Sobriety Around Non-Sober People

As a former trainwreck of society, I dumped my share of toxic damage on many loved ones and even a few strangers while sifting through my twenty year ‘it’s not me, it’s you’ phase. It was something I was ashamed of after a sober realization in the middle of the night when I sat up in bed screaming, “I am a monster bound for a sweltering hell!” But after successful and even a few unsuccessful amends to those tied to my ‘train tracks of redemption’ I see my part in all of it. When I was still actively using, I wore a mask of self-righteous indignation, and I destroyed anyone who didn’t cosign my bullshit.

train-wreck-67775_1280
Image: WikiImages

Fast-forward eleven years, and through hard work, determination and a lot of ‘for fuck’s sake’ moments, I have seen the error of my behavior and have now crossed the bridge to unwillingly watching non-sober people try to live their non-sober lives.

I am not talking about people who drink casually or have wine with dinner a couple of times a week. Drowning in addiction is a terrifying thought… and it isn’t something that becomes apparent immediately, which is more terrifying. Most times, we have no idea there is a problem until it is too late. Although every knock on the door is a storm of chaos and turmoil saying “What’s the worst that could happen?” we do not possess the ability to recognize we are the eye of that storm until it literally destroys our life.

“But for the Grace of God, there go I.”

I am currently working on a memoir because my story is important; it is important for me to write as much as it is important for people to read. Hell, it is possible as you read this you know someone who just cannot get their shit together – maybe they hide bottles in the house and car – or maybe it is you. I share my story to help those who are still sick and suffering.

When I run into a new version of the old me, I have to stay and deal because honestly, these people are put in my path for a reason. While my initial thought is to get this person in a sober headlock and bombard them with catch phrases, famous quotes, and literature, I am confident this will just scare the shit out of them, so I have to resort to stern subtlety.

Stern subtlety: Not cosigning their bullshit but not making them feel inhuman.

I have someone in my life right now who refuses to understand that while bad things don’t happen every time they drink, every time something bad does happen, they were drinking. And I want to grab this person and shake them and somehow get footage and lowlight reels from when I was their age and in a whirlwind of chaos, but I can’t do that.

I can’t save her.

I have to remind myself I cannot save anyone… salvation lies within, my friends. Instead, I have to sit and listen… really listen… and yeah, maybe throw a few slogans their way if the opportunity arises, but mostly I just sit and listen… and hope like hell they get it sooner than later.

“Rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.” J.K. Rowling

If you think you have a problem with drinking, please visit:

http://www.aa.org/

If you love someone with a problem and don’t know how to deal, please visit:

http://al-anon.org/

Blessed Be.

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Author: D. A. M. Steelman

I could get through life just fine quoting heavy metal lyrics.

6 thoughts on “Sobriety Around Non-Sober People”

  1. My best friend had just separated from his wife and I let him live in a spare bedroom that I had in my house to help him out. When he finally left and got his own place my wife and I found many empty bottles hidden in his room. We realized that he had a drinking problem, because normal people don’t hide their empty bottles of alcohol.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I go through this, learning how to be compassionate without co-signing behaviour. It’s frustrating because you want resolution of “the problem,” but what you are seeing is the effect, not the cause. It’s like fighting shadows.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Been there too many times… and I know the toll, not just in relationships, but lives that alcoholism can take. I lost two cousins due to drinking. One when we were 18 from a motorcycle accident, the other… a few years ago wandering off lost in a snow storm.

    Like

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