There is a social stigma that comes along with being an alcoholic or an addict. There are many people out there that think that being one of these things is something that should bring shame. Like they are going to have a sign that hangs around their neck that announces they are consumed by alcohol and everyone is going to look at them differently.
In my experience there are a couple of ways that people react to me when I tell them that I am an alcoholic in recovery. There are different ways that I bring up the subject tot them also. There has to be a certain level of trust that has to be there for me to tell someone that I am in recovery. I am one of those people that is pretty open about the subject with people because I think that by me being a living example I am helping others that see me. It has worked pretty well so far in my recovery.
Here is an example of one of the ways that I told a group of people that I am in recovery and their reactions.
I told a group of people that I work with at a company retreat. I had been working for the company for about 8 months and I figured that it was about time to tell everyone. I was a little tired of having to explain it to different people over and over. I waited until I felt a level of comfort and trust with the group before I let it fly. This group of people had become my family over the last couple of months. They had become more then a group of people that I happen to work with and I figured that they needed to know about this major aspect of my life. I had no doubt in my mind that everyone would be receptive to what I was saying. Everyone has been amazing to me. They were honored that I would have that level of trust in them to let them into this part of my life.
Another way that I would bring it up to someone is a little more direct and here is an example of that.
I have someone that I know that has let it be known that he does not want to have anything to do with alcohol. For whatever reason he has put it out there that this is what he wants to happen. I introduced myself to him and let him know that I understand exactly how he feels and that if he ever needed to talk to anyone that I would be there to help. Thats about it.
It is such a personal thing to let people into this part of my life. Sometimes it necessary and beneficial for everyone.
I was talking to a friend last night as we were walking to a baseball game about people who were less receptive when they found out that I was an alcoholic in recovery. These were usually the people that did no understand why you would want to live your life without alcohol. I used to be one of these people and can totally understand where they are coming from. I pose a sort of threat to them and their alcoholic security blanket. I used to make fun of people that had stopped drinking.
I just could not imagine what the heck you would do with your life if you were not drinking. Alcohol is all-consuming and anything that poses a threat to that had to be destroyed or completely separated from my thinking.
People that take offense to my recovery or just don’t understand it are people that I usually do not need to be around. These are people that I am saving a seat for.
My alcoholi consumed everything that I was and now my recovery is consuming me. I like it like that. Recovery… you complete me.