ago but now completely relate to. She explains:

Normies say:      “Are you going to stop coming out with us now?”

We hear:             “You’re ruining our fun.”

It likely meant:    “We still want to spend time with you. What’s the best way to do that?”


Normies say:      “Did I do something to make this happen?”

We hear:             “Your recovery is about me.”

It likely meant: “I would never knowingly hurt you” (or…”I feel guilty for something I’ve done.”)


Normies say:      “Do I have to quit drinking around you?”

We hear:             “I don’t want to be with you now.”

It likely meant:  “I am not ready to face my own issues around alcohol.”


Normies say:      “What are we supposed to do after baseball now?”

We hear:             “I only want to be your friend if I can drink with you.”

It likely meant: “Is this going to change our relationship? I like things the way they are.”


Normies say:     “It’s no big deal. I don’t care if you’re drinking or not.”

We hear:             “Don’t expect me to do anything differently to accommodate you.”

It likely meant: “I’m acting nonchalant to show you that I’m supportive.”


Normies say:      “My cousin was in rehab and it made him worse. Stay away from recovery programs.”

We hear:              “All alcoholics are the same. I know more about this than you do.”

It likely meant:    “I don’t know what to say so I’m relating the only thing I know about recovery.”


Thanks Unpickled, for helping me to keep a cool head. I do have a pretty decent support network and I know most people mean well, but it is handy having your wisdom in my pocket. 🙂


  1. I have to be honest, I haven’t heard anything but positive stuff from those who I have “outed” myself to. But I am sure someone might say something. But to be honest, I have surrounded myself with people who add to my life, and any old drinking buddies hit the road a long time ago. I guess I am also at a point where all the peeps I know aren’t hard drinkers, and anything we do and go to hasn’t anything to do with drinking anymore. But I understand that it might be hard for those who are still active in social scenes, and have many friends who are still having fun at the pubs and bars, etc.

    Great advice, and good perception.

    Congrats on three weeks!


    1. Thanks Paul. 🙂 I have a pretty wide cross-section of friends but yes, the ones with the ‘odd’ comments were amongst my old drinking partners. For the most part, people have been awesome and supportive. 🙂

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